Since his move to Liverpool in 2018, Virgil Van Dijk has single-handedly rejigged the mindset of the world towards defenders. Arguably the best Premier League defender of his generation, the 1.92m colossus has been a revelation. But following his season-ending injury, does the 29-year-old make it into this year’s list of best Premier league defenders?
Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham have been the hardest clubs to score past this campaign, but how many of their shut-outs is down to the brilliance of their centre-backs not goalkeepers?
Aston Villa, who were relegation contenders in 2020, are the only non-top-six club in the best six defences of 2021. In a very unpredictable season, here are the best premier league defenders of the 2020/21 season.
Best Premier League Defenders 2020/21
10. Lewis Dunk – Brighton & Hove Albion
One of the highest scoring English defenders in recent years, Brighton’s Lewis Dunk just about makes it into our list of best Premier league defenders.
The 29-year-old, known for his consistency, has surprisingly won just one English cap, despite being a mainstay in the Albion defence.
The player is being courted by Mourinho’s Tottenham, and with his peak years behind him, might not get a better opportunity to secure a move to one of the big boys, where he has been all his career.
No centre-back has scored more goals than him this season.
9. Wesley Fofana – Leicester City
The revelation of the season, at least for defenders, is arguably 20-year-old French man, Wesley Fofana. Signed from Saint Etienne for over £35 million, Fofana has justified the huge fee splurged on him by the Foxes.
He has adapted to life in the Premier League extremely quickly for a player his age with little experience. Despite not being the tallest of centre backs, only six players have won more aerial duels than the player of Malian descent.
He is the youngest player on this list of best Premier League defenders.
8. Ben Mee – Burnley
The leader and skipper of a Burnley defence that have been formidable in 2021, Ben Mee is the 8th best premier league defender.
At 31, the English man is approaching the end of his career, but still remains indomitable on the battle line. Mee ranks second in clearances made this campaign and 10th in aerials won.
He is worth just €7 million, as his contract expires in 2022, making him the cheapest defender on this list.
7. Jannik Vestergaard – Southampton
Southampton broke an unwanted record this season, when they became the first side to lose by nine goals in consecutive seasons. However, one man who can’t be faulted is Danish defender, Vestergaard as the 28-year-old was unavailable and didn’t feature in the drubbing.
Of Southampton players to have made five games or more, Vestergaard ranks only behind Walker-Pieters in points per match.
Worth €18 million, the 2-metre giant’s contract expires in 2022.
6. Ruben Dias – Manchester City
Might be very contentious that Ruben Dias is ranked this low in this list of best premier league defenders. This is following performances that has seen the 23-year-old Portuguese international eclipse the unavailable Virgil Van Dijk as the leagues most valuable centre back.
Dias has taken to the EPL like a turtle to water. His amazing feat this season are as follows:
- 2nd in Pass Completion
- 2nd in Touches
- 1st in Progressive Carrying Distance
The achievements promises to swell before the season peters out, however, they do not tell the whole story.
He has an own goal to his name and isn’t so great in one-on-one battles. Dias is dribbled by 75% of dribbles he has attempted to tackle this season.
His leadership qualities has been exemplary, but as the second youngest on this list of best Premier League defenders, he still has a lot of improvement to make.
5. Thiago Silva – Chelsea
When Chelsea signed 35-year-old Thiago Silva in 2020, many believed the Brazilian veteran would struggle to adapt to the pace of the English division. This was in total ignorance of the fact that the ex-PSG captain had just played at the highest competition in club football, the UEFA Champions League final.
Months into his first ever season in England, the Chelsea skipper has sbleved those doubts and handled the physicality of the league relatively well. He has kept over 8 clean sheets, but more importantly heralded the backline when he has and hasn’t been available.
Silva has maintained his passing completion rate of over 90+ from the past three seasons, posting the third-highest pass accuracy of any player this season.
4. Harry Maguire — Manchester United
Few defenders have faced worse or more criticism than Manchester United captain, Harry Maguire this campaign. In justification, he has committed three errors leading to shots, with one leading to goal.
