This is the fourth article in a series looking at the top 5 footballers in each position in the last decade. Those will ultimately be combined to form the best starting XI of the last decade. It has to be mentioned that a footballer’s overall impact on the maximum number of years in the decade is to be considered.
5) Pepe: The robust and aggressive defender from Portugal joined Real Madrid in 2007 and stayed there till 2017 when he left for Besiktas. He won 13 trophies at the Bernabeu out of which 11 came in the last decade. He has also won the Euro Cup and the UEFA Nations League for his country. Pepe has been a member of the Euro Team of the Tournament thrice as well as the UCL Team of the Season once.
4) Gerard Pique: After a forgettable spell with Manchester United, Pique returned to his boyhood club Barcelona in 2008 and is still playing at its heart of the defense. He has won 29 trophies for the Blaugrana, 22 of which came in the last decade. He has also won the Euro Cup and the FIFA World Cup for Spain. He was selected in the La Liga Team of the Season twice, UCL Team of the Season once, UEFA Team of the Year 5 times, FIFA FIFPro World11 4 times, and Euro Team of the Tournament once.
3) Diego Godin: The Uruguayan center back has spent almost the entire decade with Atletico Madrid, joining Inter Milan only in 2019. He has won 10 trophies with Atletico and a Copa America with Uruguay all within the last decade. He has been a part of La Liga Team of the Season twice, UCL Squad of the Season thrice, UEFA Team of the Year once, Europa League Squad of the Season once, FIFA World Cup Dream Team once, and IFFHS World Team once. He also won the La Liga Best Defender award in 2015-16.
2) Giorgio Chiellini: The skillful Italian defender has been a part of Juventus for 15 years, including the entire last decade. He has won 18 trophies with the club, out of which only one came outside the decade. He was selected in the Serie A Team of the Year 5 times, UEFA Team of the Year once, UCL Squad of the Season twice, and France Football World XI once. He has also won the Serie A Defender of the Year 3 times and was selected in the Juventus Greatest XI of All Time in 2017.
1) Sergio Ramos: Ramos has spent as many years at Real Madrid as Chiellini for Juventus. But the former has accomplished a lot more for his club and has been more impactful to the game altogether. He has won 22 trophies at Madrid, 19 of which came in the last decade. He has also won 2 Euro Cups and a FIFA World Cup for Spain, 2 of them came within the decade in question. He has been a member of the FIFA FIFPro World XI 10 times, UEFA Team of the Year 8 times, FIFA World Cup Dream Team, Confederations Cup Dream Team and Euro Team of the Tournament once, UCL Squad of the Season 4 times, UEFA Ultimate Team of the Year once, La Liga Team of the Season once, IFFHS World Team and EA Sports FIFA Team of the Year 3 times. Adding to this insane tally, Ramos has also won La Liga Best Defender 5 times and UEFA Defender of the Season twice.