Best Soccer Defenders

Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

1
Nemanja Vidic
Got to be the best at least better than terry and now also the manchester united captain he deserves full credit for their above expected performance.
The best he gets the job done with no fuss. You want the ultimate defense then here he is.

Nothing gets past him on the ground and definitely not in the air and he is strong
VIDIC IS MAGNIFICENT HIS GREAT AT DEFENDING AND TO GIVE HIM A RATING IN HEADER ACCURACY IT WOULD BE 97% DID YOU SEE HE SHOT AGAINST ASTON VILLA IN A 3-1 VICTORY IT WAS AMAZING IT WAS A STRIKERS SHOT! HE IS A EYE CATCHING BRILLIANT DEFENDER TO WATCH. I THINK ALEX FERGUSON IS ONE OF THE LUCKIEST MANGERS ON EARTH TO HAVE A PLAYER AS FANTASTIC AS HIM NO WONDER HIS NUMBER ONE. IF HE CAME FROM ENGLAND I BET HE WOULD HAVE LEAST HAVE 85 CAPS!
[Newest]This guy is so bad my mom is better than him
More comments about Nemanja Vidic

2Puyol
He is the Worlds most AGGRESSIVE defender.
Shrewd Leader with aggressive looks.
Every match he changes his position where the opponent best striker or midfielder is prone.
He is the fastest defender.
Even if the goalkeeper is lost he safeguards the goal, the whole net just by his foots and head.

you need a beast to guard a cave just like puyol defends the goal
Puyol... He's the defending legend. The best European Club's best captain.. He is my favourite defender
[Newest]He is the best!
More comments about Puyol

3Paolo Maldini
Paolo maldini went against the best ronaldo maradona rivaldo henry no other defender has done what he accomplished. Ronaldo admitted he never was able to get past him zidane also commented he preferred to be on the opposite side of maldini
Any one who actually says vidic or puyol or baresi were the best defenders of all time you are wrong paolo maldini will always be the best vidic is not close the only one I consider close is beckenbaur and if you look at ac milan 1994 paolo maldini, Franco Baresi, Costacurta and paolo maldini they were the best defenders of all time and ac milan had the best defense of all time so screw manu screw real madrid ac milan will always be number 1 along with paolo maldini
25 years in top flight football?! How can you vote the others ahead of him, I mean Terry can be pretty inconsistent, this guy played solid for 25 seasons!
[Newest]A lot of world class defenders like Ramos or Lahm named Maldini as their example!
More comments about Paolo Maldini

4Sergio Ramos
He has everything. Terry, Vidic, etc all have the touch of a Rapist. Ramos has skill, pace, strength, he does not make costly errors, he is versatile and he score goals. I don't even like Real Madrid, but Ramos is exceptional.
Sergio ramos is amazing. He will KILL HIMSELF for the ball. He has dived for the ball(in terms of when someone is shooting he throws his body to protect the goal), done defensive bicycle kicks, heads like a boss, and runs pretty fast for a defender.
Best defender in the world. Good as central left or right. Has speed and hard kick. Plays aggressive and rough. Some day he's a dirty player but he does anything to defend his teams net. Great at headers and at keeping his possession. Exceptional player. He is the best because no one has all the qualities he has.
[Newest]I think sergio is a very good defender
More comments about Sergio Ramos

5Terry
Terry's displays are usually all-action affairs, characterised by aggression, last-ditch clearances and tackles and ruthless determination. He is also a decent passer of the ball. A natural leader, there's a reason why Fabio Capello was willing to lose his job over Terry's position within the England team. His partnership with Ricardo Carvalho under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho was the foundation of one of the meanest defences in English football history, and saw Chelsea win the league in both 2005 and 2006, and again in 2010 under Carlo Ancelotti. His aerial ability is one to be scared of; Terry is a major threat from corners and has scored plenty in his time at Chelsea thus far. John Terry has made it to the UEFA Team of the Year on four occasions during the last decade. He isn't just a brilliant defender but also a leader who is a constant support to his players on the pitch. His playing style reflects the passion he has for the game.
An inspirational player.. Never afraid to throw himself on the ball and clear it.. Can score with headers as well which is a bonus.. He is MR. CHELSEA!
Terry is a typical English defender, bravely aggression, strong and amazing in the air. His tackles are also world-class, especially the last ditch tackle. He reads the game also amazing and is the best captain in the world. What do you want more
[Newest]Terry is worst than Walter Samuel. How can he be rated as the 4th best defender in the history of football. Not even comparable to a Maldini or a Hierro. Not even close.
More comments about Terry