Yet his other achievements make for his shortcomings, he ranks:
- 6th for Passes into Final Third
- 4th for Interceptions
- 7th for Clearances
- 8th for touches
- 3rd for Most distance ball carried progressively
- 5th for Aerials won
Although no player has accrued more bookings than the 28-year-old, this might be as a result of him playing more games than any other player in the whole league.
3. Liam Cooper – Leeds
Leeds have surely been the revelation of the season, as they are the only premier league new boys not negotiating a relegation battle this season. Although their most conspicuous aspect of play has been their attack, they have relied on the man Liam Cooper when in threat of a defensive breach.
The Scottish man is one of the best one-on-one marksman in the league as he ranks 5th best for one-on-one tackling accuracy.
The 29-year-old’s biggest strength is however his pressing as no player has applied more successful press than him
2. Kurt Zouma – Chelsea
In early 2020, after the appointment of Lampard, ex-chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho appraised then fringe player, Kurt Zouma, as the best defender at the bridge. Few months has passed and the 26-year-old has emerged as 2021’s best defender in London.
No defender has scored more than the French man, who also boasts the fourth best goal per shot ratio in the league. Zouma is the king of skies as no player has won more aerial duels than him this season.
1. John Stones – Manchester City
Its only fitting that the team topping the English league boasts the best defender in their rank. Yet John Stones ranking at the top of the best premier league defenders list is well earned and not a mere procession.
The much-maligned player in recent years has risen from the ashes of condemnation to deliver his career’s best season. This has seen him return to the England national set-up for the first time in years, where he showed his strong mentality against Poland in the WC Qualifiers.
- 1st for goals per shot taken
- 1st for pass completion
- 1st for points per match
In finality, defender has scored more than the player this season.
Top Ten Highest Paid Footballers in English Premier League
The English Premier League has always been English football. Matches are contested by 20 teams, each team playing 38 matches during the season from August through to May. Before diving into this list, it’s important to know that these figures are not net worth as they include transfer fees and agent fees.
Without any doubt, our list of top 10 highest paid premier league football players is a matter of interest among soccer fans if you put yourself in the class of people who love to watch the premier league and want to know about the football players who receive the highest salary from their respective clubs.
This year, the average salary for a top-flight player is £2.7 million a year. With so much talent on display, it’s unsurprising that some of the league’s best players are making huge sums of money. Here are the top ten of highest-paid players in the Premier League this past year.
10. Paul Pogba – £290,000
Pogba is undoubtedly one of the virtuosos in the English Premier League, and he is very creative and skillful with an eye for the goal. This player is one of the highest-paid player in Manchester united, earning more than other players except David De Gea.
Last season, he had a tough season as he was plagued by an ankle injury that left him out for almost the entire season. The French midfield maestro earns £290,000 a week, has been at his best for the Red Devils and has lived up to his lavish weekly wage.
9. N’golo Kante – £290,000
The french footballer plays for the France national team and Chelsea FC , being one of the most valued midfielders in Chelsea.
He is known for his clean tackles, stamina, and ability to run long distances, as well as his ability to reclaim the ball.
With a total of 197 appearances, ten goals, and 12 assists, it’s no surprise that his weekly salary of £290,000 places him among the ten highest-paid players in the EPL.
8. Raheem Sterling – £300,000
Raheem Sterling is also one of the highest paid footballers in the English Premier League. He is very sensational and indispensable to Man City and its gameplay.
Due to the absence of Aguero who recently retired from active football, sterling has taken over and who undoubtedly rewarded Guardiola for his confidence. Paid players in the EPL.
He won numerous titles with City and his best season was the 2018-19 season, in which Sterling and City won all four domestic trophies in a dominant fashion. A feat never before achieved by any team in England.
So far, Sterling has made a total of 294 appearances, 97 goals, and 51 assists.
7. Jack Grealish – £300,000
It might be surprising to see the Aston Villa icon as one of the highest-paid footballers in the EPL. Interestingly, he is in the high ranks of Manchester City’s player salary.
Grealish joined Aston Villa at the age of six and made his debut for the club in May 2014 on loan from Notts County. Jack Grealish currently has a total of 100 appearances, 16 goals, and 17 assists.
