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
4,998 913
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

2
2,378 1,114
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

3
2,902 941
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Sweeper

4
614 780
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

5
2,381 850
Alessandro Nesta is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

6
1,770 761
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

7
423 653
Mauro Ramos is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Andrea Pillerè added Defender

8
845 601
Giacinto Facchetti is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

9
745 511
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

10
1,083 726
Bobby Moore is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

11
293 260
Roberto Rosato is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Zicopoust added Defender

12
566 485
Ruud Krol is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

13
2,061 947
Roberto Carlos is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

14
359 444
Elías Figueroa is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

15
437 433
Carlos Alberto Torres is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

16
514 408
Daniel Passarella is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

17
314 391
Leovegildo Lins da Gama Júnior is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

18
2,349 1,011
Carles Puyol is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

19
275 274
Tarcisio Burgnich is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

20
1,867 898
Fabio Cannavaro is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

21
188 207
Manuel Sanchís Hontiyuelo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Andrea Pillerè added Defender

22
591 269
Cesare Maldini is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
veterancw added Defender

23
342 329
Marius Trésor is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

24
250 244
Miodrag Belodedici is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
MariusCeasuri added Defender

25
1,554 678
Philipp Lahm is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

26
719 422
Lilian Thuram is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

27
1,885 1,234
Sergio Ramos is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

28
310 275
Nílton Santos is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

29
161 185
Karl-Heinz Schnellinger is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

30
259 204
Manfred Kaltz is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

31
157 168
Hilderaldo Bellini is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
lendomacondenorz added

32
197 184
Hans-Peter Briegel is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

33
1,272 780
Thiago Silva is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

34
167 213
Domingos da Guia is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

35
216 116
Fulvio Collovati is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Zicopoust added Defender

36
623 413
Daniel Alves is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

37
455 283
Alessandro Costacurta is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

38
168 85
Mauro Tassotti is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
berteds added Defender

39
282 229
Lúcio is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
shisu added Defender

40
306 259
Claudio Gentile is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

41
212 169
Morten Olsen is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

42
369 256
Giuseppe Bergomi is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

43
894 553
Javier Zanetti is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

44
137 169
Velibor Vasović is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

45
701 662
Gerard Piqué is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

46
255 205
Aldair is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

47
676 636
Lothar Matthäus is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Sweeper, Midfielder

48
146 179
Berti Vogts is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

49
107 160
Karlheinz Förster is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

50
631 517
Jaap Stam is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender