Alderweireld is FFT's top Premier League defender

Tottenham Hotspur centre-back Toby Alderweireld has been named the top Premier League defender in FourFourTwo’s Best 100 Players in the World 2016.

The 27-year-old was an ever-present for Spurs in their title tilt last term, keeping 13 clean sheets as the Londoners clinched Champions League qualification.

FFT100 – TOP 10 DEFENDERS

16. Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich)
21. Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid)
24. Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich)
25. Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
28. David Alaba (Bayern Munich)
29. Gerard Pique (Barcelona)
33. Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham)
35. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
39. Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)
45. Pepe (Real Madrid)

And the Belgium international concluded 2015/16 by helping his country reach the quarter-finals of the European Championship, heading home the opening goal in the Red Devils’ 4-0 victory over Hungary.

Alderweireld is ranked 33rd in the Top 100 this year, two places ahead of Real Madrid's Champions League-winning centre-back Sergio Ramos and six in front of Juventus man-mountain Giorgio Chiellini.

Speaking exclusively to FourFourTwo on being named our best defender in the Premier League for 2016, the Tottenham man said: “I am very honoured to get chosen by the guys to get that prize. I’ve tried to work very hard over the last couple of years to get to this kind of level, to improve myself and help the team, so I’m very happy everyone is appreciating it.”

The Belgian is one of four Tottenham players to feature in this year’s list, a record high for the Lilywhites since the Top 100 started out back in 2007. Harry Kane jumps up 18 places to number 72, while there is a debut appearance for Dele Alli.

I’ve tried to work very hard over the last couple of years to get to this kind of level, to improve myself and help the team, so I’m very happy everyone is appreciating it

“Mauricio Pochettino helps us a lot,” said Alderweireld. “He makes us have a plan for what we’re going to do on the field and then it’s up to us to perform. We’re very talented and have the hunger to achieve something big, and the quality is there as well, so it’s good to have those kind of team-mates.”

So does Alderweireld foresee any more Spurs players appearing in next year's FFT100?

“The team is young and talented and we have hunger for more," he said. "Harry Winks is doing well and he has the right head on his body to achieve some great things. He works hard and has a fantastic attitude to become a very good player.”

FOURFOURTWO'S BEST 100 FOOTBALL PLAYERS IN THE WORLD 2016