Bougherra - a surprise leader?

Another rest day, another list. With the merits of defenders not always reflected in statistics, it can be difficult to come to a conclusion as to just who have been the “best” defenders during this World Cup.

With a little help from Castrol and FIFA I’ve looked at the figures for tackling, clearances and balls recovered in an attempt to draw up a list of the ten “best” defenders that we’ve seen over the last month. By adding the stats together and dividing the number of minutes each player played by that total, a figure was produced which reflects the amount of successful defensive activity each defender was involved in.

This is how it turned out:

Player / Tackles / Clearances / Balls Recovered / Minutes Played / Score

(The lower the score the better)

1. Madjid Bougherra (Algeria) 8 / 9 / 10 / 270 / 10

= Stephane Grichting (Switzerland) 8 / 11 / 8 / 270 / 10

3. Juan (Brazil) 11 / 9 / 8 / 450 / 16.07

4. Fabio Coentrao (Portugal) 7 / 9 / 5 / 360 / 17.14

5. Joris Mathijsen (Netherlands) 7 / 11 / 8 / 450 / 17.30

6. Jorge Fucile (Uruguay) 9 / 5 / 6 / 371 / 18.55

7. Jay DeMerit (USA) 6 / 11 / 4 / 390 / 18.57

8. Lee Young Pyo (South Korea) 2 / 11 / 6 / 360 / 18.94

9. Alvaro Pereira (Uruguay) 8 / 5 / 7 / 409 / 20.45

10. Lucio (Brazil) 7 / 9 / 5 / 450 / 21.42