Defending is said to be a dying art. As center backs become more focused on possession and launching attacks, some commentators say the fundamentals of being a member of a backline have been forgotten.
Frankly, it’s nonsense. There are still many defenders who love nothing more than a physical battle with a forward, putting up a goal block or making a last-ditch tackle, even if they are technically gifted with the ball at their feet. And in this article, we celebrate the best of them. Here are the 5 best center backs in the world right now, ranked. Choose one of these players in your FIFA 22 team for an impenetrable defense.
FIFA 22 Rankings- Best Center Back #5: Antonio Rudiger
Antonio Rudiger was loved by Chelsea fans, but the kind of opposition striker hated playing against.
In 133 Premier League appearances for the Blues, the German helped them to 53 clean sheets. Physically, he’s about as solid as it gets – not many strikers get the better of him in one-on-one battles. And at 6 feet 2 inches (190 cm), Rudiger is a beast in the air, winning an average of 1.6 headers in duels per game.
He’s also a potent goal threat – and doesn’t just head at the end of set pieces. The best of the 3 Premier League goals he scored in 2021-22 was a stunning 35-yard strike against Brentford.
Rated 83 overall on FIFA 22, it’s no surprise that Rudiger’s defensive attributes are all dark green and he scores high on Aggression (92), so you’ll have no questions about his commitment.
After signing for Real Madrid on a free transfer this summer, the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League winner now plays for arguably the biggest club in the world. And it would be a surprise if he doesn’t manage to get more honors in 2022-23.
FIFA 22 Rankings- Best Center Back #4: Aymeric Laporte
Aymeric Laporte’s defensive qualities make him one of the best central defenders in world soccer. But there’s much more to his game; the Spaniard has completed more passes than any other Premier League player in 2021-22, and no one has improved on his 94.8% pass completion rate in the top flight.
He has also contributed important goals to the campaign – in fact, no EPL center-back has scored more than the 28-year-old in 2021/22.
He almost single-handedly saved a crucial point for City at Southampton in January, powering Kevin De Bruyne’s cross to the far post for a 65th-minute equalizer. He also made a vital block at the other end to prevent the impressive Armando Broja from stealing all three points for the Saints.
Pep Guardiola considers him the best in the business.
“For the way we want to play, he is so important. Apart from his character and mentality, he has all the attributes to be what he is,” said the City manager.
“For me, when he’s fit, he’s the best left-back in the world.”
His overall rating of 88 on FIFA 22 makes him an indispensable defensive addition to your team.
FIFA 22 Rankings- Best Center Back #3: Kalidou Koulibaly
It’s easy to see why Kalidou Koulibaly got the nickname “K2”. He is mountainous in stature and it takes supreme effort (and a lot of bravery) to get the better of him.
The experienced Senegalese defender is also incredibly consistent for Napoli. In 27 league games in 2021-22, Kalidou Koulibaly has received an average rating of 7.08 out of 10 by Whoscored.com. The only central defender who scored higher was Gledson Bremer of Turin, but Kalidou Koulibaly beats him in this list because he has been producing the goods for longer. In addition to his physical attributes, he has excellent positional awareness. And he carries a huge threat for the future – last season he scored 3 goals (including a spectacular late winner against rivals Juventus) and provided 3 assists.
Rated 86 overall on FIFA 22, you’ll want Kalidou Koulibaly on your team for his defensive and physical attributes, in particular, Defensive Awareness (90) and Strength (94).
FIFA 22 Rankings- Best Center Back #2: Ruben Dias
The second Manchester City center back on this list, Ruben Dias, is a class act. With his defensive reading of the game, technical quality and winning skills, the Portuguese has established himself as a key figure in Pep Guardiola’s backline after signing from Benfica for £61.2m in 2020. And consecutive Premier League headlines suggest that a hefty transfer fee was probably money well spent.
The center back helped City to 27 clean sheets in 61 appearances and 2020-21 was named Premier League player of the season – early campaigns don’t get much better than that.
On FIFA 22, the 24-year-old is rated 88 overall, with a potential score of 91, giving him such a high ranking on our list – he’ll only get better. His aggressiveness (92), defensive awareness (90), standing tackle (89) and strength (89) are all reasons why you want Ruben Dias to build your backline around him.
FIFA 22 Rankings- Best Center Back #1: Virgil van Dijk
The Liverpool star is arguably one of the best defenders to grace the English top flight in the last 30 years. His arrival at Anfield in January 2018 proved to be the catalyst for the club’s recent success – he is truly the rock of the team that has won the Premier League and Champions League trophies, as well as the EFL and FA Cups.
In March 2022, the former Celtic center-back set a new Premier League record after playing 60 high-profile games for the Reds at Anfield without ever finishing on the losing side, recording 52 wins and 8 draws.
The icy star is also one of the reasons why Louis van Gaal’s Dutch team is considered a serious contender for this winter’s World Cup in Qatar.
Sign Virgil van Dijk on FIFA 22 and you’ll acquire just about the best central defender in the game. His key attributes include defensive awareness (92), standing tackle (92), strength (92), composure (90), interceptions (90) and jumping (90). Safe to say he is the complete defensive package.
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