Top 5: Serie A defenders in 2016
The land of the defenders, of catenaccio, of tactics to stop the opponent; Italy still has this label at an international level, and Italians firmly believe the best defensive systems and individual defenders play in the Serie A.
So the best of the best, one might say, but just who are the five top defenders of the Italian top flight?
Andrea Barzagli or Giorgio Chiellini, Kostas Manolas, Raul Albiol, as well as Gonzalo Rodriguez and Joao Miranda: all names who could be starters in almost any team in the world, but they don’t make our list.
Here are Forza Italian Football‘s top five defenders to play in Serie A in 2016.
5. Antonio Barreca – Torino
Considering how the other Italian full backs are doing, one could argue he is the best one around and he’s only 21.
Having grown up in Torino, two seasons on loan with Cittadella and Cagliari made him develop into the solid player he is now. With the injury of Cristian Molinaro, Sinisa Mihajlovic had no doubts and Barreca now owns the left flank. He has played 14 times already in Serie A this season, showing great drive and the athletic freshness to go up and down the flank like few others.
Having played for Italy with the Under-18s, U19s and U20s, he already has eight games for the U21s, promising to join the senior side soon. His young age means he can only do better in the future, and he sometimes concedes too much defensively: in the derby against Juventus, with Gonzalo Higuain scoring the second, and against Napoli, fouling Dries Mertens in the penalty area. But that’s part of the learning curve as Barreca is ready to be the left back of the National team for years to come.