Regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation, Barzagli is known for his strong, commanding and powerful physical build as a centre-back, and for being “strong in terms of anticipation, concentration and positional sense.” Considered a “late-bloomer”, he has stood out in Italy and in Europe in recent years, due to his marking, aerial prowess, and tackling ability, as well as his correct behaviour, capacity to read the game, and his adeptness in one on one situations; these attributes have enabled him to be voted to the Serie A Team of the Year for three consecutive seasons, also making him an important member of both his club and national sides. His calm composure, tactical awareness, pace, consistency, technique, vision, and ball playing ability have recently enabled him to be regarded as one of the best and most complete defenders in the world. Although he is usually deployed as a centre-back in a three or four-man defence, he is also capable of playing as a full-back on the right flank. Due to his consistent defensive performances in recent years, he has been given the nicknames “The Wall” and “La Roccia” (the rock) by fans. In addition to his ability as a defender, he is also highly regarded for his work-rate, discipline, and dedication in training, as well as his longevity.