Best La Liga defenders of 2021

Thu 29 April 2021 | 7:30

Who do you think has managed to outperform everyone this season? With a good chunk of the New Year gone, it is time for us to list the greatest La Liga defenders of 2021 and have a look at their stats this season and their overall careers.

Every year we get the opportunity to enjoy watching the best players in the world amaze us with the skills and abilities on the pitch, and every year we have the privilege of listing our choice for every best of the best shortlist in each league. While the strikers and some of the midfielders easily get all the attention from the media as they are usually the ones who score the goals and provide the assists, it is the defenders’ job to hold off the opposition and keep a clean sheet, while also helping on the offense.

In fact, modern-day football has seen the full-backs completely join the attack whenever the opportunity presents itself. That is why more attention has been averted towards defenders in recent years. Now surely many of you are excited to see whom we have included on our list of

best La Liga defenders of 2021

. So follow us below as we take a look at the best in the business, who also include a number of the recent up and comers this season.

Best La Liga defenders of this year (2021)

The list for the

best La Liga defenders of 2021

is quite packed as we have got four players for each position in the back. There are many players included on this list, from Kieran Trippier To Marcos Acuna and Stefan Savic. Let’s take a detailed gander at their careers and see how they have performed this season so far.


We start our journey from the flanks before having a look at the center-backs. The right-back position has gained so much attention in recent years, with many great talents presenting themselves to the world as the future’s best right-backs in the whole world. But while the competition for that spot is yet to start, we decided to go through the list of

La Liga best defenders of 2021

and select the best four right-backs who currently play in the Spanish league.

Kieran Trippier

  • Age: 30

  • Current club: Atletico Madrid

England are packed when it comes to their options on the flanks at the back, with many great young talents such as

Trent Alexander-Arnold

having already presented themselves as some of the best footballers in the world. But while the younger ones are battling to see who the best right-back in England is, Kieran Trippier has managed to steal the show both for his national team and his club in La Liga. The 30-year-old right-back is one of the

best La Liga defenders of 2021

as he has proven to be a vital part of Atletico Madrid’s success this season.

Having started his career with

Manchester City

’s reserves team, Trippier got to spend a couple of seasons on loan at Barnsley and Burnley, before making his move to Burnley permanent back in 2012. But the Englishman did not get much attention before his move to Tottenham in for £5 million in 2015, where he gained prominence as a talented right-back. But come his last season at the Premier League club, Trippier suffered a dip in form and joined Atletico Madrid for £20 million in 2019 for a new challenge, and what a challenge it has been.

The former Tottenham man has been sensational for

Atletico Madrid

in the league, despite his team suffering from a poor run of form lately, which has seen Real Madrid and Barcelona close in on their fragile lead. Despite this fact, Trippier is still considered as one of the greatest La Liga defenders of 2021.

Lucas Vazquez

  • Age: 29

  • Current club: Real Madrid

You might ask why we chose Lucas Vazquez over Dani Carvajal, who obviously is a better right-back as he is the expert in this position. Well, while Carvajal is clearly the obvious choice for many, he has been injured for quite a while, being sidelined for a big chunk of La Liga this season, leaving

Real Madrid

with no better options. But while many worried about their right flank gaping open for opposition forwards, Lucas Vazquez has once again managed to turn up for his team with his mighty impressive and most importantly consistent performance.

The Spaniard is selected for the list of best La Liga defenders of 2021 just because he consistently and continuously puts on a show worthy of an at least 8.0 rating. He never drops below 8.0 and always delivers when he is deployed at any position the manager wants. That is why Zidane absolutely adores the 29-year-old and why he got to replace the injured Carvajal instead of their young talent Alvaro Odriozola.

Unfortunately for Real Madrid fans, however, Vazquez as one of La Liga best defenders of 2021 will not be available for the remainder of the season due to a ruptured cruciate ligament.

