athletes The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

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List Rules Only defense players, no mid-fielders. Please rank the players based on their on-field accomplishments

The best soccer players of all time aren't always the ones right in the action, sometimes all it takes is a step back and a bit of appreciation to realize that the grunts who are defending the goal are the best. These best football defenders (as they're called everywhere besides the US) are in the ranks of the best athletes in the world, and have earned their spots by being the best footballers in the world.

What are the qualities of the best defenders in soccer? These men are equal parts the best defense men in soccer, the top players in soccer, and the best conditioned athletes in the sport of soccer. To truly be the greatest, defenders must be quick runners and possess the ability to kick the ball FAR, all the way to the other side of the field. Defensive soccer players must also have a mastery of fancy footwork - lest they let an offensive player weave past them. All these factors and more combine to determine who should be called the best defenders in soccer.

Who are the best soccer defenders of all time? Who are the top defenders in soccer? Who are the best football defenders of all time? SO MANY QUESTIONS, all which need to be answered in this compilation of the top soccer defenders ever. If your favorite soccer player in the position of defender isn't on the list, make sure to add them so others can vote for them as the best football defender ever. If you don't add them, they won't get any play.

1
+ - 2,466 442
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Paolo Maldini Defender

The Best Soccer Players of All Time The Best Mexican Beers

2
+ - 1,307 444
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Franco Baresi Defender

3
+ - 1,471 498
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Franz Beckenbauer Defender, Sweeper

4
+ - 1,239 449
Alessandro Nesta is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Alessandro Nesta Defender

5
+ - 929 337
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Cafu Defender

6
+ - 331 156
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Djalma Santos Defender

7
+ - 1,019 567
Roberto Carlos is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Roberto Carlos Defender, Midfielder

8
+ - 212 76
Mauro Ramos is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Mauro Ramos Defender

9
+ - 515 282
Giacinto Facchetti is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

10
+ - 595 419
Bobby Moore is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Bobby Moore Defender

11
+ - 396 183
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder

12
+ - 228 95
Leovegildo Lins da Gama Júnior is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Leovegildo Lins da Gama Júnior Defender, Midfielder

13
+ - 324 131
Ruud Krol is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Ruud Krol Defender

14
+ - 1,004 636
Fabio Cannavaro is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Fabio Cannavaro Defender

15
+ - 272 129
Carlos Alberto Torres is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

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16
+ - 1,139 674
Carles Puyol is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Carles Puyol Defender

17
+ - 229 124
Nílton Santos is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Nílton Santos Defender

18
+ - 754 510
Thiago Silva is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Thiago Silva Defender, Midfielder

19
+ - 278 96
Cesare Maldini is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Cesare Maldini Defender

20
+ - 333 264
Daniel Passarella is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

21
+ - 820 507
Philipp Lahm is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Philipp Lahm Defender

22
+ - 238 140
Marius Trésor is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Marius Trésor Defender

23
+ - 209 86
Manfred Kaltz is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Manfred Kaltz Defender

24
+ - 201 182
Elías Figueroa is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Elías Figueroa Defender

25
+ - 164 36
Roberto Rosato is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Roberto Rosato Defender

26
+ - 125 45
Hilderaldo Bellini is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

27
+ - 175 72
Miodrag Belodedici is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

28
+ - 188 69
Tarcisio Burgnich is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

29
+ - 165 78
Morten Olsen is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Morten Olsen Defender, Midfielder

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30
+ - 132 98
Domingos da Guia is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Domingos da Guia Defender

31
+ - 740 616
Sergio Ramos is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Sergio Ramos Defender, Midfielder

32
+ - 146 84
Hans-Peter Briegel is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Hans-Peter Briegel Defender, Midfielder

33
+ - 130 32
Manuel Sanchís Hontiyuelo is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

34
+ - 301 184
Alessandro Costacurta is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

35
+ - 120 31
Anton Ondruš is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Anton Ondruš Defender

36
+ - 153 29
Fulvio Collovati is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Fulvio Collovati Defender

37
+ - 445 523
Lothar Matthäus is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Lothar Matthäus Defender, Sweeper, Midfielder

38
+ - 411 334
Lilian Thuram is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Lilian Thuram Defender

39
+ - 98 62
Velibor Vasović is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Velibor Vasović Defender

40
+ - 205 119
Aldair is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Aldair Defender

41
+ - 528 443
Javier Zanetti is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Javier Zanetti Defender, Midfielder

42
+ - 258 177
Giuseppe Bergomi is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Giuseppe Bergomi Defender

43
+ - 144 145
Lúcio is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Lúcio Defender

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44
+ - 125 89
José Santamaría is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

45
+ - 394 545
Ronald Koeman is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Ronald Koeman Defender, Midfielder

46
+ - 70 40
Albert Shesternyov is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

47
+ - 109 76
Willi Schulz is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Willi Schulz Defender

48
+ - 56 21
Ján Popluhár is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Ján Popluhár

49
+ - 419 450
Jaap Stam is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Jaap Stam Defender

50
+ - 110 87
Alan Hansen is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Alan Hansen Defender