6Franz Beckenbauer
You kidding me with this list?! Gattuso isn't even a defender! And John Terry the best of all time, the number 1 defender? What the hell?! Have a memory that's longer than the last 5 seasons! Proper Chelsea fans with more than a decade of football knowledge would surely have Ron Harris in ahead of JT. Use your heads here kids, if you don't know the guys on this list you need to get out there and watch them on Youtube or ask your elders, there are great players you've never seen and are ignoring. Baresi, Maldini, Ayala, Cannavaro, these guys were genuine greats. And "Der Kaiser", Beckenbauer, he was the best of all time
Beckenbaur is the best that's why everyone knows him he is just simply the best no one shows the talent this man had when he played
No one could push him off the ball when attacking because he was strong and no one could get pass him when he was defending because he was fast. He was also a foward at times for bayern munich scoring 60 goals in 427 appearances there has been no defender like the Der Kaiser ("The Emperor")
[Newest]Franz is definitely the best but really vidic first? Nah just nah

7Roberto Carlos
Unbelievable. Probably the greatest defenseman ever, and maybe even one of the best players. Amazing free kicks, possibly the best ever, good pace, wonderful attacking prowess, and still amazing in the back! Great both defensively and offensively. If you don't believe me, look up Roberto Carlos amazing goals on YouTube. And prepare to be amazed. You will think he is a striker.
Best player of all times I think.. his famous freekicks are simply the best
The best free kicker in defense history ever and maybe even in all time. Just powerful kicks

nbaallstar

[Newest]As a defender, he was average. And that's why he cannot be in the top 10. We're talking about the best defenders, as in defending the ball.

He also had a few nice free kicks but he was not a free kick specialist because they were intermittent.

8Philipp Lahm
Best defender of the best team of the best league of the best country so scare blue ha I know th
He has ability to do anything with the ball, he such a complete player overall
Best defender of the best team of the best league of the best country
[Newest]Amazing defender, leader, captain, and person overall. And not a red card under his belt!

9Gerard Pique
He's gone and become the best in the world at present times and more is to come from him as the old Puyol reaches the later stages of his magnificent career. Pique rules the world of defense
Gerard Pique is a great defender and done very well in euro 2012
David luis is the best he is just naturally good
[Newest]This ass is overrated

10Thiago Silva
What! Thiago Silva is the best defender in the world. And all you have to do is visit any other website ranking the defenders to be sure. He is the captain of Brazil national football team so of coarse he's the first in the world even if nobody knows or likes him
Actually the Strongest defender in the world!
Nobody like him! "O Mostro" The next Ac Milan captain.
He's the fastest defender I have known, how he's not the top 10! I can't believe it!
[Newest]He deserves to be in top 5


The Contenders

11Franco Baresi
Sure... He is surely in the top 10 defenders in the world, Forza Italia
Best of all time

12Nesta
HE IS THE BEST DEFENDER FULL OF EXPERIENCED AND CAPABLE OF EVERYTHING IN defense. I STARTED WATCHING NESTA FROM SS LAZIO IN 1997/98 AND SINCE, HAVE NEVER SEE ANY STRIKER THAT DRIBBLE HIM ONE ON ONE AND THE ONLY PLAY THAT TRY IT WAS RONALDINHO. HE IS THE number 1 DEFENDER I HAVE EVER SEE IN FOOTBALL.

YOU SHOULD REMOVE THOSE SO CALL TERRY AND THE OTHER FROM THE TOP SPORT. NESTA, CANAVARRO, STAPP, MALDINI, COASTACUTA, HIERRO, CARLOS, BECKENBAUR, BARESI, IVAN CAMPO
OF Course Nesta, No one is better than him not even the idiots "Marquez(why is he #1 give me some reasons), Rio (this guy shows he's muscles and then scores in his goal) and Puyol(at least he's smarter than the previous idiots however he looses his temper a lot)" I would say Terry and Nesta are the best, but I'll pick Nesta over Terry because Nesta didn't allow anyone to pass him and he's the best DEF in the world
This guy, Alesandro nesta was born to defend. And actually one goal was about to scored a goal but he actually saved it and kick it away.
[Newest]If Nesta is in the field, then the team is safe.

13Cannavaro
Internationally he is THE BEST defense, despite his lackluster club career, there is a reason that in 2006 they nicknamed him the Berlin wall, he simply couldn't be beat, 2 goals were scored on Italy, one was an own goal that he had no influence on and the other was a penalty shot by Zidane, a stellar performance by one of the best defenseman of all time
Franz Beckembauer was a great midfielder, Fabio Cannavaro is the best real hard-core pure central defender of all times !
World champion cannavaro is an essential part of the italian team and is one of if not the greatest defenders of all time
[Newest]Don't judge players by their titles. Cannavaro is the best so far.

