UEFA Euro 2024: Ranking the Best Defenders in Germany, Virgil Van Dijk Leads

UEFA Euro 2024: Ranking the Best Defenders in Germany, Virgil Van Dijk Leads

Edwin Kiplagat
June 12, 2024 at 3:30 PM
In this article:
Virgil van Dijk logo
V. van Dijk
Liverpool logoDNetherlands logo
William Saliba logo
Arsenal logoDFrance logo
Antonio Rüdiger logo
A. Rüdiger
Real Madrid logoDGermany logo
Rúben Dias logo
R. Dias
Manchester City logoDPortugal logo
Kyle Walker logo
Manchester City logoDEngland logo
England logo
France logo
Portugal logo
  • Attacking players like Kylian Mbappe and Bukayo Saka will steal the show at the 2024 European Championship in Germany
  • Defenders form the backbone of a successful team, and there will be some top defenders like Virgil Van Dijk at the tournament
  • The hosts, Portugal, England, France, the Netherlands and several other teams, will field some formidable defences at the showpiece

PAY ATTENTION: Checkout Fixtures; Live Scores; Results and Tables section on Sports Brief and never miss out on the action ⚽️

The UEFA Euro 2024 is finally here, and the excitement has reached fever pitch.

For 30 days, 24 teams across Europe will battle for the trophy in Germany.

Although all the attention is focused on attackers like Kylian Mbappe and Jude Bellingham, defenders have gone unnoticed.

UEFA Euro 2024, Virgil Van Dijk, William Saliba, Kyle Walker, Antonio Rudiger, Ruben Dias, England, Portugal, France, Germany.
The Netherlands' Virgil Van Dijk and France's William Saliba are among the best defenders who will grace Euro 2024. Photos by Jean Catuffe and ANP.
Source: Getty Images

France, England, Germany, and Portugal are the favourites to win the tournament and, unsurprisingly, have the best defenders in the world.

Liverpool and the Netherlands centre-back, Virgil Van Dijk, has been, without a doubt, the best defender in the world for several years.

However, he now shares that crown with several players who have closed the gap. At 32, he is still at the top of his game. So, who are the top defenders at Euro 2024? Here are the top 5, per 90min.

Top 5 defenders at Euro 2024

5. Kyle Walker - England

The veteran Manchester City right-back has proven many times why he is considered one of the best fullbacks in Premier League history. He is one of England's most experienced players and will be required to stop top players like Kylian Mbappe and Rafael Leao. His electric pace and one-on-one defensive ability give him an edge when facing world-class forwards.

He has played over 80 times for England and just turned 34. he will be playing in his third Euros.

4. William Saliba - France

France coach, Didier Deschamps, made a few curious comments about the Arsenal defender a few months ago. However, since he called him to his squad, he has acknowledged the qualities the young central defender possesses.

He had another incredible season at the Emirates and is now considered one of the best in the world. His versatility will be hard to ignore in Germany. Strangely, France has serious defensive depth, and Saliba might not feature.

3. Ruben Dias - Portugal

Dias has been a key player for Pep Guardiola at Manchester City in the last few years, winning everything at club level. Like many players on this list, Dias is always the first name on the team sheet.

The 27-year-old has played 56 times for Portugal and will be a crucial piece in Roberto Martinez's star-studded side. His ability on the ball is one of the best in the world among defenders.

2. Antonio Rudiger - Germany

Rudiger is coming off a Champions League-winning season with Real Madrid. Despite all his playfulness, the German is a capable defender. Since joining Real Madrid, he has taken his game to another level.

He is not one to turn down a duel with top-class strikers like the Erling Haalands or the Harry Kanes. His physicality will be important for the host nation, which is under pressure to deliver a good campaign.

1. Virgil van Dijk - Netherlands

The Dutch defender experienced a slight dip after recovering from a long-term knee injury. However, he remains arguably the best in the world. His physical prowess, pace, and intelligence make him a difficult opponent to play against.

He has been the cornerstone of Liverpool's success in the last few years, and the Dutch needs someone like him to rejuvenate their team in Germany.

Best wingers at Euro 2024

Sports Brief earlier listed the best wingers at Euro 2024, with France's Kylian Mbappe comfortably top.

The Frenchman edged England superstar Bukayo Saka, Portugal's Rafael Leao, and Germany's Leroy Sane.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.