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The 10 best centre-backs in the world right now named and ranked

The 10 best centre-backs in the world right now named and ranked

Who are the best 10 centre-backs in the world?

Centre-backs don't often do the headline-grabbing tasks on the pitch that win their teams titles, but they are undoubtedly among the most important players in any elite football team.

The role of the centre-back has changed dramatically over recent decades; gone are the days of bulking defenders hoofing the ball up field as soon as it dropped to them.

Nowadays, central defenders are expected not only to defend in a traditional sense, but to bring the ball out from the back, contribute to attacks and be comfortable on the ball under extreme pressure.

Following his heroics in the Carabao Cup final, Liverpool fans are claiming that Virgil van Dijk is the best centre-back in the world. But is he really?

Here we pick our top 10 centre-backs in the world right now.

10: Ronald Araujo

While it's true that Barcelona have not enjoyed the best season - an understatement if ever there was one - Xavi's side would be in fair greater a pickle if it wasn't for Ronald Araujo.

The Uruguay international has been deployed at both centre-back and right-back this season due to his side's injury issues, but he has continued to impress in his natural central role.

9: Min-jae Kim

Min-jae Kim established himself as one of the best centre-backs in the world when he helped Napoli to the Serie A title last season, and this year he has maintained his standards following a £43 million move to Bayern Munich.

The South Korean star would have liked his first season with in Germany to have ended with a Bundesliga title, but with Thomas Tuchel's side now eight points behind league leaders Bayer Leverkusen, that now looks unlikely.

8: Ibrahima Konate

Often overlooked in favour of teammate Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate has been impressively solid for current Premier League leaders Liverpool.

If Liverpool mark the end of Jurgen Klopp's tenure with a title triumph, then Konate will take a huge amount of credit.

Ibrahima Konate has had an impressive campaign (

7: William Saliba

Arsenal's Premier League title challenge fell away when Saliba got injured last season, so it's telling that they are right in the race again now that he is fully fit and playing well.

Not only is the Frenchman a solid defender, but he plays a crucial role in bringing the ball out from the back and starting attacks for Mikel Arteta's side.

6: Gleison Bremer

In 2022 Gleison Bremer joined a Juventus that were in a difficult moment, but his solid performances in defence were a highlight in a bleak season.

This year the Serie A giants have been much improved, and they face a summer of fending off interest in the Brazilian international.

5: Ruben Dias

Ruben Dias has arguably been the best defender in the Premier League since he joined Manchester City in 2020.

His no-nonsense style and composure on the ball is the perfect mix for Pep Guardiola, although he hasn't quite reached his top, top level this season.

Anyone who doubts he can get back to his best is making a big mistake.

4: John Stones

John Stones' transformation into a defender-cum-midfielder was one of the stories of last season, and this term he has shown he can play there for the foreseeable.

Though injuries have limited his involvement this term, the fact that City look so much more comfortable with him in the side shows just how good he is.

John Stones plays a vital role for Man City (

3: Alessandro Bastoni

Inter Milan boast the next great Italian defender among their ranks, and he has played a huge part in their domination of Serie A this season.

Simone Inzaghi's side are running away with the title having conceded just 12 goals in 25 games.

Bastoni has all the qualities you'd want in a modern defender, and at just 24 years old, Premier League giants Chelsea and Man United are eyeing him up.

2: Antonio Rudiger

Everybody knew that Real Madrid snagged themselves a bargain when they signed Antonio Rudiger as a free agent when his deal with Chelsea expired in 2022.

Though his first season at the Bernabeu ended without a La Liga or Champions League winners medal, he has been superb this season and has helped Los Blancos establish a surely insurmountable lead at the top of the table.

1: Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool fans are right; there's currently no better central defender in the world than Virgil van Dijk.

The Dutchman slipped below his usual levels last season, but then so did his Liverpool teammates.

This term, now wearing the captain's armband, he has been imperious and a class above his positional peers.

Tackle, pass, score; Van Dijk can do it all, and should be a contender for Premier League player of the season.

Virgil van Dijk celebrates after scoring against Chelsea. Image: Getty
Virgil van Dijk celebrates after scoring against Chelsea. Image: Getty
Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Football, Premier League, Virgil Van Dijk, Ruben Dias, Antonio Rudiger