Top 5 defenders in the world 2023: The role of a defender in any team should not be understated. The most excellent footballing sides in history have been built upon a solid defence. The Italians of the 80’s and 90’s became famous for their strong defending and even the most recently successful sides like Real Madrid, Liverpool, and Manchester City have carried on that trend.

In this piece, we check out the top 5 defenders in the world in 2023.

5. Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool)

While many might question why the Liverpool defender is even in the top 5 at all, Van Dijk is still one of the finest defenders in the world on his day.

With Jurgen Klopp reshaping the Liverpool system in recent weeks, the Netherlands captain has performed better and slowly showed signs of returning to his efficient and commanding best. That is why he makes it into our top 5 defenders in the world in 2023.

4. Raphael Varane (Manchester United)

Raphael Varane has gotten back to his previous form that put him among the very best in the world, known for his recovery speed and excellent timing of tackles.

Top 5 defenders in the world 2023: Raphael Varane

He is also a serial winner, after playing 10 seasons with Real Madrid and winning 18 trophies, including three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, four UEFA Champions League titles, and four FIFA Club World Cups.

3.Thiago Silva (Chelsea)

Thiago Silva comes in third in our list of top 5 defenders in the world in 2023. The Chelsea defender has been exceptional once again.

The only good performer in an abysmal Blues team at 39, there are still very few defenders past or present who can claim to be better than he is and has been. A true leader, an excellent reader of the game, and an exceptional organizer of the backline.

2. Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United)

As far as the art of defending, Manchester United’s Lisandro Martinez is one of the best in the business. The Argentine World Cup winner has revitalised the Manchester United backline and given the midfield and attack a solid platform to build on.

Individually he remains one of the hardest defenders to beat in a 1v1 duel and the quickest across the ground. He is still only 23 years old and he will continue to improve at an alarming rate.

1. Ruben Dias (Manchester City)

Ruben Dias rounds up our list of the top 5 defenders in the world in 2023. The Manchester City defender returned to action after a period out injured and since his return, the Premier League champions are yet to lose a game.

His leadership qualities and bravery set him apart from other defenders and he has elevated the City defence from one of the best in Europe to the outright best backline in the world. There is a reason he is number 1 on our list of top 5 defenders in the world in 2023.

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