The best of the best in 2012.
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus & Italy)
Italian keeper edges out Iker Casillas due to a prolonged period of excellent form between the sticks for both club and country. Guided Juventus to the Serie A title and to the top of the table this term, tasting defeat just once in 2012. Also had a sterling Euro 2012.
Jordi Alba (Barcelona & Spain)
Marauding wing-back was excellent at Euro 2012 and has seamlessly fitted into the Barcelona side following his summer move from Valencia.
Pepe (Real Madrid & Portugal)
Real Madrid centre-back has matured and is less of a temperamental nightmare. Tough tackling, no-nonsense and has led the line well at the Bernebeu, helping Jose Mourinho’s side to a La Liga title as well as impressing at Euro 2012.
Thiago Silva (AC Milan/PSG & Brazil)
Brazilian has been sorely missed at AC Milan and has been a rock in the heart of PSG’s back-line since his move to the Parc des Princes. Almost certainly the best centre-back in the world today.
Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich & Germany)
Assured as ever the German international has captained his Allianz Arena side to a nine point lead at the top of the Bundesliga.