These footballers have made key defensive contributions for their respective teams.

One of the principle statistics to measure defensive actions is tackles won. The 2022 FIFA World Cup has been the stage for many defensive talents to prove their mettle against the best of attacks. Tackles are key for breaking the play up by dispossessing opponents and launching counters.

Here are the players with the most tackles won in the FIFA World Cup 2022 so far. Stats taken are from fbref.com.

4. Rasmus Nissen, Daley Blind, Azzedine Ounahi: 7 Tackles

Danish right-back Rasmus Nissen, Dutch left-back Daley Blind, and Moroccan midfielder Azzedine Ounahi are all tied with seven tackles won to their name.

Daley Blind has starred for the Netherlands, scoring a neat weak-footed finish, and providing an assist in the four matches he has played. He has also excelled in defence for the Dutch.

Rasmus Nissen is a regular for Leeds United. He has proven to be difficult to dribble past, winning seven tackles in three outings in the World Cup.

Angers midfielder Azzedine Ounahi has been a vital part of Morocco’s impressive run to the quarter-finals.

3. Rodrigo Bentancur, Sofyan Amrabat, Adrien Rabiot, Noussair Mazraoui: 8 tackles

Two more Moroccan stars feature with eight tackles each. Bayern Munich right-back Noussair Mazraoui and Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat. Both have been indispensable in Morocco’s dream run to the quarter-finals.

Adrien Rabiot has filled in capably for the injured duo of N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba for France. Whereas, the influential Bentancur stepped in with eight tackles for Uruguay in three matches played.

2. Tyler Adams, Kalidou Koulibaly, Mateo Kovacic: 9 tackles

Three very different types of players share the second spot with nine tackles each. Chelsea duo Koulibaly and Kovacic have put in valuable shifts for Senegal and Croatia respectively.

Tyler Adams has been a livewire, leading the press for the United States in their run to the Round of 16.

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1. Jude Bellingham and Achraf Hakimi: 11 tackles

Two success stories of the FIFA World Cup 2022 share the top spot for most tackles won with 11 each. 19-year-old Bellingham already has a goal and an assist from four matches. Despite venturing forwards, he has stuck to his defensive responsibilities. Bellingham has essayed the challenging role to perfection and will look to widen his impact in the knockouts.

Achraf Hakimi orchestrated one of the fairy-tale finishes of this World Cup, knocking his country of birth (Spain) out with the final penalty kick and thereby showcasing the ability to handle pressure on the biggest stage. Hakimi has not shied away from putting the tackles in, notching up 11 so far for Walid Regragui’s hard-tackling team.

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