It's time for the second edition of World Football 100: Center Backs (Part 1). We are eleven players through the list, and we will be covering seven more today. Let's get started.

1. Thiago Silva, PSG

Thiago Silva is perhaps the most complete defender on this list. Lacking any inherent flaws, Silva's speed, aerial prowess, and tackling ability combine to make him not just one of the best center backs, but one of the best players in all of football. Thiago Silva has been one of the most consistent center backs for more than half a decade and shows no signs of slowing down.

2. Mats Hummels, Bayern Munich

Another Bayern Munich player near the top of a list, Mats Hummels has made a name for himself as one of the best center backs in recent history. Formerly of Bundesliga rival Dortmund, Hummels moved to Munich in May of 2016. Hummels' physical defensive presence combined with his skillful offensive game make him the one of the top central defenders in football today.

3. Leonardo Bonucci, Juventus

The first of two Juventus center backs on this list, Leonardo Bonucci has thrived under Antonio Conte and Massimilano Allegri's three center back system. Bonucci is particularly well known throughout Serie A for his creative long passing ability and his skill as a sweeper. Along with his two defensive partners, Bonucci is tasked with completely shutting down a third of the field - and he is completely capable of it.

4. Giorgio Chellini, Juventus

The second and final Juventus center back on this list, Giorgio Chellini, just like Bonucci, has also been extremely effective in the three center back set employed by Juventus. Since coming over from Fiorentina in 2005, Chellini has been one of the best defenders in Serie A. Like Bonucci and Hummels, he is one of the most aggressive, physical, and creative center backs in football.

5. Jerome Boateng, Bayern Munich

Yet another Munich player, Jerome Boateng is one of the most sensational center backs in football. Blessed with fantastic size and speed, Boateng is perhaps the world's best defenders from a physical standpoint. Bayern Munich and Germany are both set for the near future defensively with the pair of Hummels and Boateng in the center.

6. Pepe, Real Madrid

One of the best central defenders in football, it seems as though Pepe has been around forever. Real Madrid have been beyond fortunate to have Pepe anchoring their back line since 2007. While he has been criticized many times for be overly-aggressive, there can be no questioning Pepe's talent. His aerial dexterity paired with other-worldy tackling ability are a huge part of what Pepe such a special player.

7. Pique, Barcelona

Pepe's Catalonian counterpart, Pique has been a member of Barcelona since 2008. Having played for Manchester United (prior to his tenure in Spain) in the Premier League and Barcelona in La Liga, Pique is familiar with several different types of attacking styles; he excels against them all. His great height and tackling instincts combine to make the Spaniard a top defender in football.


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Published by Joseph Lowery