The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

57k votes 5.2k voters 137k views 248 items tags f p @

List Criteria: 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.
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 46 ReRanks
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 2,280
    - 409

    most listed
    Defender

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,218
    - 404


    Defender

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,368
    - 463

    the people's #1
    Defender, Sweeper

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,128
    - 429


    Defender

    ;
  5. 5
    + 869
    - 312


    Defender

    ;
  6. 6
    + 312
    - 126


    Defender

    ;
  7. 7
    + 199
    - 46

    added by Andrea Pillerè
    Defender

    ;
  8. 8
    + 951
    - 547


    Defender, Midfielder

    ;
  9. 9
    + 220
    - 63


    Defender, Midfielder

    ;
  10. 10
    + 479
    - 258


    Defender

    ;
  11. 11
    + 376
    - 159


    Defender, Midfielder

    ;
  12. 12
    + 309
    - 111


    Defender

    ;
  13. 13
    + 566
    - 400


    Defender

    ;
  14. 14
    + 259
    - 110


    Defender

    ;
  15. 15
    + 939
    - 616


    Defender

    ;
  16. 16
    + 223
    - 104


    Defender

    ;
  17. 17
    + 1,038
    - 652


    Defender

    ;
  18. 18
    + 719
    - 482


    Defender, Midfielder

    ;
  19. 19
    + 123
    - 28

    added by lendomacondenorz

    ;
  20. 20
    + 203
    - 72


    Defender

    ;
  21. 21
    + 172
    - 58

    added by MariusCeasuri
    Defender

    ;
  22. 22
    + 249
    - 86

    added by veterancw
    Defender

    ;
  23. 23
    + 194
    - 171

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defender

    ;
  24. 24
    + 227
    - 126


    Defender

    ;
  25. 25
    + 316
    - 250

    often listed
    Defender

    ;
  26. 26
    + 760
    - 490


    Defender

    ;
  27. 27
    + 153
    - 24

    added by Zicopoust
    Defender

    ;
  28. 28
    + 160
    - 64


    Defender, Midfielder

    ;
  29. 29
    + 181
    - 57


    Defender

    ;
  30. 30
    + 128
    - 84
    No image

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defender

    ;
  31. 31
    + 128
    - 21
    No image

    added by Andrea Pillerè
    Defender

    ;
  32. 32
    + 118
    - 19
    No image

    added by Zicopoust
    Defender

    ;
  33. 33
    + 138
    - 70


    Defender, Midfielder

    ;
  34. 34
    + 670
    - 589


    Defender, Midfielder

    ;
  35. 35
    + 144
    - 19

    ranked low on reranks & added by Zicopoust
    Defender

    ;
  36. 36
    + 285
    - 177


    Defender

    ;
  37. 37
    + 97
    - 52


    Defender

    ;
  38. 38
    + 388
    - 326


    Defender

    ;
  39. 39
    + 429
    - 512

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defender, Sweeper, Midfielder

    ;
  40. 40
    + 200
    - 108


    Defender

    ;
  41. 41
    + 248
    - 168


    Defender

    ;
  42. 42
    + 133
    - 133

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defender

    ;
  43. 43
    + 508
    - 435


    Defender, Midfielder

    ;
  44. 44
    + 123
    - 79


    Defender

    ;
  45. 45
    + 376
    - 537

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defender, Midfielder

    ;
  46. 46
    + 68
    - 29


    Defender

    ;
  47. 47
    + 55
    - 10
    Ján Popluhár is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

    added by Swiss
    Ján Popluhár

  48. 48
    + 106
    - 69
    No image


    Defender

    ;
  49. 49
    + 107
    - 81


    Defender

    ;
  50. 50
    + 93
    - 55


    Defender

    ;
249 +

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