Six central defenders of Manchester City are holders in selection in Qatar

With FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Manchester City is the best represented club in Qatar, with sixteen players called up between England, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and Switzerland. But the English champion is also the biggest provider of central defenders in the competition since six of them are indisputable holders in their respective selections. Each of them has played the entire two or three matches of his team since the start of the World Cup. Overview.

John Stones, England, 28 (62 caps, 3 goals)

He is an indisputable holder in selection alongside Harry Maguire. But, unlike the very criticized United defender, that of City is more regular and his coach, Gareth Southgate, again cited him as an example for his performance against the United States (0-0). In club, the competition is even fiercer but he plays a lot and Guardiola even used him several times in the right lane for numerical reasons (absence of Kyle Walker) or tactics.

Aymeric Laporte, Spain, 28 (18 caps, 1 goal)

Operated on his knee last June, the left-hander succeeded in his race against the clock to resume competition in time with City and be able to compete in the World Cup. It was a cause for concern in Spain as he has established himself as a manager since he chose to play for La Roja a little over a year ago. Associated with his teammate Rodri in hinge, he is very appreciated by Luis Enrique for his technical quality in the Spanish possession game.

Rodri, Spain, 26 (37 caps, 1 goal)

He is Pep Guardiola’s favorite sentinel at City but he is playing behind in the selection at the start of the competition, still associated with Aymeric Laporte, his teammate in England. Rather than choosing with Sergio Busquets in the Spanish 4-3-3, Luis Enrique decided to roll back Rodri to bring a technical touch to the recovery. And if the Citizen knows he has to be meaner when he plays in defense, he doesn’t have to force himself too much: he has already held this position a few times with City.

Ruben Dias, Portugal, 25 (42 caps, 2 goals)

Behind the historical leaders Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe, he is now one of the executives in the same way as Bruno Fernandes or Bernardo Silva. It must be said that the central defender has become one of the best in the world in his position since he signed for City in the summer of 2020. In selection, he confirmed this progress even if he is experiencing a start of competition a little shy, not really helped by the changes of teammates in hinge (Danilo Pereira on the first match and Pepe on the second).

Nathan Aké, Netherlands, 27 (31 caps, 3 goals)

At 28, he finally broke through at the highest level after having wandered from loan to loan for a long time (he then belonged to Chelsea). Arrived at City in the summer of 2020, he also had to be patient to impose himself and soak up Guardiola’s philosophy. He is now part of the rotation and sometimes even plays on the left side to make up for the lack of full-backs in the English champions. In selection, he has finally been installed recently – at the start of 2022 – and forms a solid three-way defense with De Ligt and Van Dijk.

Manuel Akanji, Switzerland, 27 (45 caps, 1 goal)

He is the last to arrive at City. Recruited this summer from Borussia Dortmund, he came to further strengthen an already well-stocked playing sector. But the Swiss international was able to seize his chance with the sequence of matches and the injury, too, of Laporte. Guardiola appreciates his quality of recovery, especially in the game, a weapon he also often uses in selection as we have seen in the first two matches of the World Cup.

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