Best Athletes The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
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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.
list ordered by

1
4,852 890
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

2
2,324 1,071
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

3
2,827 921
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Sweeper

4
2,332 813
Alessandro Nesta is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

5
1,722 740
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

6
588 739
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

7
401 618
Mauro Ramos is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Andrea Pillerè added Defender

8
2,010 912
Roberto Carlos is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

9
1,043 711
Bobby Moore is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

10
2,278 984
Carles Puyol is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

11
1,821 868
Fabio Cannavaro is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

12
816 579
Giacinto Facchetti is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

13
712 489
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

14
1,825 1,187
Sergio Ramos is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

15
339 424
Elías Figueroa is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

16
539 466
Ruud Krol is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

17
570 254
Cesare Maldini is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
veterancw added Defender

18
424 413
Carlos Alberto Torres is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

19
701 409
Lilian Thuram is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

20
273 240
Roberto Rosato is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Zicopoust added Defender

21
499 392
Daniel Passarella is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

22
301 377
Leovegildo Lins da Gama Júnior is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

23
1,512 663
Philipp Lahm is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

24
335 314
Marius Trésor is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

25
243 232
Miodrag Belodedici is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
MariusCeasuri added Defender

26
260 260
Tarcisio Burgnich is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

27
304 265
Nílton Santos is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

28
175 192
Manuel Sanchís Hontiyuelo is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Andrea Pillerè added Defender

29
1,251 758
Thiago Silva is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

30
151 160
Hilderaldo Bellini is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
lendomacondenorz added

31
605 396
Daniel Alves is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

32
154 177
Karl-Heinz Schnellinger is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

33
444 277
Alessandro Costacurta is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

34
877 537
Javier Zanetti is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

35
252 197
Manfred Kaltz is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

36
161 206
Domingos da Guia is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

37
192 177
Hans-Peter Briegel is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

38
207 110
Fulvio Collovati is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Zicopoust added Defender

39
298 252
Claudio Gentile is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

40
362 250
Giuseppe Bergomi is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

41
662 623
Lothar Matthäus is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Sweeper, Midfielder

42
206 164
Morten Olsen is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

43
161 80
Mauro Tassotti is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
berteds added Defender

44
272 224
Lúcio is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
shisu added Defender

45
675 649
Gerard Piqué is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

46
129 162
Velibor Vasović is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

47
140 175
Berti Vogts is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

48
104 155
Karlheinz Förster is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

49
618 515
Jaap Stam is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

50
133 114
Antonio Cabrini is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender