Best Soccer Defenders

The Top Ten

1 Nemanja Vidic

There are certain places where players don't dare to go with their feet. Vidic goes there with his head. Brick wall at the back, dominant in the air. He is always determined on the pitch, agressive and a true leader. Captain of Manchester United, even though he's not English. He can also score goals with his head.

Just look on his body and you can feel this man is going to tear you apart if you get near him. High work rate, tough like a brick. The best center back of modern football, perhaps only name such as Baresi can be put at higher place than him.

Dominant in air and titan on grounds, unarguably one of the best defenders there ever were, Vidic is steadfast and strong, and he helps make one of the best defenses, he will play with a knee, a broken knee, and no knee.

Vidic is an animal! Most intense yet dialed-in defender I have ever seen. Dominant in the air, and a commando on the ground, this guy would make any team a great success. I have never seen such fearlessness on the pitch.

2 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’.

Vidic, puyol, JT are great defenders but they just can't be compared to Maldini. He is in a totally different level. 25 years of unbelievable consistent performance, 5 UEFA cups, 9 seria A titles, 5 intercontinentals, 134 caps for his country, highest appearances in seria A, champions league and the list goes on. AC Milan retired his no.3 shirt in his honor. Only once red carded in his entire career, not like every modern defenders like Ramos who gets red carded once a week. He could play anywhere in the back, was able to neutralize any threat, was great in the air. The sight of his tackles was of complete elegance and beauty. Always played the game in passion and played fair. During the 1990s every striker who faced Milan feared to play against Maldini. He stopped Maradona, Ronaldo, Zidane, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Figo, and many other greats. Zidane admitted that he feared being on the same flank as Maldini. Ronaldo admitted that he could never get past Maldini. He was that good. He was ...more

Paolo maldini is the greatest defender all time! How the hell are puyol terry and vidic over him they get torn up by cr7 Messi van persie ibra were as maldini locked down players like Ronaldo zidane and figo.. Ronaldo admitted he hated seeing him because he couldn't get past him and zidane said he wanted to play the other side when he saw maldini

He's the greatest defender of football history, he deserved at least one ballon d'or, he also won 5 champions league, 7 times Italy Serie A and many other championships. We are talking about the greatest defenders of football history, not the best defender in the world, I mean, Puyol? He spends more time with doctors than playing this season.

I believe he is the best because he puts 110% of effort in every single game. He plays not for his sake but he does it for his club and his national team. He had a great heart in the field where you rarely find him picking fights with opponents. He is truly the King of Kings when it comes to defending.

3 Puyol

This man is the reason Spain won the world cup. Single-handedly manned the defense with an amateur pique at that time. He made Germany cry on their way home, despite germany's brilliant world cup run. He was reason that Barca stands. No midfielder or striker can pass him. C Ronaldo fears this man like the devil with a pitchfork. This man is brilliant in terms of tactics strength, heading skills, tackles. He is what every defender wants to be, the complete package... He is at NO.3... Clearly these people don't watch football enough... He is the best defender since the last decade. He is already a legend and football will lose one of its greatest assets.

The best defender of all time I'd have to say is Puyol. Although he doesn't possess the technical skills that other defenders possess, there is no doubt in my mind that if I were to choose a defender for my XI the first one would be Puyol. He has the leader traits and the aggressiveness. He's a scrappy player but he gets the job done. No one can argue that! He's the biggest influence on me and I strive to become such an amazing and accomplished defender.

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.

Puyol should be number 1 because despite his average height puyol can jump high up in the air making him an arial threat. He also posses strength and plays with honor and determination. He is nicknamed the heart of barcelona.

4 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.

I think he should be number one because he never makes mistakes he is always there he never leaves that defense he is always there. He should be 1 not 2 1 there's never been a game that has been terry's fault no own goals he has never conceded a goal not even a penalty he shows determination he never gives up for the ball he keeps on fighting for the ball and he never ever in my life I have never seen him lose the ball he should be called the best footballer in history.

What a great man! Terry will go down in history as a great, irreplaceable and an inspiration to all who watch or hear about him play! Terry is the captain, the leader, the legend, aside from being the best in the world, he is also an aerial threat, tactician, has strength, as well as has an exceptional tackling ability

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

5 Franz Beckenbauer Franz Anton Beckenbauer is a German former professional footballer and manager. Early in his playing career he was nicknamed Der Kaiser because of his elegant style, dominance and leadership on the field, and also as his first name "Franz" is reminiscent of the Austrian emperors.

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

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")

This list has no credibility. Saying that Beckehbaur isn't the greatest defensive player ever is like saying Justin Bieber is the greatest artist of all time. It says so online only because internet people are idiots

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.

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

Of course Sergio Ramos should be #1. Dude has won every trophy in football both at the club and for the nation. He captains Spain and Real Madrid, the best club team in football's history. Has taken FIFA Defender of the year so many times. Recently was when he was awarded best defender back to back from 2016,17 and 18 season. What I love about Ramos is how he is so relaxed with the ball. Not only is he a terrific defender, but he is magnificent with handling possession from Madrid's back four.

