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The best football defenders ever

The main task of a defenders is of course defending, but some defenders bring a little extra. They are not only defending very well, they also build up an attack and even score goals. So who are the best defenders ever?


Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer Beckenbauer dominated the defense with his leadership, he was a great man marker and important player of the West Germany that won the World Cup in 1974. In the final of that tournament he had to mark Johan Cruyff and did this so well Cruyff was never able to play like he had done before at that tournament. "Der Kaiser" introduced a new style of play as an attacking sweeper, scoring 60 goals in 427 appearances for Bayern Munich.


Bobby Moore

Bobby Moore Bobby Moore was captain of the English team that won the World Cup in 1966. He was also voted best player of the tournament. Pelé considers him as the greatest defender he ever played against. Moore was chosen as one of the two centre-backs in the World Team of the 20th Century, along with Beckenbauer.


Carlos Alberto Torres

Carlos Alberto Torres Carlos Alberto will always be remembered for scoring one of the greatest goals at a World Cup. He scored the fourth goal against Italy in the World Cup final of 1970 after the Brazilian team showed their amazing skill in football. He was chosen as fullback in the World Team of the 20th Century.


Nílton Santos

Nilton Santos Nílton Santos was on of the first attacking fullbacks in the history of football. The Brazilian won the World Cup in 1958 and 1962 where he played with player like Pelé and Garrincha. Nílton Santos was chosen as fullback in the World Team of the 20th Century.


Paolo Maldini

Paolo Maldini Maldini played 25 years for Milan in which he won the European Cup five times and played eight finals. It's an incredible achievement to play such a long time at the highest level and that is why Maldini surely belongs in this top 10.


Roberto Carlos

Roberto Carlos Roberto Carlos won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002. The attacking fullback had a great shot, but his real trademark was his free kick. He was able to kick a ball with such an effect and power that goalkeepers would always fail for it.


Djalma Santos

Djalma Santos Like he's namesake Nílton Santos, Djalma Santos was also a great also great Brazilian defender. He is in three World Cup All-star teams(1954, 1958, 1962), winning the World Cup in 1958 and 1962.


Fabio Cannavaro

Fabio Cannavaro Cannavaro played 136 games for Italy, where he won the World Cup with in 2006 and became runner-up for the golden ball. He also became FIFA World Player of the Year 2006


Franco Baresi

Franco Baresi Baresi played his whole career at AC Milan and won the European Cup thrice. He won the Serie A six times with Milan. He was elected Italian and AC Milan player of the 20th century.


Giacinto Facchetti

Giacinto Facchetti Facchetti also played for one club in his career, but unlike Baresi he played for Inter Milan. He was as important in the attack as in the defense. He had a great dribbling ability and excellent tackling skills.

