Every year we count down the 100 best footballers in the world, and here we pick out the best centre-backs from that list. We've narrowed down the selection to these top defenders, weeding out any pesky full-backs.
6. Sergio Ramos (35 in our Top 100 players)
The Real Madrid linchpin won another European title with his club last season, of course, with Ramos even scoring in the final. However Spain disappointed at Euro 2016 and some occasional patchy form and rash challenges mean the 140-cap veteran fails to reach the summit of our list.
5. Toby Alderweireld (33)
Alderweireld's signing by Spurs led to the North London club conceding the fewest goals in the Premier League across 2016, while they also challenged for the league title last season, largely helped by the Belgian's crucial goals and tidying up at the back.
4. Gerard Pique (29)
The Barcelona man helped steer the Blaugrana to another La Liga title in 2016 and he also notched a couple of vital goals on the way.
3. Leonardo Bonucci (25)
Leonardo Bonucci continued his knack of scoring in big games across 2016, including some vital strikes at Euro 2016. The Italian was wanted by Pep Guardiola in the summer but a move failed to materialise and instead he'll continue as the bedrock upon which Juventus builds this season.
2. Diego Godin (21)
The Uruguayan has been consistently excellent for a number of years but just lacked the major honours to take top spot in our countdown.
1. Jerome Boateng (16)
The German footballer of the year for 2016 also put in several monstrous performances for his country at Euro 2016: and that's why we've picked out Jerome Boateng as the best central defender in world football at this moment in time.
Now read these
FourFourTwo’s Best 100 Football Players in the World 2016
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.