Heading for one of the top EPL clubs, Manchester City, he earns £300,000 a week and is in the top ten highest-paid footballers in the English Premier League.
6. Romelu Lukaku – £325,000
Romelu Menama Lukaku Bolingoli is a Belgian professional footballer who now plays as a striker for Premier League club Chelsea and the Belgian national team.
Lukaku started his senior club career with Anderlecht, where he won a Belgian Pro League title and finished as the league’s top scorer.
So far, Lukaku has scored 251 goals in 508 appearances in his career. He has also netted 64 times in 98 appearances for Belgium and is currently the country’s all-time top scorer.
5. Raphael Varane – £340,000
Raphaël Xavier Varane is a French professional footballer who plays as a central defender for Manchester United FC, one of the richest football clubs in the world, and the French national team.
Manchester United is delighted to announce the signing of Raphael Varane, keeping him at the club until June 2025 with a weekly salary of £340,000.
When he arrived at the club, he said: “I want to impress her, and I will do everything I can to be a part of this club’s illustrious history.”
Varane, 28, is one of the most decorated players in world football and has collected more than 19 trophies in his career to date, including four Champions Leagues, three Spanish titles, and the 2018 World Cup.
4. Jadon Sancho-£350,000
Jadon Malik Sancho is an English professional footballer who plays as a winger for Premier League club Manchester United and the England national team.
Sancho is a highly technical, creative player. He is known for his trickery, pace, and use of feints in one-on-one situations.
He was born on March 25, 2000. He scored 50 goals and provided 64 assists in four seasons with Borussia Dortmund. England International was part of the squad that reached the Euro 2020 final.
Jadon Sancho said: “I will always be grateful to Dortmund for giving me the chance to play in the first team, although I always knew I would return to England one day. Today he is one of the highest-paid players in EPL.
3. David de Gea – £375,000
The highest-paid players in the EPL – David De Gea
Guess who is third on the list of highest-paid players in the English Premier League?
Manchester United and Spain striker David de Gea, who has made over 300 appearances for the Red Devils since 2011.
Considered one of the best goalkeepers in Europe, De Gea, who currently earns £375,000 a week, is currently the highest-paid player in the EPL 2021.
He is one of the reasons why football fans go to the best betting sites to bet that his team will win. He helped the Red Devils to the UEFA Europa League, Carling Cup (now Carabao Cup), and Community Shield in 2016 under Jose Mourinho.
Lately, however, he’s been struggling to keep up with the good work he’s known for, but he hasn’t found his form.
David De Gea had previously been linked with a move to Real Madrid in Spain, but the deal fell through as he was locked into a lucrative deal that saw his weekly salary rise to £375,000.
2. Kevin De Bruyne £400,000
Kevin De Bruyne is considered one of the best midfielders in Europe and the Premier League.
He has great shooting power, locates assists, and has an eye for goal, having been the Premier League assists leader last season.
He currently earns £400,000 a week, which puts him second on the list of highest-paid players in the EPL.
So who is the highest-paid footballer in the English Premier League?
1. Cristiano Ronaldo – £510,000
Cristiano Ronaldo is currently the highest-paid player in the English Premier League. He earns £510,000 a week.
A five-time Ballon D’or winner, Cristiano has won more than 30 major trophies in his career to date, including five UEFA Champions League titles, four FIFA Club World Cups, seven European league titles in England, Spain, and Italy, and the UEFA European Championship for his native Portugal.
Cristiano is the first player to win league titles in England, Spain, and Italy. He was also Serie A’s top scorer last season and won the golden boot at the European Championship this year.
During his first stint at Manchester United, he scored 118 goals in 292 games.
To anybody playing Fantasy Premier League, the top ten highest paid players in premier league 2022. From this list, you’ll be able to establish your team’s net worth by 2020 as well as get suggestions on which player you should sign. This list was compiled using the current highest paid players of premier league 2019. The names on this list are:
How to Become an NFL Football Scout and How Much do They Earn?