Emerson Royal

  • Age: 22

  • Current club: Real Betis

Emerson Aparecido Leite de Souza Junior, also known as Emerson Royal or simply Emerson, is one of the

greatest La Liga defenders of 2021

, as he has proven to be a vital part of

Real Betis

’ squad. While the right-backs situation at Betis is quite straightforward and he has been enjoying a fine run of form this season, his transfer has been a brain scratcher since the day he put pen on paper for two separate clubs in La Liga.

The Brazilian is part-owned by Barcelona as the Catalan giants actually paid half of the money needed for his transfer and Betis paid the other half. Barca hold the option to acquire him from Betis by paying the other half of the transfer fee this year, which might actually be a wise move for the Catalan giants if they aim to strengthen their defense.

Emerson has been absolutely phenomenal for his side since joining Real Betis on loan in the 2018-19 season and after making his move permanent in the next season. He has made a total of 71 appearances for the Spanish side, scoring an impressive five goals and providing 10 assists in the process, which might have some people think that the Brazilian is in fact an attacking midfielder rather than a right-back.

Jesus Navas

  • Age: 35

  • Current club: Sevilla


are lucky to have one of the best La Liga defenders of 2021 in their squad. The 35-year-old is a true veteran when it comes to playing on the right flank in the defense. He has been a sensation to watch on the right side of the pitch, as his seemingly infinite stamina has allowed him to run up and down the pitch to help his side both in defense and on offense.

Having started his professional career at Sevilla in 2003, the Spaniard actually joined Manchester City for €20 million back in 2013. But he later returned to his home club on a free transfer upon his contract expiring with the Premier League club in 2017. But while some might have thought that he would only get to be a reserve benchwarmer at Sevilla, the 2010 World Cup winner actually proved his doubters wrong and has now turned into one of the best La Liga defenders of this year (2021), four years after his initial return to the Spanish side.


Having gone through our shortlist of best right-backs in La Liga, it is high time we got to have a look at the four footballers chosen as the best left-backs in the Spanish league. The era of Marcelo’s dominance in La Liga is long over as these four have replaced him since Ronaldo’s departure.

Javi Galan

  • Age: 26

  • Current club: SD Huesca

Who says the best footballers in a league must play in the best teams of that league? While clubs such as Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have certainly got their own fair share of world-class players with world-class wages, other less known clubs and footballers deserve some attention as well, as some of them might even outperform their stronger rivals considering the level they are in.

One such footballer who has been on phenomenal form for his club is Javi Galan, who currently plays for Huesca and has managed to earn himself a place on the list of best La Liga defenders of 2021.

Galan joined


from Cordoba for €1 million in 2019, and has since proven to be a crucial part of the club’s squad, with his transfer market value rising to an astounding €6 million ever since. The 26-year-old left-back has made a total of 76 appearances for Huesca since joining the club in the 2018-19 season, scoring two goals and providing 5 assists in the process.

Jordi Alba

  • Age: 32

  • Current club: Barcelona

While Marcelo lost his place to another recently arriving left-back after his form dropped with Ronaldo’s departure in 2018, Jordi Alba has managed to stay the reliable left-back choice for


year in year out. The 32-year-old is undoubtedly one of the best La Liga defenders of 2021 as he has played a vital role in club’s recent success in the league. He has been one of the few to be able to link-up with Lionel Messi, as the newer players have struggled to do so.

This partnership alone has allowed their squad to move forward more swiftly, with better passing in the opposition’s half. Having joined Barcelona from


for €14 million in 2012, Jordi Alba has become a club legend alongside the likes of Carles Puyol and Messi himself. His current transfer market value is estimated to be around €25 million and does not seem to drop any time soon. As one of the best La Liga defenders of this year (2021), Alba has made a total of 40 appearances for Barcelona, providing 13 assists and bagging 5 goals himself.

Ferland Mendy

  • Age: 25

  • Current club: Real Madrid

Imagine being so good that you get to bench one of the best left-backs in the history of football. That is what Ferland Mendy has managed to do as the Frenchman has left Marcelo on the bench since his arrival from

Olympique Lyon

for €48 million in 2019. There is no doubt that Mendy is one of La Liga’s best defenders of 2021 as the Frenchman has helped his side reach the top of the league, keeping up with their rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

While the former Lyon left-back lacks the required pace and skill to move further up the pitch just like Marcelo used to do, he has certainly added more quality to the team’s overall defense as he seems to be more defensively reliable than Marcelo.