14Bobby Moore
what in hell is going on in this list how do you work out that maquez or w. e is better thn bobby moore you lot know nothing about football
I find it offensive he is not top, he was quite simply the perfect defender.
Best defender in the world

15Rio Ferdinand
RIO is one of the best central defenders that have ever existed in this World. Thanks to his game reading abilities and both influence and boost he gives to his team. Long live Gervin.
He's the kind of defender that's not too beastly from the agresiveness department. But he adds to his team an unbelievable amont of great understanding of how to defend in every situation.
He's the best game reader when defending and nobody like terry ever does well when they just dive in to every moving objects on the field including the opposition's legs.
One of the best in man you

16Marquez
rafael marquez is my favorite defender, he was the first player I knew of as a kid and till this day he is my favorite no matter what team he is in not even barcelona ( I'm a real madridist) and I'm happy that he is now in the new york red bulls.

PePsMeX

yea, I'm pretty sure Marquez is the best defender in the world, he has stopped many of the opposite's opportunities of making a shot.
Marquez is the guy who made Mexico who it is, how he's the captain and the captains lead there team. that shows that Marquez is a great leader and a Mexican legend

17David Luiz
He is giid in long shots, free kicks, heading and long passing.
He is the best Right Wing Back for me.
A 17 year old Brazilian player that is now a member of Brazil.
He was not part of U-21 because he was so skilled that he is part of the professionals.
From Chelsea to Barcelona I believe that he will become more better until time passes and will become part of the WORLD XI All-Stars.
Great defender and great attacker in corner kicks! Has scored even more goals than torres.
Terrible defender. Average attacker. Inconsistent player.

Pulls it out in the big games (usually) but best of all time? He's not even the best in the world.

18Vincent Kompany
A leader. Ability to perform consistently. Exceptional defender with a high degree of offensive and attacking skill set. Power with size, grace, speed and agility. Deceivingly fast and positional sound. Intuitive and relentless. Great vision on the pitch. Arguably, one of the best in his craft.
Without him, Manchester City would definitely not be at the top of the Premier League!
This is simply the best defender in the world!
[Newest]Great player is like wall, better then terry and puyol deserve the top

19Mats Hummels
He was best player playing for Germany This year! Manchester United need to buy Mats

20Cafu
He's good at croosin, sliding

21Marcelo
He is still young, I would say he is one of the top left back in la liga, simply he's fast, got some skills could also be a left wing back.
He is the best defender he is super fast and scores so much goals he should be number 1

22Thuram
Thuram quickly became one of the best defenders in the world after his debeut he became a very essential part of the France national soccer team he was fast and reliable on corner kicks he deserves to be on the top ten of this list not 17.
Simply the best. An incredible defender with speed and a lot of intelligence in his moves.
He didn't score much in his career but it's all thanks to him that France beat Croatia in semi final of 1998 world cup.
7th is too low for a great defender like Thuram. He doesn't let anything through. Top 5 definitely.

23Ashley Cole
The best left back in the world!
There is no other player who is better than him in the position that he plays!
Nobody can deliver the crosses that he does from the position he plays.
His counter attacking skills are superb!
He is the best defender in the world for me
GOOD DEFENDER FROM CHELSEA ONE OF THE BEST LB IN GAMES

24Lucio
Yes, he's the best and he's playing in the best team

richie4life


25Ricardo Carvalho

26Giorgio Chiellini
The wall for juventus and become the captain for juventus... good luck for the eye of tiger for Italy
The best defender in the world
People who vote on this site don't know football so well
Please be objective guys...

27Pepe
Pepe I vote for, he is the best defender in the world for me.
Pepe is the good defender in the world
PEPE he is the BEST defender I have ever seen
I think he should be number 1

28Fernando Hierro

29Maicon
He is the total package at Defenseman. He can conver anyone in his path and is strong enough to take down any Attacker. He can run and do everything. Maicon is a stud.

welter64

Quick as lightning and has an incredible shot from distance. His runs up the sideline should impress anyone in the right mind.
Ridiculous. Maicon and Dani Alves are terrible at defending which is what this list is about. How can Maicon have the same amount of votes as Zanetti?

