As we build up to next Monday's big Goal 50 announcement, we want to know who you think was the best defender of the past 12 months.
Atletico Madrid's defense was crucial in the club winning La Liga and reaching the Champions League final — goal-scoring center back Diego Godin and flying fullback Filipe Luis were particularly pivotal.
Across the city, Sergio Ramos was making a solid case for being the best center back in the world as the main man in Real Madrid's back four. Paris Saint-Germain would not have been the same title-winning side without its captain Thiago Silva, who carried Brazil's defense in a similar way before it crumbled in the World Cup's latter stages.
Mats Hummels had no such problems this summer, maintaining his Borussia Dortmund form to help Germany win the World Cup. Pablo Zabaleta, contrastingly, faced up to final failure with Argentina — though he was nothing but a success in Brazil after another title-winning year with Manchester City.
This campaign was a breakthrough year for versatile Netherlands and Ajax defender Daley Blind and Toulouse's Serge Aurier, both of whom have been linked with transfers to top clubs this summer. Similarly, Mehdi Benatia's sterling performances in his debut Roma season have caused a swarm of interest in his signature.
And he might be at the tail end of his career, but Mexico's Rafa Marquez became the first player to captain his nation at four World Cups this summer — an achievement that could be impossible to match.
HAVE YOUR SAY
Which of these players deserve to be the highest placed in the Goal 50? Vote in the poll below for a chance to make your voice heard ahead of the announcement Monday.
Alternatively, get involved via our Goal 50 section this month, give us all your views on the debate by commenting below, and by getting in touch on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #Goal50.