5 best defenders playing in Copa America 2024 - ranked

  • Brazil are blessed with two of the best central defenders in their squad
  • Argentina have a top defender at center-back
  • Canada can rely on their electric full-back who plays his club soccer in Germany
Romero is Argentina's best defender
Romero is Argentina's best defender / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

While forwards and midfielders steal all the praise, defenders are just as important to teams hoping to lift Copa America 2024.

Defense wins championships, or so they say. Teams like Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay have some of the best defenders in world soccer in their squads for Copa America. Other teams may have quality defenders here and there, but they don't exactly stack up with the South American nations' defenders.

Here are the top five defenders at Copa America 2024.

Five best defenders playing in Copa America 2024

Honorable mentions:

  • Gabriel Magalhaes (Brazil)
  • Lisandro Martinez (Argentina)
  • Piero Hincapie (Ecuador)
  • Jose Gimenez (Uruguay)

5. Alphonso Davies (Canada)

Alphonso Davies
Davies is one of the more versatile players in Copa America / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Although Alphonso Davies can sometimes feature as a winger depending on the competition and the opponent, the Bayern Munich figure typically lines up at left-back.

With his exceptional quality on the ball and electric pace, very few players manage to get by the former Vancouver Whitecaps player.

4. Ronald Araujo (Uruguay)

Ronald Araújo
Araujo is key to the Uruguay defense / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Even after coming off an inconsistent season with Barcelona in La Liga, Ronald Araujo still remains one of the best defenders in this summer's Copa America.

The 25-year-old will be vital to Uruguay's chances at lifting the Copa America once more alongside Jose Gimenez in the heart of defense.

3. Cristian Romero (Argentina)

Cristian Romero
Romero rarely disappoints / Marcelo Endelli/GettyImages

When looking at Argentina's defenders, none come close to center-back Cristian 'Cuti' Romero's level.

Not only does he seem to time his challenges perfectly, but he is truly one of the best defenders with the ball at his feet -- something that's become more and more important in the new age of soccer.

2. Eder Militao (Brazil)

Eder Militao
Militao shines for Brazil / Gualter Fatia/GettyImages

Brazil wouldn't be one of the favorites to lift Copa America this summer without at least one solid defender.

That's where Eder Militao comes in, and although he's had difficulty staying fit for Real Madrid, when he's fit and available -- there aren't many players better than him.

1. Marquinhos (Brazil)

Marquinhos captains Brazil / Gualter Fatia/GettyImages

Marquinhos is without a doubt the best defender in Copa America 2024 as he looks to guide Brazil back to success after a disappointing 2022 World Cup campaign.

The PSG figure will also look to right his wrongs after his missed penalty attempt vs Croatia in Qatar should a match be decided by another shootout.