The Top 5 Defensive Players at The FIFA World Cup

The amazing spectacle of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar has been on display for football fans since November 20, 2022. Since the top football players in the world are competing for the Mundial, there are always exciting moments and stories on and off the field.

Now that the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Qatar has concluded (on December 18), we may reflect on the tournament’s most significant players.

Defensive linemen are vital to their teams’ chances of winning the game. Fabio Cannavaro was Italy’s best player and the tournament’s MVP as they won the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

The 172 goals scored in this World Cup are a new record, but we didn’t see any performances quite like that. Nonetheless, quite a few players distinguished out with numerous outstanding defensive displays for their country on the largest stage in international football.

The top defenders of the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be discussed, along with their individual performances.

The five finest defenders at this year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar are listed below.

#5 Nicolas Otamendi | Argentina

Though he got off to a shaky start, Nicolas Otamendi ended up as one of the tournament’s top defenders. The hero of SL Benfica was a stalwart in the back for Argentina as they won their first World Cup since 1986.

Otamendi, who is 34 years old, played every minute for La Albiceleste in Qatar. The veteran defender showed his leadership and experience by being listed first in his country’s defensive lineup.

Nicolas Otamendi

The ex-Manchester City player was a crucial factor in three clean sheets for Argentina in seven games. When his team defeated Australia 2-1 in the Round of 16, Otamendi not only assisted on the winning goal but also scored one himself.

His averages for the tournament were 3.4 clearances, 1.3 interceptions, and 1.4 tackles per game. This was his third appearance in the FIFA World Cup, following 2010 and 2018. He gave up a penalty in the championship game against France but was otherwise one of Argentina’s top players in Qatar.

#4 Romain Saiss | Morocco

Romain Saiss, captain of Morocco, had a fantastic 2022 FIFA World Cup. While his team was embarking on a historic run at the tournament in Qatar, he was a rock at the centre of their defence and set the tone for his squad with his performance.

Saiss played in every match but one for Morocco at the World Cup. The Besiktas defender got hurt in the 16th-round encounter against Spain and didn’t play in the third-place match against Croatia.

Romain Saiss

Saiss played a key role in the Moroccan defence that sailed through the whole group stage unscathed. Despite being placed in a group with two teams that FIFA had predicted would finish in the top 15, Belgium and Croatia, the Atlas Lions advanced to the knockout stage.

Saiss’s quality and experience were crucial to Morocco’s success in Qatar. The 32-year-old averaged a whopping 5.0 clearances per game while helping his team to four clean sheets throughout the competition.

#3 Theo Hernandez | France

Theo Hernandez, who started as left-back for France in place of Lucas, who was hurt in the first game against Australia, was outstanding. The star of AC Milan was instrumental in Les Bleus’s repeated finals appearances.

Although the group stage was already decided, Hernandez started every game for his country in the tournament except the final match against Tunisia. The 25-year-old left-back and tournament Golden Boot winner Kylian Mbappe grew close to each other.

Theo Hernandez

Hernandez’s World Cup performance was marked by high-quality play in both offence and defence. He scored once in six games and provided two assists, averaging 1.8 key passes, 2.7 tackles, and 1.2 clearances.

The fullback contributed to France’s only clean sheet of the competition. He scored the opening goal in the opening minutes of the semi-final match against Morocco.

#2 Achraf Hakimi | Morocco

Achraf Hakimi, a defender for Paris Saint-Germain, was a standout for France at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The 24-year-old showed his worth as a top-tier defender for Morocco at his second World Cup.

Achraf Hakimi

Hakimi started every game for the Atlas Lions as they made history at the 2022 FIFA World Cup by advancing all the way to the semifinals. The PSG star was impressive in each of his seven games, bringing ferocity at both ends of the field.

Hakimi dished up one of his country’s assists in Qatar, setting up Youssef En Nesyri with a highlight reel through ball in the last group stage encounter against Canada. He contributed to four shutouts for his country and saw his own status climb thanks to a string of stellar showings.

#1 Josko Gvardiol | Croatia

Josko Gvardiol, a central defender for the Croatian national team, is highly sought after. The 20-year-excellent old’s play at the 2022 FIFA World Cup has earned him rave reviews and interest from a number of clubs.

Guardiola was the team’s starting centre-back and saw action in all 7 of his country’s matches, helping them earn a bronze medal. Many fans of RB Leipzig fell in love with him because of his brilliant defending, ball control, passing, and football IQ.

Josko Gvardiol


Guardiola was a strong contender to follow Kylian Mbappe as the tournament’s Best Young Player in 2018. But the Argentine Enzo Fernandez bested him.

Despite this, Gvardiol was a rock at the back for Croatia, averaging 1.6 interceptions, 1.3 tackles, and a whopping 5.3 clearances per game. In the match for third place, in which his side won 2-1 against Morocco, he scored the first goal.

Mohit Sharma

Mohit is a skilled Content Editor who has contributed to Sportoversy. He has a deep understanding of the inner workings of the sports industry. Mohit is well-known for his ability to discover exciting stories and provide new insights into old issues. Aside from his professional work, he likes spending time in a peaceful environment.

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