Becoming an NFL football scout and a successful one at that cuts across two options: being a former coach changing onto the scouting side of things, or entering an internship program. If you have a connection to football, you are in a great position but the rest of us have work, a lot of work, to do.
The competition for scouting jobs in the NFL is fierce, requiring aspiring scouts to bring more to the table than passion, persistence, and believing you can get the job done. Scouts assess the chances of success of both amateur and professional athletes by getting to know the players on and off the field. While there is no specific path to becoming an NFL football scout, there are several ways to increase your potential for employment.
NB: We understand the term “NFL Football scout” is tautology, but we insist for emphasis purposes.
How to Become a NFL Football Scout
To be a successful NFL football scout, you need to learn about coaching techniques and exercises, as well as speak with coaches. NFL Football Scouts should be reliable, be able to work independently, and have strong analytical skills to properly gauge a player’s ability to be successful in the NFL.
Since there is often more to do than time to complete, Scouts must be adept at organization and time management. To be successful as an NFL Football Scout, you will also need to become familiar with watching as well as writing everywhere, effectively, and all the time.
Scouts visit schools to watch live games, attend practices, conduct player interviews, perform background checks and visit player training sessions. Following these activities, NFL Football scouts must write detailed reports and notes afterwards.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, NFL Football Scouts typically need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in marketing, sales, business, or sports management. If you do have one in law, you might be better suited to being a football agent.
Additional classes, certification courses or related activity will improve your chances of becoming an NFL Scout. For example, Sports Management Worldwide offers an eight-week, GM Online Football & Scouting course that teaches a variety of vital information, such as how to write a scouting report and how to assess player talent for the NFL Draft. Graduates receive an SMWW Performance Certificate.
Complete the Internship
The NFL offers internships in a variety of departments, but to intern in scouting, you will need to find a program that is offered by a specific team. For example, the Detroit Lions and Ford Field Management provide paid full-time internship opportunities in Scouting and pro staff to applicants pursuing their masters degree.
Interns help and support college as well as pro football scouting by participating in scout projects, collecting player and other information, and assisting with practice sessions.
Get an unpaid internship with an Arena Football League, Scene 2 Franchise, Intense Football League, United Indoor Football or any number of Minor League team. Even if the team has not posted an internship, call or stop by the front office; these leagues have tight budgets and can usually use aid.
Take a full-time internship with one of the minor league franchises.
If necessary, find a job with flexible hours that will allow you to continue to coach in the fall and hold an internship in the spring. As you gain experience, take advantage of any opportunity to move up – get promoted to freshman junior varsity or unpaid scout intern.
Acquire Football Experience
Employers do not usually require NFL Football scouts to have experience playing football, but they may prefer applicants with some experience in the sport. For example, many Scouts start their careers working as Scout Talent in specific geographic areas before moving on to supervising Scouts in the region or territory.
Get a coaching job with the first year team of a high school football program. Some schools need reliable people who are ready to make the commitment for the season, so simple dedication is often the only job requirement.
Send Your CV
As you gain experience as a NFL Football scout, send your CV to multiple teams and increase your chances of getting the job by submitting it to more than one person on each team, such as the Head of Scouting and the General Manager.
You should send your CV to every team in the NFL, AFL and CFL with the expectation that you will probably get a lot of rejections, but your name will be on there.
Meet the Movers and Shakers
Participate in events where you can meet decision-makers and of such is most notable the NFL Combine. You won’t need a pass to enter official activities, and you can hang out in bars and restaurants for a few days to better your chances of meeting one.
Keep Building your Network
Find a way to get your foot in the door of an NFL team. Teams hire dozens of unpaid people to help out on game days, do anything from passing statistics in the press area to pulling the camera wire from the side-lines. While these jobs have nothing to do with scouting, each of these positions comes with a stadium access pass and an introduction to an NFL staff member. You never know who might become your acquaintance.
How Much do Football Scouts Make?
When you become an established NFL Football scout, you will warn within the range of $45,000 to $95,000. But this salary is dependent on your experience and how much gems you have successfully unearthed. At the level if director of an NFL team’s scouting department, you can make as high as $275,000.
