The defender is the outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposition from attacking. In general, defenders must stop opposing players, particularly the strikers, from scoring and bring the ball out from their penalty area. You will have to be a good tackler and strong in the air.
What You’ll Find On This Page:
Top 9 Boots for Defending
Virgil Van Dijk and Ronald Araujo are some of thequality centre-halves that wear Nike’s Tiempo Legend. With the Legend 10 being the lightest Tiempo to date, defenders become more agile in getting into the right places to protect that clean sheet.
The Copa Pure II brings in a nice fit because of the Fusionskin upper and the central lacing closure, very important if you want to react to attacks efficiently. The premium leather on the forefoot allows you to rest your toes easy on the forefoot. Mats Hummel, Joe Gomez, and Joel Matip all wear the laced Copa.
Feel light and responsive on the defensive side with the adidas X Crazyfast. Like Ben White, Lisandro Martinez and Benjamin Pavard, wearers of the Speedportal get a snappy Speedframe outsole that push them quickly to the right places at the right time.
Defenders like Raphael Varane and Marc Cucurella opt for the tight-fitting Ultra Ultimate boots that can match their speed. They are perfect for quick recoveries on the defence, and even in giving confidence for playing the ball up.
Playing from the back is now a prevalent strategy in football. The Gripknit technology helps defenders in this mould to execute well. Attacking full backs would also benefit and improve their crosses because of that sticky upper. The GX is also available in a low-cut design. Rúben Dias, John Stones and Marquinhos all prefer this Nike boot.
A pure leather option with just the right amount of responsiveness and bulk. A simple boot for straightforward defending.
The all-time classic hailing from adidas has one of the best premium K-leather application on a football boot. That is why it is one of the longest-serving silo today and usually a consensus choice for no-nonsense defending. Just keep in mind that the leather stretches over time (they do mould well around your foot but may feel flimsy and less responsive as time goes by).
8. Nike Premier
Nike’s value-for-money leather boot takes the modern build of a soft, K-leather forefoot and a firmer midfoot, removing any stability concerns all the while being comfortable and sleek-looking. Simple but effective as a defender boot.
9. New Balance VV2
An extremely value-for-money football boots, the quality and amount of K-leather, responsive structure, and close fit are all above its £130 price point (possibly even better than Elite-level leather boots). The VV2 V2 gets you a comfortable wear so you can focus solely in defending.
The Expanding Role of a Defender Today
Goals are the highlight of football games and it is no surprise that the biggest names in the sport involve strikers and wingers. However, some excel in holding down the fort and banner their sides’ defence. These are the defenders of a football team and are the backline that forms in front of the goalkeepers. The defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposition from attacking. In general, defenders must stop opposing players, particularly the strikers, from scoring and bring the ball out from their penalty area. You will have to be a good tackler and strong in the air.
Positionally speaking, the backline of defenders is composed of the centre backs and the side fullbacks; the defenders are expected to be exceptional in terms of tackles, interceptions, and headers as clearing the ball from the opposition’s attack is their main priority. Centre backs, in particular, are likely to be physically strong as they primarily mark the striker’s of the other team. In today’s football, the usual formation of a backline is either a back four of left and right fullbacks with two centre backs or a back three of three centre backs.
Adapting to the growth of the sport, the defenders and their roles have also experienced innovation. At some point in the game’s history, there came to be a special and versatile type of centre back called a libero (sweeper) who was not tied to a certain area of the pitch but rather roams around the defensive area to sweep up and clear or win the ball. This function became obsolete with the introduction of zonal marking and the offside trap. Nowadays, there are centre backs who are comfortable with the ball in their feet for a more possession-based defence (instead of simply clearing out the ball) and better build-up of attack from the back, with some even going as far as midfield to initiate the offence.
The centre backs also contribute goals during set pieces by using their heading ability. The fullbacks, on the other hand, are now being pushed up higher in the field to overlap with the wingers on the flanks and allow such forwards to cut into the box. With that said fullbacks generally provide goal-scoring opportunities with their crosses to the box. Another trend with fullbacks is inversion which positions them on their weaker side to allow them to cut into their stronger foot for their crosses and/or goal attempts.