86. Irene Paredes
Now reaching the peak years of her career, Irene Paredes has undoubtedly asserted herself as one of the top centre backs in Europe over the past few years.
A move to French giants PSG has allowed Paredes to continue to grow as a player, even if the campaign ended in Champions League final heartbreak and a year out of the competition.
Things were better on the international front, Paredes not only won the Algarve Cup with Spain, but she was voted player of the tournament for her efforts.
Spain’s Euro 2017 ended prematurely in a disappointing group stage exit, but it’s been another solid year for the 26-year-old.
Laura Del Rio, former Spain team mate of Paredes says:
“Irene has really good positioning in defence, she’s a really good tackler and so strong. She’s comfortable playing the ball out from the back but she can also be a very good offensive player. For me, she’s one of the best defenders in the world.”
Patrice Lair, PSG manager says:
“Irene is a very modern defender, she’s very strong in the duels and an excellent head game that allows her to be important for us both defensively and going forward.”
Verónica Boquete, current PSG and Spain team mate says:
“Irene is a defender who is good on the ball and has a good interpretation of the game, plus she has a really good shot from distance!
“Strong physically, very forceful and aggressive, she never gives you space and has no fear of physical contact. She’s always in good physical shape, is a great professional and gives the maximum in training.
“Irene is a good header of the ball both defensively and offensively, one of the best centre backs in Europe that improves year by year. She is a great person of great values. Open, friendly, fun and very active.”