The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

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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
  • 44 ReRanks
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    • Men
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 2,206
    - 397

    most listed
    Defender

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,176
    - 385


    Defender

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,321
    - 447

    the people's #1
    Defender, Sweeper

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,080
    - 420


    Defender

    ;
  5. 5
    + 846
    - 296


    Defender

    ;
  6. 6
    + 301
    - 104


    Defender

    ;
  7. 7
    + 193
    - 24

    added by Andrea Pillerè
    Defender

    ;
  8. 8
    + 216
    - 41


    Defender, Midfielder

    ;
  9. 9
    + 912
    - 535


    Defender, Midfielder

    ;
  10. 10
    + 464
    - 246


    Defender

    ;
  11. 11
    + 298
    - 94


    Defender

    ;
  12. 12
    + 363
    - 145


    Defender, Midfielder

    ;
  13. 13
    + 541
    - 388

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defender

    ;
  14. 14
    + 251
    - 95


    Defender

    ;
  15. 15
    + 220
    - 88


    Defender

    ;
  16. 16
    + 119
    - 11

    added by lendomacondenorz

    ;
  17. 17
    + 904
    - 601


    Defender

    ;
  18. 18
    + 151
    - 12

    ranked low on reranks & added by Zicopoust
    Defender

    ;
  19. 19
    + 1,003
    - 637


    Defender

    ;
  20. 20
    + 697
    - 465


    Defender, Midfielder

    ;
  21. 21
    + 126
    - 10
    No image

    ranked low on reranks & added by Andrea Pillerè
    Defender

    ;
  22. 22
    + 168
    - 46

    added by MariusCeasuri
    Defender

    ;
  23. 23
    + 224
    - 113


    Defender

    ;
  24. 24
    + 312
    - 237

    often listed
    Defender

    ;
  25. 25
    + 117
    - 10
    No image

    added by Zicopoust
    Defender

    ;
  26. 26
    + 198
    - 60


    Defender

    ;
  27. 27
    + 238
    - 77

    ranked low on reranks & added by veterancw
    Defender

    ;
  28. 28
    + 191
    - 160

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defender

    ;
  29. 29
    + 159
    - 54


    Defender, Midfielder

    ;
  30. 30
    + 179
    - 46


    Defender

    ;
  31. 31
    + 141
    - 9

    ranked low on reranks & added by Zicopoust
    Defender

    ;
  32. 32
    + 733
    - 483


    Defender

    ;
  33. 33
    + 136
    - 60


    Defender, Midfielder

    ;
  34. 34
    + 126
    - 74
    No image


    Defender

    ;
  35. 35
    + 636
    - 581


    Defender, Midfielder

    ;
  36. 36
    + 93
    - 42

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defender

    ;
  37. 37
    + 277
    - 170


    Defender

    ;
  38. 38
    + 65
    - 1

    ranked low on reranks & added by berteds
    Defender

    ;
  39. 39
    + 419
    - 503

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

    ;
  40. 40
    + 52
    - 3
    Ján Popluhár is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

    ranked low on reranks & added by Swiss
    Ján Popluhár

  41. 41
    + 373
    - 323


    Defender

    ;
  42. 42
    + 195
    - 101


    Defender

    ;
  43. 43
    + 246
    - 159


    Defender

    ;
  44. 44
    + 128
    - 122


    Defender

    ;
  45. 45
    + 492
    - 432


    Defender, Midfielder

    ;
  46. 46
    + 119
    - 73


    Defender

    ;
  47. 47
    + 66
    - 22


    Defender

    ;
  48. 48
    + 362
    - 530

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defender, Midfielder

    ;
  49. 49
    + 104
    - 60
    No image


    Defender

    ;
  50. 50
    + 104
    - 73


    Defender

    ;
249 +

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