Best Soccer Defenders

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

The best ever, Terry is good, but nothing compared to the great Vida, Vida is unstoppable, so much heart and love for the game, able to stop any attack... Strikers fear him. THE BEST! Love from Lebanon

Vidic is the greatest Serb player ever!

V 79 Comments
2 Paolo Maldini Paolo Maldini Paolo Cesare Maldini is a former Italian professional footballer who played as a left back and central defender. Maldini captained Italy for 8 years and AC Milan for 12, and was renowned for his leadership skills, earning him the nickname “Il Capitano”, or ‘The Captain’.

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!

How tf is vidic better then maldini

V 79 Comments
3 Puyol

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

The best

V 76 Comments
4 Sergio Ramos Sergio Ramos Sergio Ramos García is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Real Madrid and the Spain national football team.

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.

He is a pop poo

V 92 Comments
5 Terry

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

Vidic over terry is just wrong!

V 47 Comments
6 Franz Beckenbauer Franz 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

This list is a bunch of crap! People forget about the legends and only thinks about right now, and not about the past. The top 5 on this list should be beckenbaur, hiero, baresi, nilton santos and carlos alberto.

Are you people crazy not to vote for him? People think Vidic is better than Beckenbauer? People forget about legands. For example in the goalkeeper list Yashin was 8th! Pele (in the best of all time list) was not first! This lists top 5 should be Beckenbauer, Maldini, Moore,Baresi,Scirea/Robero Carlos.

V 23 Comments
7 Roberto Carlos Roberto Carlos Roberto Carlos da Silva Rocha, more commonly known simply as Roberto Carlos, is a Brazilian retired footballer.

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.

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.

The best free kicker in defense history ever and maybe even in all time. Just powerful kicks - nbaallstar

He is amazing

V 15 Comments
8 Philipp Lahm

Best defender of the best team of the best league of the best country so scare blue ha I know th

Not the best team nor the best league in terms of quality it's probably third in those respects and he is probably on the national team however that's not an argument some crap player no ones ever heard of could be German and that doesn't make hike amazing

He has ability to do anything with the ball, he such a complete player overall

Best slide tackler ever one of the best crossers ever

V 9 Comments
9 Thiago Silva Thiago Silva Thiago Emiliano da Silva, commonly known as Thiago Silva, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a central defender for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazilian national team.

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

Start Watching Ligue 1. Barca Trying Hard To Get This Man into Their Side. - ankittayal1

He's the fastest defender I have known, how he's not the top 10! I can't believe it!

He's excellent - casuit20

V 42 Comments
10 Gerard Pique Gerard Pique Gerard Piqué Bernabéu is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for FC Barcelona and the Spain national team.

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

World best defender

V 16 Comments

The Contenders

11 Bobby Moore Bobby 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

Would only consider Beckenbauer as a contender to this man's superiority in defense. The only problem with rating the best defender ever is that full backs and wings back are included, who also contribute to the attacking phase and less to the defensive phase than a central back. As such, centre backs should rule this list, full backs are more rounded than centre backs but centre backs are better defenders,in general.

Well, when the great Pele says Moore is the best defender in the world, he's probably a top 4 defender ever.

How is terry better than a World Cup winning captain

V 4 Comments
12 Nesta

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

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.

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

The minister of defense

V 22 Comments
13 Franco Baresi Franco Baresi

Sure... He is surely in the top 10 defenders in the world, Forza Italia

14 Rio Ferdinand Rio 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.

Easily the greatest defender ever to play in the Premier League. His ability to read the game and his physical prowess make him one of the greats.

One of the best in man you

He was the best in the past for.he is just superb in defense

V 6 Comments
15 Marquez

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

Rafael Marquez is a good defender, he has to be in the TOP 10 of the World

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.

3rd best defender for Barca of all time and better than puyol and pique.

V 10 Comments
16 Pepe

Pepe I vote for, he is the best defender in the world for me.

Pepe is the good defender in the world

Pepe is pure fouls

Should be in top 10 - casuit20

V 9 Comments
17 Cannavaro

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

Berlin Wall

V 8 Comments
18 David 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.

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.

Great defender and great attacker in corner kicks! Has scored even more goals than torres.