30Javier Zanetti
Zanetti may not be the best, but he deserves to be top 10. Best one on one defender in his generation at least. Don't know about the rest because I haven't seen them play. But he was after all the only person who was able to legitimately shackle Lionel Messi one on one. It wasn't 3 men marking him, it was just Javier. And they only needed Javier. Not as spectacular as a Maldini but he doesn't need to be.
Zanetti only had 2 red cards in his career. 1 of those red cards was not even fair; everyone around the referee was sent off.

Says it all really. People talk about Scirea's record but they forget it was much more difficult to get a red back then. The rules were more lax. Look at how Gentile marked Maradona in '82 for example. Nearly every one of the "challenges" he made would be considered a yellow, even a red in some cases nowadays.
Come on people! Javier is the captain of both Internazionale and world-class team Argentina. He is quite old, I get it, but sometimes overall means better. Javier Zanetti:Overall is 90/100.

31Dani Alves
I joke at this page how can dani alves be 49th when people like terry carragher and luiz etc are in front of I'm laugh out loud by far the best attack minded defender in the world
He is the best right back in the world by far and part of one of the best teams ever. Named in the world XI but still placed in the 50s? Really?

onedaywecanrun

This is a joke he should be number 1

32Lothar Matthäus
Legendry Matt, is ANOTHER great German defender who played for Bayern Munich.In 1990, he won the fifa world cup with Germany and was declared as the captian.

33Djalma Santos

34Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale is truly a wizard. Should play for bigger teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United or Paris Saint Germain. I am Welsh as well, and a massive fan of Brilliant Bale. He's not really a defender, he is a Magical Midfielder. So proud of having him in the Welsh team.
Fast, powerful, vicious. He's UNSTOPPABLE. He was put in defense until. His goals came in handy therefore his manager put him midfield. He is number 1
By far the best defender in Premier League and midfielder for that fact. Maybe he'll get more votes when Man UTD buys him...
[Newest]He is the Welsh wizard

Laugh out loud

35Jamie Carragher
Heart of LFC, will be sad to see him go...
27th?! This list is an absolute joke!
Totally underrated! The best defender LFC produced

36Mattias Sammer
One of the few defenders to win a Ballon D'or.

Beckenbauer's true heir.

Nothing else to be said.

37Ronald Koeman
Koeman is awesome. He is not the best defender though, because he would play very offensively even though he was a defender.
One of the best defenders that Holland ever had.
Played very well for Barca, good Free kicks and very strong.

38Alessandro Nesta
A very good all around defender that played for AC Milan and Lazio.
One of the most talented defenders in the history of football. Sadly because of injuries he wasnt able to become the beast he should've become. Too slow at times and not physical enough. But a legend he is. Deserves to be top 20. Imagine if he hadnt had his injuries. From an Inter fan, the utmost respect for this man.
Best tackle in football history

39Jaap Stam
Jaap Stam has had a wonderfull footballing career playing as the heart of many world class team defence such as manchester united , ac milan and now ajax .stam should be atleast in the top 10
He is the best even better than vidic
he has played for arsenal as well

immabe


40Gaetano Scirea
This Guy was never sent off in his whole career or suspened which must be some sort of a record for an International defender.
Put them all together and they wouldn't, t equal him if he was having a bad day 😤
Make the Italian catenaccio look's perfect, and he is a holy guy...

41Branislav Ivanovic
He has scored 16 goals as defender!
Branislav ivanovic is a tank he is the best right back defender in the moment
He is a true warrior

42Vlad Chiriches

43Javier Mascherano

44Fabio Cannavaro
He is the only defender to win the Ballon d'Or and palyed for Parma, Juventus, and Real Madrid.
Only defender to win a ballon d or

45Carlos Alberto Torres

46Hong Myung-Bo
Hong Myung-Bo (born February 12, 1969 in Seoul) is a South Korean football legend. Hong was a key member of the Korean national team in four World Cups, and was the first Asian player to play in four consecutive World Cup finals tournaments. He retired from playing following the end of the 2004 Major League Soccer season, having finished his career with the Los Angeles Galaxy. He is among the "FIFA 100", a FIFA's selection of the 125 greatest living footballers in the world.

