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 10 Highest Paid NBA Players in 2021 | Basketball’s Top Earners
With basketball being synonymous to a religion in America, it is inevitable that the fanatic appeal that this sport generates is matched by an equally humongous payroll to its stars. In this article we have compiled the 10 highest NBA stars in 2021.
The sums that will be given in this article are annual estimates of wages expressed in gross and were accounted by Forbes. These sums take into account income related to franchises and sponsors but do not take into account any contractual bonuses from players.
Want to be a basketball star, learn how to perfectly score a 3-pointer here.
Highest Paid NBA Players in 2021
10. Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers) = $39 million
While he is not among the best paid for his basketball income, his income from sponsors allows Damian Lillard to be among the highest paid basketball players on the planet. The majority of his sponsorship-related income comes from the Gatorade brand and his new drink Bolt24 of which he is the muse.
9. Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder) = $40.1 million
While he has the 3rd biggest salary in the NBA, Chris Paul is not as bankable as other NBA players. Indeed, his 7 million advertising revenue is far from Kyrie Irving’s 17 million and Klay Thompson’s 15 million. That doesn’t stop him from being one of the highest paid players in the NBA.
8. Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets) = $ 43 million
Despite the fact that he is not among the top 10 best paid players for his basketball income, like Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving is still an icon of global basketball. His 17 million advertising revenue, obtained mainly from Nike and Pepsi, tell its own truth.
7. Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors) = $ 43.3 million
Injured to the Achilles tendon and absent from the basketball courts since the 2019 playoffs, Klay Thompson continues to sell without even punting a ball. Indeed, with 15 million in advertising revenue, he is one of the highest paid players in the NBA. His XXL contract with the Warriors is the major factor behind his 7th place on this ranking.
6. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) = $ 49 million
Double MVP at only 26 years old, Giannis Antetokounmpo is already a world icon of this sport. Coming from a very disadvantaged background in Greece, his success and his career did not fail to interest the largest film industries. This is how Disney acquired the rights to make a film about the life of the world-renowned basketball player. Its sponsorship revenues therefore reach the sum of $ 22 million. A quite impressive figure, especially for a non-American.
5. James Harden (Brooklyn Nets) = $ 50 million
James Harden , who recently joined the Brooklyn Nets, is one of the league’s most expensive players. Indeed, he has a staggering salary commensurate with his talent. His 17 million advertising revenue makes him the 5th highest paid player in the NBA in 2021.
4. Russell Westbrook (Washington Wizards) = $ 58.1 million
Criticized but also adored, Russell Westbrook is a product and a name that is renowned being marketable, and for good reason. His contract with Nike pays him almost as much as his basketball income. In fact, he makes about 33 million in salary with the Wizards and 25 million in advertising revenue. He is therefore 4th in this ranking.
3. Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets) = $ 65.2 million
Considered by some to be the best player of the 2010s, Kevin Durant is also an icon of world basketball. Beyond his Nike-affiliated income, it is his investments in a start-up that allows him to have 34 million income related to sponsorship in 2021. Hats off!
2. Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) = $ 74.4 million
While he already has a huge contract with the Golden State Warriors, Stephen Curry is one of the NBA’s top earner because he is a most successful businessman. Indeed, with his collaboration with Audible (Amazon) and Unanimous Media, his production company, Stephen Curry already has his post-basketball reconversion. In addition, his contract with Under Armor is another laudable mouth-watering investment. All of his contracts and investments will allow him to earn $ 40 million in non-basketball income in 2021.
1. LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers) = $ 95.4 million
Here is one of the richest sportsmen on the planet. LeBron James is paid at the height of his importance and legacy to basketball which has immortalised him as a model and icon. All of his qualities make him one of the most bankable products on the planet. The superstar’s release of a new Space Jam follows that made with Michael Jordan in 1996.
LeBron James is in a way Jordan’s heir for world basketball alongside the illustrious late Kobe Bryant. In any case, LeBron James is selling and his $ 64 million in income besides basketball is proof of that.
Betgaranteed Sure Bets of the Day
Betgaranteed Sure Bets of the day. Here are our top predictions.
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|11:00||IND||Istiqlol Dushanbe – Khujand||Over 1.5|
|13:00||EST||Vaprus Parnu – Tulevik Viljandi||Over 1.5|
|17:00||INT||FYR Macedonia – Netherlands||Over 1.5|
|18:00||NOR||Hodd 2 – Fram Larvik||Over 1.5|
|18:00||NOR||Oygarden – Rosenborg B||Over 1.5|
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Football Rules and Regulations You Need to Know in 2021
Whether it’s a World Cup final, the Premier League or an amateur match, the laws of the game of football are the same at all levels with the primary goal being to maintain fairness in the most popular sport practice in the world.