Yet the earnings of a NFL Football scout doesn’t end at basic salary. Scouts can also gain income from bonuses based on player performance and the success of a scouted player. This pay ranges from $100 to $200.
The journey to becoming an NFL Football scout is a jam-packed and daunting trip that combines multiple qualities and working as a coach as well as unpaid scout.
Even if it takes several years, you will get you there eventually but be prepared when a n opening materialises.
Top 20 Football Skills to Learn 2021 (with GIFs)
In a football game, when faced in a one-on-one situation with an opponent, it is important that every footballer, no matter the position of play, should know how to dribble their way through. Yet no opponent will give you the time in the world to rummage your repoirtre looking for the best football skill at that time before a tackle comes flying, so a split decision is necessary, so as to ensure that the entire team can continue a quick forward foray.
In this case, we have cited 20 of the best football skills that can be easily learnt by anyone to get past even the toughest of oppositions. If you want to become a better all-round footballer, follow this article.
20 Best Football Skills to Dribble Any Opponent
NB: Right foot in this article is the dominant foot, while the left is the weaker.
Football Skill 1: Change the direction of the ball using the outside of the instep
One of the simplest, yet extraordinary direction-changing technique. This football skill is indeed a very effective way to break through.
- First, the ball is approached to the opponent to a certain proximity, and then suddenly use the outside of the foot to move the ball to the side to complete the dribble.
Football Skill 2: Change the direction of the spike on the inside of the foot
- This looks very similar to the previous football skill, but requires a different technique. The major difference is that this uses the inside of the foot while the other uses the outside of the foot.
Football Skill 3: Step Over and Change Direction
- When dribbling close to the opponent, first use one foot to make a step from inside to the outside to beffudle the opponent.
- Then use the other foot to dial the ball very naturally with the outside of the foot to complete the change.
Football Skill 4: Full Step Over and change direction
- When the ball is close to the opponent, use both feet to continuously complete multiple step overs from the inside to the outside to form a cycling motion.
- When the opponent feels hesitant or there is a gap, use one foot to dial the ball naturally with the outside of the foot to complete the change.
Football Skill 5: Stride the center of gravity and change the direction of the ball
- After approaching the opponent with the ball to within a proper distance, take a sudden big step with your left foot to the front left side with an accompanying shoulder-drop effect.
- The size of the drop and whether you can quickly correct it to the other side is the key to the success of this breakthrough.
- When doing this drop action, make your opponent think that you are about to complete a breakthrough from this side, and then suddenly change direction when the action is half done.
- After causing the opponent to misjudge your move, quickly change the center of gravity and use the outside of the right foot to dial the ball to complete the change of direction breakthrough.
Football Skill 6: Pull the ball and step over
- When approaching the opponent, turn your body sideways and use the back foot to pull the ball to your side.
- Then use the front foot to make a step from the outside to the inside to make the opponent think that your are about to change direction.
- Then complete the turn and accelerate the ball in the opposite direction to complete the breakthrough.
Football Skill 7: Drag and chop to change direction
- After dribbling the ball to a reasonable distance, keep your right foot at the same angle and height behind the ball, and always keep contact with the ball with the inside of your foot. Now use the left foot to jump to the left side to complete the forward movement.
- When the opponent thinks you want to complete the breakthrough on the left side, make a sudden chop with the right foot to complete the breakthrough from the right side.
Football Skill 8: The Iniesta Tap
This excellent skill used by Iniesta should be familiar to everyone.
- After getting within a close proximity to your opponent, use the inside of your left foot to tap the ball to your right.
- Then make a lateral escape by driving forward.
Football Skill 9: Pull the ball horizontally to change direction
- When dribbling the ball to within a reasonable distance, use the sole of the left foot to pull the ball to the inside of the right foot laterally.
- Then change to the inside of the right foot to move the ball forward and accelerate to complete the breakthrough.
Football Skill 10: Marseille Roundabout
- When dribbling the ball to a reasonable distance, step on the ball with one foot and turn around to complete a 180° turn.
- Use the sole of the other foot to pull the ball back.
- Finally, drive the ball forward and accelerate to complete the breakthrough.