One of greatest defender all time - casuit20

V 13 Comments
19 Vincent 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!

Kompany is best defense

V 10 Comments
20 Giorgio Chiellini

The wall for juventus and become the captain for juventus... good luck for the eye of tiger for Italy

People who vote on this site don't know football so well
Please be objective guys...

Cheillini has proven that he is an amazing defender. When he defends on a player, the player can never pass him. His wide shoulders are very handy when blocking an opponent shot. He has great leading skills and is a very accurate passer. He can also use his head effectivly in deffence and attack.

V 2 Comments
21 Ashley Cole Ashley Cole Ashley Cole is an English professional footballer who plays as a left-back for Los Angeles Galaxy in Major League Soccer.

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

Azpilicueta, Philip Lahm, Marcelo, Jordi Alba, Ricardo Rodrigues; I could go on all of these guys are a million miles better than ashley

V 2 Comments
22 Jerome Boateng Jerome Boateng

Woah what the hell? Boateng is one of the best Centre Halfs in the world right now. should be top 20 at least

23 Cafu
24 Alessandro 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.

V 1 Comment
25 Dani 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

26 John Terry John Terry

The Chelsea captain, John Terry, should be in the top 10 for he is old and still playing pretty well for Chelsea. Even though he done some bad stuff.

27 Maicon

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?

Best Right Back ever

V 1 Comment
28 Mats Hummels Mats Hummels Mats Julian Hummels is a German professional footballer who plays as a central defender for FC Bayern Munich and the German national team.

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

V 1 Comment
29 Gareth Bale Gareth Bale Gareth Frank Bale is a Welsh professional footballer who plays as a winger for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Wales national team.

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...

He's not a defender he's a right wing or plays as a striker - Vinniebrodieisboss

V 5 Comments
30 Marcelo

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

He is the best attacking player.amazing defender.should be in top 10 - casuit20

31 Djalma Santos
32 Diego Godin
33 Carles Puyol Carles Puyol
34 Vlad Chiriches
35 Thuram

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.

7th is too low for a great defender like Thuram. He doesn't let anything through. Top 5 definitely.

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.

V 1 Comment
36 Jamie Carragher Jamie Carragher James Lee Duncan "Jamie" Carragher is a retired English footballer who played as a defender for Premier League club Liverpool for 17 years.

27th?! This list is an absolute joke!

V 2 Comments
37 Carlos Alberto Torres
38 Lucio

Yes, he's the best and he's playing in the best team - richie4life

39 Lothar Matthäus Lothar 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.

40 Kolo Toure
41 Patrice Evra

Patrice Evra (born 15 May 1981 in Dakar, Senegal) is a French-Senegalese international footballer, who plays for English Premiership side Manchester United. He plays in the left back position although he can also play on the left wing.

V 1 Comment
42 Ricardo Carvalho

The best

43 Nilton Santos

Godfather of attacking fullback. - thebest

44 Fabio Cannavaro

He is the only defender to win the Ballon d'Or and palyed for Parma, Juventus, and Real Madrid.

V 1 Comment
45 Gaetano 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.

Make the Italian catenaccio look's perfect, and he is a holy guy...

V 1 Comment
46 David Alaba David Alaba David Olatukunbo Alaba is an Austrian professional footballer who plays for German club Bayern Munich and the Austria national team. V 1 Comment
47 Javier 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.

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.

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.

48 Ronald Koeman

Koeman is awesome. He is not the best defender though, because he would play very offensively even though he was a defender.

The best defender ever. Play maker, strongest hits, goals, saves, long distance passes. Even Roberto Carlos was his fan.

One of the best defenders that Holland ever had.
Played very well for Barca, good Free kicks and very strong.

49 Fernando Hierro Fernando Hierro

He spent 14 years at Real Madrid, and has a better scoring record than Torres.

50 Jaap 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

V 2 Comments
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List Stats

10,000 votes
135 listings
11 years, 72 days old

Top Remixes (36)

1. Sergio Ramos
2. Gerard Pique
3. Terry
fitzellforce
1. Paolo Maldini
2. Franz Beckenbauer
3. Franco Baresi
jp27fcp
1. Paolo Maldini
2. Franz Beckenbauer
3. Lothar Matthäus
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