Of course that is not to say that Mendy is not a capable full-back, as he has shown everyone time and time again that he can be as effective on the frontlines. He even managed to score a brilliant goal from long distance with his weak foot against Atalanta in the Champions League, which proved to be quite vital in their fight for reaching the next round.

Marcos Acuna

  • Age: 29

  • Current club: Sevilla

Sevilla’s recent arrival Marcos Acuna, who joined the Spanish side from Sporting CP in last year’s summer transfer window, has already managed to prove himself as one of the best La Liga defenders of 2021. He joined Sevilla from the Portuguese club for €10 million and his transfer market value has already seen a rise to €14 million in recent months. The 29-year-old left-back is versatile enough to be deployed on either side of the pitch, both as a defender and as a wing-back.

Of course he has experienced some bad luck at Sevilla as well, since having been sidelined for a number of games due to a rupture in his thigh muscle. Overall, Acuna has made 30 appearances for Sevilla, providing 4 assists and netting a goal himself in the process.


Now we come to one of the most important roles in football. Center-backs carry the team on their shoulders as they prevent the opposition from reaching their target and scoring a goal, while also helping their side on the offensive, bagging themselves a goal or two to help their team at the toughest of the moments when strikers fail to deliver. Here are the best La Liga defenders of 2021 who play in the middle of the backline.

Jules Kounde

  • Age: 22

  • Current club: Sevilla

It seems that Sevilla are lucky enough to have a player from each role on the list of best La Liga defenders of 2021, as their 22-year-old talent Jules Kounde is also included on the said list. The French center-back is one of the most exciting prospects in football, as his market value does not seem to be stopping any time soon. The former Bordeaux man joined Sevilla for €25 million in 2019 and has more than doubled his value ever since.

Having recovered from Coronavirus, Kounde has turned himself into one of the best defenders in the world, making more than 40 appearances for his already. It is only a matter of time before a bigger club come knocking to acquire the club’s star man for a world-record fee.

David Garcia

  • Age: 27

  • Current club: Osasuna

David Garcia is probably one of the main reasons why


are not battling to earn their place above the relegation zone. Of course the team as a whole is suffering with a minus eleven goal difference in the league, but that doesn’t mean that we should overlook David Garcia’s impressive form this season. The 27-year-old Spaniard has been at the club since 2013, but made his professional debut in 2015.

His previous years did not have much to talk about as he was just another low-tier professional footballer playing for a roughly mid-table team. But Garcia has been on an impressive run of form this season, with his transfer market value rising almost six fold.

Stefan Savic

  • Age: 30

  • Current club: Atletico Madrid

Next on our list of best center-backs in La Liga this season is Atletico Madrid’s phenomenal defender Stefan Savic, who has integrated into Diego Simeone’s defensive-minded tactics more than anyone else this season. The now 30-year-old Montenegro international, who won the Premier League with Manchester City before moving to


in 2012 on a free transfer, later joined Atletico Madrid from the Italian side for €12 million.

He has since managed to make a total of 195 appearances for his side, keeping many a clean sheet throughout his career in La Liga. The center-back is currently worth around €25 million and is considered to be one of the best defenders in the Spanish Primera Division.

Raphael Varane

  • Age: 27

  • Current club: Real Madrid

Many see Raphael Varane as the successor to

Sergio Ramos

’ throne at Real Madrid, and they have every right to think so. The French center-back is certainly one of the best La Liga defenders of 2021 and has had quite a successful career so far. He has won literally everything there is to win both with his club and his country, except of course the Euros, which he aims to win this season with his national team after the long delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the €70 million-rated defender is currently sidelined due to testing positive for Coronavirus, he has still managed to prove himself to be one of the best in the league with 36 solid performances for Real Madrid so far.




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source: SportMob