Football Skill 11: Advanced Shoulder Drop
- Before dribbling the ball to within close proximity of your opponent, first use the left foot to make a forward step, tricking the opponent to make a judgment first.
- Then double tap the ball on the inner side of the left and right foot to complete the direction change of the move.
- This move is essentially a combination of Football Skill 5 and 8.
Football Skill 12: Pull the ball then step and change the direction of the ball
- First use the sole of your right foot to pull the ball toward the front left of your body.
- Then use your left foot to make a step over from the inside out.
- Follow this with another stepping movement with inward and outward directions.
- Finally, use the outside dial to speed up the breakthrough.
Football Skill 13: V-shaped Dribble
- After dribbling the ball to within the vicinity of the opponent, step on the ball with the sole of the right foot.
- Then first pull the ball back, and then use the inside of your foot to move the ball forward and to the right.
- Finally accelerate the dribble to complete the escape.
Football Skill 14: The double pull
- First, pull the ball behind with your right foot.
- Then push the ball forward with the sole of your foot in the direction of your opponent, while you open up your body.
- When your opponent attempts to tackle, pull the ball back with your other foot, then accelerate to complete the escape.
Football Skill 15: The Ronaldo Chop
- After dribbling the ball into the vicinity of your opponent, jump forward in the direction in which the ball is rolling.
- Then midair, hit the ball with the inner side of the back foot to change the direction of the ball, thus forming a breakthrough.
Football Skill 16: Pull the ball, knock the ball and change the direction of the spike
- After dribbling the ball into the vicinity of your opponent, first step on the ball with your right foot and pull it towards you.
- At this time, withdraw the supporting foot [left foot] so as to jump up and use the inside of the foot to move the ball forward again.
- While landing on both feet, use the inside of your right foot to buckle the ball to the left side of your body.
- Finally, accelerate to complete the breakthrough.
Tip 17: The Snake
- After dribbling the ball into the vicinity of the opponent, first use the outside of the foot to move the ball to that side, and suddenly use the inside of the foot to complete the move.
Football Skill 18
- After driving the ball to a reasonable distance from the opponent.
- First move the supporting foot forward to a certain distance, leaving enough space for the ball to pass through the back of the leg.
- Then use the inside of the other foot to push the ball behind the supporting foot.
- After the ball rolls behind your supporting foot, control the ball in a way that it moves onto the tip of your boots, now flick.
- Finally, accelerate the completion of the breakthrough.
Football Skill 19: The rainbow
The rainbow is one of the most extraordinary and flamboyant move in football that can offset multiple opononets at a go.
In real life football, this football skill was popularised at the 2002 World Cup when Turkey’s golden boy, Ilhan used this trick to destroy Roberto Carlos, the world’s strongest left-back at the time
- After dribbling the ball to a reasonable distance from the opponent, place one foot before the line where the ball is rolling, and block the ball with the heel.
- Then use the inner side of the other foot to clamp the ball onto the heel and pull up.
- Release the ball after generating enough power and let the ball pass over the opposing defender in a large parabola.
Football Skill 20: Overhead Flick
- Pull the ball back with the soles of your feet while leaning against your opponent.
- Pick up the ball with the toe of the other foot.
- You can try to pick up the ball in any way you like or are familiar with.
- Finally, use the outside of the outside foot to flick the ball high and over your opponent .
It is pertinent to maintain a proper speed when dribbling and do not forgot to accelerate after completing the dribble.
Also try not to dribble same opponent two or three times on the spot. While this might be showboating and demoralising to your opponent, it will only sap your physical strength.
At the same time, it is best to practice with both left and right feet at the same time during the training, just like the instructor demonstrated in the clips.
- Top Ten Highest Paid Footballers in English Premier League
- How to Become an NFL Football Scout and How Much do They Earn?
- Top 20 Football Skills to Learn 2021 (with GIFs)
- Top 10 Best football leagues in the world
- Bruno Fernandes Biography
- N’Golo Kante Biography
- Chelsea Vs Palmeiras Prediction & Match Preview
- Sevilla Vs Elche CF Prediction & Match Preview
- Liverpool Vs Leicester City Prediction & Match Preview
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