Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

World Cup Watch: Defenders

Fabio Cannavaro
The Italy captain and star of Nike's fantastic World Cup advert is one of the best defenders taking part in South Africa. At the age of 36, this will be his last major tournament and he'll be looking to help guide his team to glory. The Italians are renowned for their tactical, disciplined style of play, and Cannavaro is key to that. It was also recently announced that he has joined Al-Ahli Dubai, so this will probably be the last you see of him.
Gerard Pique
The Barcelona defender (and once Manchester United man) forced his way into the formidable Spain team late last year. Since rejoining the La Liga champions, where he was a part of the youth set up, he has become one of the finest defenders in the game. The 23-year old has a calm and disciplined style that belies his years, combined with pace to match any striker he comes up against.
Simon Kjaer
Supporters of Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City (in fact any big name club) may wish to cast an eye over Danish centre-back Simon Kjaer. The 21-year-old plays in Serie A for Palermo, but has seen his name churning through the rumour mill this summer, linking his with a big money move to the Premier League. This will be a chance to see what everyone's talking about.

The start of the World Cup is now nearly upon us and over the last few weeks the Belfast Telegraph has been running down the key people and factors to keep an eye out for in South Africa with our World Cup Watch series.

>>Click on the image to launch our guide.

From free-kick takers to WAGs, blasts from the past to the youngsters, we'll got it all covered before things kick-off in Johannesburg.

Here, we bring you the dark art of defending and pick out the players to watch.

Source: Independent

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