Top Five La Liga Defenders Of All Time

In the modern days of football where your popularity blows through the roof riding on numbers, where goals and assists have a predominance like none other, defence has turned into an art of unsung heroes gloriously tagged as defenders who formulates a significant part of a team’s spine, putting their bodies on the line for countless times with the hope of thwarting the ball from crossing that hallowed goal-line.

However, no matter how unpopular an art becomes, there will always be virtuosos of the same craft who will find out not just innovative ways but will don on their toughest game face to ensure the persistence and survival of the same through the darkest mazes and trickiest alleys. Similarly, no matter how badly defenders have been pushed to the line of being just mere saviours, unofficially ostracized from any remarkable football awards unless he pens the craft so wonderfully that even Gods from Mount Olympus find it difficult to blast past him in all their pomp and splendor, proud artisans of the declining art still walk the face of the earth.

Defending isn’t just really hurling yourself at the others and hollering at the top of your lungs. It involves countless strategies that bind together a team and ensures minimal leakage for the others to power past their counterparts in pursuit of all the glitz and glam which the world very carefully beholds.

In this story, we will take a glance at the top five defenders of one of the elite leagues not just of Spain, but also entire Europe and definitely the world, La Liga. With all the genius technicality that has sprawled its way into the expensive fabric of the League defending has become a lot more complicated with every passing day, requiring one strategy after the other to be reneged and concocted. Just before we take a ride into the glittering defensive antiquity of the league, let me tell you that this will be a perspective-based piece and not be driven by hardcore numbers. Hence, please feel free to share your valuable opinions.

Carles Puyol

The man who earned himself the title of “The heart of the Catalan defence” was far more than the heart. He was the brain and the brawn in the glorious exploits of Barcelona. Despite being renowned as a central defender, Puyol was also an abled wing-back who could bomb down either side that would aid his team in need. His reflexes were exceptionally sharp and his physical strength made him an indispensable option in the heart of the Barcelona rearguard. His trophy cabinets boast of six La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey, three Champions League, one UEFA Super Cup, and two FIFA Club World Cups.

His individual trophy cabinet also brags about an elongated list that boasts about four ESM Team of the Year, six UEFA Team of the Year, one World Cup Dream Team, and one UEFA Euro All-time XI. In 2016, his herculean exploits got discerned as Golden Foot.

 

Sergio Ramos

The man who is highly tipped to see the end of his prolonged La Liga stint at the conclusion of this season, Sergio Ramos has been an absolute rock in the heart of Real Madrid’s defence. Despite his infamy for his clattering tackles that has seen him receiving countless bookings and marching orders, his physical strength is absolutely unparalleled and he makes perfect use of the same to notch up the topmost figures.

With all said and done, his bedecked cabinet is festooned with lots of honours which include five La Liga titles, two Copa del Ray, four Super Copa De Espana, four UEFA Champions League, three UEFA Super Cup, and four FIFA Club World Cup.

Apart from the collective honours of his team, he has won for himself five Best Defender awards and two UEFA Defender of the Season awards. He was also a part of the UEFA Team of the Year a staggering eight times, FIFA World Cup Dream Team one time, UEFA Euro Team of the tournament one time, and FIFA Confederations Cup Dream team one time.

 

Fernando Hierro

Despite being known for his ability to proliferate as a central defender, he was known for his goal-scoring instincts too. Defined as a complete footballer who could swoop in to support his attacking force and rally his rearguard even against the strongest opponent, Hierro has plied his trade for Valladolid, Real Madrid, Al Rayyan, and Bolton Wanderers.

His primary form came for Real Madrid that also saw him taking over the reins of the Spanish national team. His aerial prowess was exceptional and the way he hammered in those robust tackles and hurled himself into a phalanx of strikers was noteworthy, to say the least.

He also notched up quite remarkable honours for himself that features the likes of five La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, four Super Copa De Espana, three UEFA Champions League, two Intercontinental Cups, one UEFA Super Cup, and one Copa Iberoamericana.

His individual honours include one UEFA Club Defender of the Year and being a part of the FIFA XI thrice, ESM Team of the Year twice, and FIFA World Cup All-Star Team once.

 

Roberto Carlos

Hailing all the way from Brazil, known for these extraterrestrial curls on the ball once the free-kick left his feet and those inhuman clearances in mid-air made him one of the best footballers of all time. Primarily known for his role as left-back, he chimed in with a few cameos as a defensive midfielder while he was part of the Los Galacticos, a side that was studded with gems in every single rank.

Nicknamed as El Hombre Bala which roughly translates to The Bullet Man for those rollicking free-kicks that rattled the net from the yonder, he plied his trade for Uniao Sao Joao, Atletico Mineiro, Palmeiras, Inter Milan and finally arrived at Real Madrid.

His flexural speed was determined at 169 kilometers per hour that are equivalent to 105 miles per hour. He has also been described as one of the most aggressive left-backs in the glittering antiquity of football.

His honours pan a long way as they encompass four La Liga titles, three Super Copa de Espana, three UEFA Champions League, two Intercontinental Cups, and 1 UEFA Super Cup.

Individually he has achieved two UEFA Club Defender of the Year, seven ESM Team of the Year, two FIFA World Cup All-Star Team, and two UEFA Team of the Year.

 

Marcelo

A left-back known for his sumptuous first touches that often culminates into a million-dollar cross or a flash at the goal, Marcelo has been defined as one of the finest left-backs in the modern generation. At times, chided for his aggression that leaves the defence begging for man-power, Marcelo is also known for his indomitable stamina that also helps him to bomb down whenever his team needs him.

His explosiveness, his off-the-ball movement, and those dynamic runs make him an icon in the defence that footballs always look up to. The presence of this Brazilian has left an indelible mark in the Real Madrid ranks that can only be filled by someone who is equally great.

His honours for Los Blancos include five La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey, four Supercopa de Espana, 4 UEFA Champions League, 4 UEFA Super Cup, and 4 FIFA Club World Cup. He has also been declared as a part of the UEFA Team of the Year three times, FIFA FIFPro World 11 for six times, UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season for four times, ESM Team of the Year for two times, and IFFHS Men’s Best World Team another two times.

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