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The 8 most feared Copa America defenders

2015 Copa America in Chile: Top 8 defenders Messi & co. should fear

June 9, 2015 By Oscar Casanova Perches
For some this may be their last games with their respective National Teams. Some were called based on talent and others on experience.

Everyone seems to be talking about the damage that Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, Neymar Jr., Enner Valencia and other strikers could be causing to their opponents in the upcoming Copa America. What really hasn't been discussed is who can stop any of these powerful players from success. Here are some of them.

1) Rafael Marquez (Mexico)

One of the best defenders in the history of Mexican soccer is Rafael Marquez. His experience ranges from playing with Atlas in Mexico, to conquering Europe with Barcelona with Ronaldinho and company. He has played in four World Cups and had not been called to the National Team after last year's tournament in Brazil. After spending one year in Italy, his experience can be vital to give Mexico a fighting chance with a very young squad.

2) David Luiz (Brazil)

David Luiz may not have given the world a great impression after the game in which Luis Suarez made a fool out of him twice with Barcelona against Paris Saint-Germain. That is not something that should make people believe he is a weak defender. He ha success with Chelsea and is also finding some success now with PSG. He is one of the oldest, but also most experienced defenders in Brazil's roster so his presence is bound to make a difference.

3) Santiago Arias (Colombia)

Arias is a 23-year-old boy that can already brag about a lot by the time he shows up with Colombia to play in the Copa America. He recently won the Erindevese with PSV Eindhoven and was selected among the best XI players of the league. He was one of the three players from his team to end up on the list. Arias has only played four games with Colombia but after a successful season with his club, he should become a regular in Pekerman's lineup. He is a very physical player that is not afraid to go after anyone when the ball is rolling.

4) Mauricio Isla (Chile)

A player that belongs to Juventus has just finished one season on loan with Queens Park Rangers, where he shared the field with Rio Ferdinand. The Chilean defender may still not be a household name but had an acceptable Premier League season with QPR. He started in 24 games and was subbed in twice. In all of those games, he only committed 16 fouls. He is a 26-year-old player that still wants to show Juventus they can take him back and use him this upcoming season. 

5) Gary Medel (Chile)

Isla will be guided inside the field by Inter Milan's Gary Medel. The 27-year-old defender has already tried to stop Neymar and it did not end so well. There is a fight going on among both players that may be settled in Chile. Medel will be motivated by the fact that he may become a father before the tournament ends. He is also coming off a good season with his Italian side and knowing they are the hosts seems to inspire Medel and his teammates. 

6) Marcos Rojo (Argentina)

Rojo had a superb 2014 World Cup with La Albiceleste but it was sadly followed with a not so good season for Manchester United. He is a player that likes to get involved in attack when needed and that can respond with authority on defense if the situation requires it. His speed is good, but can get tired as the games wear on. His chances of becoming a regular starter are pretty high. He enjoys playing with Argentina so we may see better things from him here than with the Red Devils.

7) Diego Godin (Uruguay)

Godin was part of the team that won the 2011 Copa America title in Argentina. With the absence of Suarez, it doesn't seem that Los Charruas hold many chances to defend what was theirs four years ago. Godin must make his case to give Uruguay a possibility to prove some critics wrong. He is 29 but with the experience of someone closer to 40. His talent as a solid defender has caught the attention of Chelsea after spending eight years playing in La Liga (currently with Atl. Madrid). His positioning is what makes him great in the backfield. 

8) Walter Ayoví (Pachuca)

Most of Ecuador's power is in their front lines, but that will not matter if the defense does not do their job right. Ayovi is bound to become a leader in the defensive end of the field for this team that has to go out against Chile and Mexico if they want to get past the first round. If Ayovi and company don't receive many goals, they can aspire to end as one of the best third places and move on. He is 35 and will have to show the young future of Ecuador why he has 101 caps with the national team. This will most likely be the end for him.

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