Sorry for the length of time between the two posts in this series, but have no fear, everything will be a lot more up-to-date.
Jan Vertonghen – Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham’s Belgian centre back impressed in his first season in the Premiership after a long-awaited transfer to Spurs. He started out at Spurs at left back after an injury to regular Benoit Assou-Ekotto but after an injury to Younes Kaboul and a drop in-form for veteran William Gallas it was down to Vertonghen to form an impressive partnership with club captain Michael Dawson.
After initially being linked with Spurs’ North London rivals Arsenal, Vertonghen quickly started showing Arsenal what they were missing out on with some dominant displays in defence, whether it be at centre back or left back.
Vertonghen’s displays were rewarded as he was named in the PFA Team of the Year alongside Rio Ferdinand, Leighton Baines and Pablo Zabaleta.
Vertonghen has made 288 club career appearances to date, scoring 38 goals; winning two Eredivisie titles and a KNVB Cup in his time at Ajax. He has also made 49 appearances for the Belgian international team, scoring four goals.
Mats Hummels – Borussia Dortmund
Over the last few years, Hummels has emerged as one of the top defending attributes of a Dortmund side that has boasted a lot of attacking talent and some under-rated defensive players.
Hummels is a player who enjoys bringing the ball out from the back and begin attacking moves. His technique in the tackle is excellent and he has an aerial and physical prowess which allows him to out-muscle opponents. His style of play has been compared to legendary German sweeper Franz Beckenbauer as his reading of the game is one of his biggest strengths.
He has made 190 career club appearances, scoring 19 goals and winning two Bundesliga titles and one DFB-Pokal. He has also made 24 appearances for the German national team, scoring one goal.
Giorgio Chiellini – Juventus
Chiellini was a part of the Juventus defence which won the 2012-13 Serie A title and he was also a key part of the team which went unbeaten with the best defensive record the season before.
The Italian defender is known for his consistent displays, hard tackles and aerial dominance and this has gained him huge popularity amongst Juventus fans. He has made 364 career club appearance to date, scoring 23 goals and winning two Serie A titles, one Serie B and one Supercoppa Italiana.
Chiellini has also been a main part of the Italian national team since 2008, he is currently with the national team at the 2013 Confederations Cup with Italy playing World Cup holders Spain tomorrow. To date he has made 61 appearances for the Italian national team, scoring three goals.
Thiago Silva – Paris Saint-Germain
How PSG managed to sign Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic from AC Milan for just 60 million euros is mind boggling. But Thiago did state Milan’s financial difficulties as a reason he had to leave.
Thiago Silva’s first season in French football got off to a slow start as he didn’t make his first appearance until September 18th, but on his debut he scored in a 4 – 1 PSG win over Dynamo Kiev but he soon became a key part of the team which won their first Ligue One title in 19 years. He has made 299 career club appearances so far, scoring 23 goals
He is captain of the Brazilian national team and is also currently at the 2013 Confederations Cup, he has made 35 appearance for the national team (including tonight’s game against Uruguay) scoring one goal.
Raphael Varane – Real Madrid
I had to do this on form and my own personal views, and my own personal view is that despite Varane’s tender age of 20, he is one of the best defenders in the world already and can only get better.
Varane’s playing style is based on his excellent reading of the game and any game I’ve seen him play he has rarely made a mistake. Didier Drogba has also described him as the best defender he’s played against. He was also named in a ‘Best foreign eleven in Real Madrid’s history’ by Marca in April.
He has made 72 career club appearances to date, scoring six goals; winning a La Liga title and a Supercopa de Espana. He has also made two appearances for the French national team.