Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger has taken his place in 90min‘s ranking of the top five centre-backs on the planet in 2021 having just come out on top in a Welcome to World Class fan vote.
Our followers were asked to have their say on who had been the best central defender this year out of the quartet of David Alaba, Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva and Rudiger.
The winner would take fifth place in 90min‘s ranking of the top five centre-backs in the world in 2021 – coming in behind Raphael Varane, Ruben Dias, Giorgio Chiellini, and number one Virgil van Dijk.
It ended up being an incredibly close battle between two Chelsea teammates – Rudiger and Silva. However, after more than 7,200 votes, the German emerged as the victor by the narrowest of margins.
Rudiger took 36.7% of the fan vote to Silva’s 33.7%, while Alaba and Ramos had 16.2% and 13.4% respectively.
The 28-year-old earns the right to take his place among 90min’s top five centre-backs in the world in 2021, a reward for stellar 12 months at club level that has seen his reputation ameliorate exponentially having previously been viewed as something of a liability.
Now known for his marauding forward runs, Rudiger has shone in Thomas Tuchel’s back three since January, playing a key role as Chelsea lifted the Champions League trophy in May – a triumph that scored him some serious points in the #W2WC metric.
In 46 matches he made the second most tackles out of any of our top five with 58, playing his part in 28 clean sheets and scoring three times at the other end to boot.
This is Rudiger’s first time in the W2WC top five centre-backs having failed to even make the shortlist in 2020.
All statistics are provided by StatsPerform over the period of January 1, 2021 to November 30, 2021 (inclusive of domestic and continental cup competitions).