Another football season has just ended and it’s time to reflect on it and vote for the best players overall and in each position. TheHardTackle invites you to vote for Europe’s best defender during the 2012/2013 season, out of the five nominees presented below – all of whom had extraordinary seasons for their respective clubs. Who do you think has been the best defender in 2012/2013?

Andrea Barzagli (Juventus)

Juventus Transfer NewsThe 32.year-old had arguably the best season of his life and is almost unanimously considered the best defender in the Serie A for the 2012/2013 season. The Italian champions only conceded 24 goals all season in the league and that has a lot to do with Barzagli’s stellar performances Ai??and his patnership with Chiellini. His performances at the back were key in Juventus’s success this season. His positional sense was impeccable most of the time and he hardly put a foot wrong all season truly deserving to be in contention for this award. His Champions League performances were equally quite solid.

Philip Lahm (Bayern Munich)

Philipp LahmBayern Munich had the best defense in Europe this season and it goes without saying that their captain Philip Lahm played a major role. The ever versatile German fullback confirmed his consistency by putting in another extraordinary season, on both the defensive and the attacking end of the pitch. He kept wingers all over German and Europe in check and his partnership with Frank RibAi??ry was key in Bayern’s success this season. It’d be hard to claim this was Lahm’s best season ever considering his incredible consistency at the highest level, but it was definitely up there as he was one of the key players to lead Bayern to their first ever treble – Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League.

Dante (Bayern Munich)

Dante Bayern MunichIt might seem a bit too much to include two Bayern players in the list of nominees, but they were that good this season – the treble was no fluke. Although the last image might be his far from impressive performance in the Champions League final, Dante was solid as a rock all season in the center of Bayern’s defense, showing impeccable positioning and aerial prowess at the back. He proved to be one of the most shrewd signings of the season in European football, quickly establishing himself as a key player in the treble winning Bayern side.

Leighton Baines (Everton)

Baines Manchester United EvertonHad the season of his life at Everton, creating 116 goal chances during the season (the most accross all of Europe’s top leagues) along with fulfilling his defensive duties, leading Everton to an excellent season in the Premier League. He was a beacon of quality and consistency all season long, showing relentless energy in covering the entire left wing. He also chipped in with a quite respectable tally of 7 goals and of course plenty of assists, drawing the attention of some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

Thiago Silva (PSG)

In his first season in France working under his former manager at Milan Carlo Ancelotti, Silva was almost unanimously considered the top defender in the League 1. His pace, positioning and man-marking skills all translated perfectly to France’s first division and he was excellent in the Champions League as well, further establishing himself as one of the best defenders in the world. Being part of a star-studded PSG side certainly did help him settle in, but he ended up becoming an absolutely key player in the side very quickly, justifying every single million the French champions spent on him.

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