The game of football has been blessed with many great defenders and, as the game has progressed, so has the art of defending. Although they may not hit the headlines as much as the centre forwards, a reliable centre back can be the difference between winning and losing an important match, a national championship - and even the FIFA World Cup™.

It is for that reason why Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro was voted as the FIFA World Player of the Year by his peers back in 2006. Prior to Cannavaro, the likes of Franz Beckenbauer, Daniel Passarella and Bobby Moore set the gold standard and more recently, Paolo Maldini has taken up the baton, winning continental honours with AC Milan at the age of 39.

In this Have Your Say, we are interested to find out who you think is the best defender in the world today. Obviously, the Italian duo mentioned above will attract many compliments, but what about the merits of Carles Puyol, Sergio Ramos and John Terry? Looking outside of Europe, you might be more impressed with Roberto Ayala, Lucho or Rafael Marquez.

So, who do you think is the best central defender in the world today?

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