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.

A versatile player who has skill, creativity, pressure and speed. One can play him almost on all position From the left wing, central and right even in the middle of the park. I urge other defenders to emulate him and my message to my best coach ever in all sports, Jose Mourinho, treasure this asset.

He is with no doubt the best.
He has body strength and skill and height and headers he would kill him self to cut the ball if a striker pass him he will be dead.
And he is very fast and he has everything that great defenders like Puyol, Vidic, Tiago Silva, Pique...
And most important he LOVE REAL MADRID like no other player

7 Bobby Moore Robert Frederick Chelsea "Bobby" Moore was an English professional footballer. He captained West Ham United for more than ten years and was captain of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup.

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.

Lead England to their world cup win in 1966, also did tackle of the century on Jairzinho in the 1970 world cup. Deserves to be in the top 10

I find it offensive he is not top, he was quite simply the perfect defender.

8 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

Run very fast, shoot very strong, a comprehensive defender which could handle all the positions.

9 Philipp Lahm

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

Amazing defender, leader, captain, and person overall. And not a red card under his belt!

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

10 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

The world cup winner.
Heart of Barcelona's defense all these year's

Gerard Pique is a great defender and done very well in euro 2012

David luis is the best he is just naturally good

The Contenders

11 Rio Ferdinand Rio Gavin Ferdinand is an English former professional footballer who played as a center back, and current television pundit for BT Sport.

The fact of the matter is Rio Ferdinand was exceptional in every aspect of the game. He was not only skilled - he was brilliant. He knew where to be and he always seemed multiple plays ahead of the other players on the field. Most importantly, he understood quality sportsmanship more than anyone else on this list. If anyone deserves best defender it is Ferdinand, my ultimate soccer inspiration. God bless!

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.

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.

12 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.

T. Silva is in the top 5 of best defenders of all times.

He almost always stands up because he doesn't need to tackle to steal the ball. Incredible anticipation. He knows where the ball will go before the ball even moves.
Whenever he tackles, there is a 99% chance for him to steal the ball. Never saw him make a tackle for no reason.
He is recognized by many players, commentators, etc as the best defender of the world. Barcelona kept trying to get him for weeks, partly because of how he HUMILIATED MESSI.
He is never directly involved when the opponents score a goal. On the contrary, he is always here to try scoring when he can.

Ig were talking currently thiago silva is the best defender in the game his marking ability is unmatched and countless times has neutralized great players like Messi van persie etc nooo way is ramos puyol bidic better than him he going bring home the world cup!

If were talking all time defender its maldini he shut down Ronaldo figo zidane he's the greatest defender

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

Thiago Silva is a great defender, he has many skills and is well rounded. I am not surprised he is rated the best.

13 Franco Baresi

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

14 Nesta

He is so powerful, fast and got everything a top center back requires. I've never seen a defender playing like this. His power, slide tackling and clever anticipation is put to good use even if he is old and he has reduced the pace and speed. Because of him Lazio won the scudetto.

He has an excellent Football Brain... And is a textbook of tackling techniques... An Idol for all emergin centre backs all around he world.. In short... If Defending is Religion... Alessandro Nesta is God!

Nesta is just class, he can tackle, anticipate, or save a ball in the line. He has done an amazing job over the years, few can even compare to him.

NESTA not in top 5!? What is wrong with you people? One of the most dependable defenders over the years and certainly the best slide tackler.

15 Marquez

Rafa Marquez should be in the top 3 in my opinion. He's basically won every important trophy out there. The only one he doesn't have under his belt is the World Cup, but other than that he should be in the top 3. Such respect for that man. He's made Mexicos national team what it is today and he's still going now. Age 35 and now playing in the Serie A with Hellas Verona, still going strong, can't really say that about defenders at that age. Surely, he should be in top 5 at least.

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

Marquez is the best defender in the world and has been the best for as long as I can remember.

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.

16 Cannavaro

Definitely the best! Who the hell voted on this list the top 6 should be Cannavaro Nesta Maldini Barese Roberts Carlos and Beckenbauer

Franz Beckembauer was a great midfielder, Fabio Cannavaro is the best real hard-core pure central defender of all times !

The creator of the famous defensive wall in both Italy as well as in Juventus!

Don't judge players by their titles. Cannavaro is the best so far.

17 Jaap Stam

Jaap Stam has had a wonderful footballing career playing as the heart of many world class team defence such as manchester united , ac milan and now ajax .stam should be at least in the top 10

He is the best even better than vidic

he has played for arsenal as well

18 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.

19 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

20 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!

I think he should be top five the best defenders ever are just the best one from today

Great player is like wall, better then terry and puyol deserve the top

21 Gary Neville Gary Alexander Neville is an English football coach and former player who currently serves as assistant manager for the England national football team, and as co-owner of Salford City.
22 Cafu

He's good at croosin, sliding

23 Dani Alves

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?

This is a joke he should be number 1

Is he the capyian of brazil? I like 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

24 Carles Puyol

He's a beast at the back and a true leader who wears his heart on his sleeve

Great of barca

25 Denis Irwin
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