From offside to the equipment of the players, what are the rules of football?
The first rules and laws of football date back to 1863
- It was in 1863 that the first official rules of football were created.
- A few years later, in 1886, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) was created. It is made up of the four countries of the United Kingdom of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- The objective of this association is to ensure compliance with the laws of the game.
- In 1913, FIFA, the International Federation of Association Football, joined the IFAB.
Safety of participants, integrity of the game, respect, these are the watchwords of the rules of the game.
Revision of the gaming laws by FIFA
In 2016, FIFA carried out a review of the Laws of the Game which resulted in a new official Laws of the Game 2018/2019 document one that governs the practice of football today.
National federations around the world are subject to these rules which have no other purpose than to preserve the spirit of the game.
What are the official dimensions of a football field?
Regarding the dimensions of the field, law 01 of football provides for a length of the touchline between 90m and 120m.
The goal line must be a minimum of 64m and a maximum of 75m. When it comes to international matches, these dimensions increase to between 100m-110m and 64m-75m respectively.
The land must be rectangular. It is divided into two halves marked by a center line. In the middle of this line is a circle with a radius of 9.15 m.
The dimensions of the football goal
Regarding football goals , the distance between the two posts is 7.32 m, while its height stands at 2.44 m.
Regulation of soccer balls
Law 02 of football asserts that the football must be spherical; with a circumference between 68 and 70 cm and a weight between 410 and 450 g at the start of the match.
Balls used in official competition matches must bear one of the following labels: FIFA Quality Pro, FIFA Quality, IMS International Match Standard.
This proves that they have been duly tested.
Rules relating to football teams
Law 03 of football refers to the players and the teams.
- Each team must consist of a maximum of eleven players.
- No match can continue if one of the teams has less than seven players.
- If changes of players are planned, the name of the substitutes must be communicated to the referee before the start of the match.
Law 04 on players’ equipment authorises that no participant should wear anything dangerous, such as jewelry.
Mandatory equipment during a football match
Mandatory equipment includes: jersey with sleeves, shorts, socks, shin guards, shoes.
As for the referees, they must have a whistle, a watch of yellow and red cards and a notebook.
Video arbitration assistance is now authorized. For matches where it is implemented (official matches), a viewing room is compulsory.
It houses the video assistant referee as well as the technicians.
Player offside, offside ball: what does the football law say?
Law 09 provides that the ball is out of play in the following two cases:
- when it has completely crossed the goal line or touchline
- when play has been stopped by the referee.
In all other situations, the ball is in play.
As for the player’s offside position, it is declared when any part of the player’s body is closer to the opponent’s goal line than the ball and the penultimate opponent.
The referee then awards an indirect free kick to the opposing team at the place where the infringement was committed. This is only valid inside the opposition’s half.
Faults and improprieties in football
Direct, indirect free kicks and penalty kicks are awarded by the referee following infringements committed during the game. The direct free kick concerns the following situations:
- Charge on the opponent
- Jump on the opponent
- Kick on an opponent, or even an attempt
- Pushing an opponent
- Hitting or trying to hit an opponent
- Tackle an opposing player
- Tripping an opponent, or just trying
As for the indirect free kick, it is signaled for the following faults:
- Playing in a dangerous way
- Obstructing the opponent without contact
- Preventing the opposing goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands
The faults punishable by a warning, yellow card or red card, relate to the following infractions:
- Delaying the resumption of play
- Showing blatant disapproval
- Deliberately leaving the pitch without the referee’s permission
- Not respecting the legal distance when taking a corner, a free kick or a throw-in
- Adopt unsportsmanlike behavior
Law on Penalty
A penalty kick is awarded in the following cases:
- If the player commits a fault punishable by a direct free kick in his own penalty area
- If the player commits an offense punishable by a direct free kick outside the field and within the framework of the game
When taking the penalty shoot-out, all players other than the shooter and the goalkeeper must be at least 9.15m from the penalty spot and outside the penalty area.
The Football Goal
Finally, since playing football means scoring goals, Law 10 of football provides that a goal is scored when the ball has completely crossed the goal line between the posts and under the crossbar.
The winning team is the one that has scored the most goals. Otherwise, the match is declared a draw
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