Top 10 centre-backs in the world in 2021

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Defenders are arguably the most important players in football, because their consistency ultimately wins titles. The domestic 20/21 season is now behind us, and here, we rank the top ten centre-backs across the season. 

10. Edmond Tapsoba

The 22-year-old Bayer Leverkusen centre-back kicks off our list of the top ten centre-backs this past season. He is not only a great defender but can also distribute the ball well, with a 90% pass accuracy across 31 matches in the Bundesliga. 

9. Eder Militao

Militao truly made a name for himself in 20/21, scoring headers and, most importantly, filling in the shoes of Sergio Ramos as the veteran endured an injury-plagued season. 

8. Nat Phillips


The Liverpool centre-back has done an excellent job throughout 20/21, breaking into the first team and scoring some crucial goals. He not only filled in for Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez, but went a step further and made a claim for a starting berth in the chance he was given. 

7. Willi Orban

RB Leipzig conceded the least number of goals this season in the Bundesliga and the 28-year-old Hungarian had a big part to play in that stellar defensive record. He won 65% of his tackles across 29 appearances in the league, and also scored 4 goals to add to his defensive contributions. 

6. Aymeric Laporte

The now Spanish international has had a great season alongside his other centre-back partners, and his contributions have been vital when the squad needed a left-footer. He scored the goal that won City their fourth Carabao Cup and has a Champions League final ahead of him. 

5. Harry Maguire

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The importance of Maguire became highlighted in his absence, and it was certainly felt as United bottled the Europa League final against Villareal. His leadership at the back and dominance in the air ranks him among the best in Europe this year. 

4. Jose Fonte

Lille won Ligue 1 this season and did so by conceding only 23 goals throughout the competition. The 37-year-old’s contributions were essential in the surprise league victory for the club. He had over 70% successful tackles, 3 goals and 90% passing accuracy in the season. 

3. John Stones

The England international has enjoyed a stellar season and could cap it off with the Champions League trophy alongside the Carabao Cup and Premier League trophies. He has fulfilled his potential and has become a rock-solid specimen at the back alongside his fellow defenders. 

2. Marquinhos

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The PSG centre-back continues to prove himself as one of the best in Europe, although PSG only made it to the quarter-finals of the Champions League this year and fell short of the Ligue 1 title by a single point. 

1. Ruben Dias

Ruben Dias awarded the FWA Player of the Year award for 20/21

Joining Manchester City for €63 million, Ruben Dias is without a doubt the best centre-back in the world right now. The player won the FWA Player of the Year award and is in contention for the PFA award as well. Despite being 23 years old, his arrival completely turned the season around for Manchester City. 

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