<Honors>
▶Selected to FIFA 100: 2004

▶2002 FIFA World Cup Bronze Ball Award Winner : 2002

▶2002 FIFA World Cup All-Star Team : 2002

▶Asian Cup Best Eleven: 2000

▶J-League Best Eleven: 2000

▶K-League Best Eleven: 1996, 1995, 1994, 1992

▶Major League Soccer Best Eleven (All-Star): 2003

47Carles Puyol

48John Terry

49Sol Campbell
The Beast and your worst nightmare

50Diego Godin

51Nilton Santos
Godfather of attacking fullback.

thebest


52Roberto Ayala
One of the best headers of the ball in professional soccer. for a man of his height, he climbs very high - has a great leap. Very clean defender.
Regarded as one of the best central defenders in the world, has been captain of the Argentine national team for almost 10 years and has played in three World Cups.
He made far too many mistakes to be on this list. Talented, yes, but his "parralelism" style made him too error prone and unbalanced.

53Daniel Passarella
How is he behind the error prone Ayala. Even Maradona who has a personal feud with Passarella admitted he was the best defender he had ever seen. Probably the best Argentine defender of all time, if not on par with Javier Zanetti.

54Ferreira

55Maza Rodriguez
I'm entirely confused as to how Rodriguez isn't in the top ten defenders. Someone who moves as swiftly as he does while maintaining strict defenses deserves to be among the best.

kusanagi_sanasara

A truly solid defender in Mexico. Plus he plays for club America.
best defender deserves to be in the top ten list

56Neven Subotic

57Berti Vogts
He's that smelly poor Indian lfjhufg dfstayhbv ds

58Gennaro Gattuso
he is simply a beast of defending and has real heart for the game

59Pejman Montazeri
Pejman is the best defender in iran and asia. He is play in esteghlal team of iran - tehran
Just pejman I love him very very much I am amir haqiqi from iran mashhad
The best time in asia
♥ 4 ♥ 4 ♥ 4 ♥ 4 ♥
Eng/alikhani

60Ricardo Osorio

61Tony McManus

62Alex Rodrigo Dias da Costa
he a quality defender and he plays for chelsea
VOTE FOR HIM!!!!!!

63Eric Abidal
The greatest of the great, he's not mentioned in most lists because he is the greatest of all time.

64Radostin Kishishev
Great name- Great Player

Cannot fault this guy... Great 40 yarder the other day... Top Quality

65Herman Abanda

66Thomas Vermaelen
Best defender in Arsenal.

67Paolo Montero

68Maman Abdurahman

69Jose Santamaria

70Raphael Varane
The best defender in real madrid I'd say... Very outstanding performance and top class defending..
What. Varane doesn't even start in Real Madrid yet he's on the list for the greatest defenders in the history of the game. Same ranking as Santamaria, a real Real Madrid legend? Just no.
Yes is the best young defender for now!

71Diego Michiel

72Brede Hangeland

73Takis Fyssas

74Diego Reyes

75Ledley King
Oh come on people! Seriously this guy's ability to read the game is unmatched by anyone ever! Nobody could play for a team in the premier league with the injury he had. NOBODY. This guy didn't have a proper full training session for most of his career and yet still trumps everyone on this list. If Ledley did not have his injury, I guarantee you the best teams in the world would be queuing up to buy him. Its almost scary to imagine what a fully fit Ledley King could have accomplished!

76Rafael Marquez

77Jordi Alba

78Carlos Salcido
I don't know why this guy doesn't get more credit. The fact that he does not play in Europe is puzzling me. Did any one watch him in world cup?

79Abanda Herman

80Zulkifli Syukur

81Arne Friedrich

82Cristian Chivu

83Jan Vertonghen

84Julien Escude

85Amir Hossein Sadeghi

86Cesar Azpilicueta

87Mattia De Sciglio

88Lukasz Piszczek
Of course he is the best right back!

89Marco Materazzi
Don't know if Materazzi was a defender or an animal. He did his job though. If someone wanted to score, they had to go through him, and that would never be an easy or pain-free task.

90Seyed Jalal Hosseini
The best in Iran and Perspolis and national Iran team.

91Sokratis Papastathopoulos
Nobody knows him cause he is not Spanish or English or Brazilian or argentinian but he is a beast.

92Carlos Gamarra

93Lucas Neill

94Robby Darwis

95Alessandro Costacurta

96Haziq Zikri Elias

97Ali Krieger

98Nuno Pinto

99Billy Wright

100Micah Richards
One of the strongest rb in the premier league he is beast

Comments About This List

Featured Lists
Popular Lists
New Lists

Top Remixes of This List

fitzellforce

jp27fcp

hytd

ona

paasadani

see more...

Posts About This List

List Info

This list was created 8 years, 73 days ago and has been voted on over 9,000 times. This top ten list contains 120 items, has been remixed 27 times.

Updated Sunday, April 26, 2015


List Error Reporting

See an item on this list that's misspelled, duplicated, or doesn't belong? Let us know. Click here to report the error.