BLXCK.FR   March 22, 2016 at 3:30 pm
I think Ronald Koeman from teh Netherlands is the best
AVFC   February 25, 2016 at 10:31 pm
All the players mentioned are good defenders but for me Paul McGraph had everything Played gor Ireland world cup twice made it to the best tordament 11 twice
ims   January 12, 2016 at 4:25 am
thats wrong list the true list is: 1-Franz Beckenbauer 2-Paolo Maldini 3-Bobby Moore 4-Franco Baresi 5-Roberto Carlos 6-Fabio Cannavaro 7-Carlos Alberto Torres 8-Scirea 9-Facchetti 10-Cafu
Mohammed   December 28, 2015 at 4:36 pm
During the time of cannavaro, maldini, carlos, the best defender any striker usually says they came against was Roberto Ayala
Amzo   December 28, 2015 at 12:40 am
Top 10 for me: 1) Beckenbauer 2) Carlos Alberto 3) Bobby Moore 4) Maldini 5) Facchetti 6) Koeman 7) Baresi 8) Nesta 9) Cafu 10) Hierro
Stavan   November 13, 2015 at 10:14 am
What about pique
year of the dog   September 24, 2015 at 3:49 pm
Thuram, Scirea Maldini, Gentile
year of the dog   September 24, 2015 at 3:10 pm
Scriea is the best sweeper and defender I have seen in the last 35 years. Always calm, measured and in control, he read the play perfectly and never seemed rushed or to even raise a sweat. He was also a fair player, great sportsman & role model! With Juventus, Scriea won 7 serie A, 2 Coppa Italia and every UEFA & FIFA club trophy there is to win! He also won the 1982 World Cup with Italy and even set up the winning goal in the Final, Scirea was that good that it was only after he retired that Franco Baresi became Italys 1st choice sweeper...Baresi had to wait 5 years for Scriea to retire. I never see Moore, Beckenbauer or Facchetti play but i know for sure, Scriea is better than alot of defenders on this top 10 list including Baresi and Cannavaro. Roberto Carlos at No.6 is a joke!
fairguy   July 28, 2015 at 9:15 pm
Seems to me a Brazilian has put all these tables together on this website!
M   July 17, 2015 at 3:45 pm
1. Maldini 2. Bechkebauer 3. Moore 4 Baresi 5. Cafu 6. Scirea 7. Gentile 8. Carlos Alberto 9. Canavaro 10. Roberto Carlos 11. Pasarella 12. Pouyol 13. Facchenti 14. Nesta 15. Koeman
Isah   July 6, 2015 at 4:25 pm
I play football I know football am a fan of Chelsea.messi is de greatest football ever.
mano   June 12, 2015 at 1:06 pm
maldine is the best
Alex   May 10, 2015 at 11:53 pm
I'm no soccer sage but reading these comments i feel like new genereations know nothing about it.... specially people placing rivelino in this list makes me laugh
samson   April 21, 2015 at 3:59 pm
chris smalling is the best
Rhys   March 28, 2015 at 11:29 am
My back four in my life time to date. Cafu, Maldini, Roberto Carlos and a surprise to many Markus Babbel. For many different reasons, I'm aware there are many great defenders out there and have graced this planet. These four were the ones I loved to watch.
ashley   March 27, 2015 at 11:17 pm
Terry, Vidic and Kompany have to be up there amongst the very best
ashley   March 27, 2015 at 11:10 pm
Terry, Vidic and Kompany have to be up there amongst the very best
Martin Young   February 26, 2015 at 10:21 pm
Tam Vickers (plays for Glasgow Ranjars) he plays on the left he plays on the right big tam vickers makes cafu look 5hite!
Anton   February 26, 2015 at 10:17 pm
Maldini, cannavaro, nesta, cafu.
Ketum   January 28, 2015 at 12:52 pm
Where is Lord Smalling?
Carlos   January 24, 2015 at 5:24 pm
Where is Ayala,Terry,Nesta???
Akshay verma   January 13, 2015 at 4:23 pm
Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva, Boateng are going strong currently.
\andrew   January 1, 2015 at 8:19 pm
Marcel Desailly?
messi   January 1, 2015 at 7:09 pm
messi is the best
Luca   December 20, 2014 at 3:06 pm
Wheres kompany thiago silva david luiz
Adavi   December 6, 2014 at 8:11 am
Good List
Adavi   December 6, 2014 at 7:26 am
Um... ...Ashley Cole?
ali   November 23, 2014 at 11:34 pm
just walter samuel
Soghomon   November 21, 2014 at 4:08 pm
Praz   November 20, 2014 at 7:17 pm
Horrendous list. An absolute crime that Maldini is 5th and Nilton santos is higher ranked... Appaling
wtf   November 15, 2014 at 11:50 pm
Where is Koeman, Jaap Stamp, Zanetti, de Boer, Puyol? Especially Koeman.
adejumobi timileyin   November 4, 2014 at 8:42 pm
the players non of them is current players like Puyol Ramos Pepe
Sloane   October 29, 2014 at 8:29 pm
Where's Pepe? Puyol? Sergio ramos? Boateng? Lahm? Smh
Antonio   October 17, 2014 at 6:16 am
I think Marquez should be in there
fabietto   October 2, 2014 at 12:58 am
1 maldini no doubt 2 baresi ( check about maradona-baresi) 3 thuram, 4 cannavaro, 5 puyol
Steve   September 16, 2014 at 1:13 pm
Nesta? Cafu? Vidic?
milanista   August 27, 2014 at 8:25 pm
1 Maldini no doubt 2 Baresi 3 Cannavaro 4 Nesta 5 zanetti
John   August 4, 2014 at 10:04 am
Aidil Zaquan
Rishabh   June 28, 2014 at 6:53 pm
1 cannavaro 2 sergio Ramos 3 roberto Carlos
fre.48    June 18, 2014 at 9:43 am
Messi☆★☆ 4 ever

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