best athletes The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
91.4k votes 9.9k voters 192.4k views 323 items

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
4,318 792
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Paolo Maldini Defender

2
2,112 929
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Franco Baresi Defender

3
2,560 802
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Franz Beckenbauer Defender, Sweeper

4
1,545 655
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Cafu Defender

5
2,083 742
Alessandro Nesta is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Alessandro Nesta Defender

6
549 609
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Djalma Santos Defender

7
380 488
Mauro Ramos is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Andrea Pillerè added Mauro Ramos Defender

8
1,800 845
Roberto Carlos is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Roberto Carlos Defender, Midfielder

9
950 636
Bobby Moore is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Bobby Moore Defender

10
754 508
Giacinto Facchetti is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

11
654 423
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder

12
2,023 919
Carles Puyol is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Carles Puyol Defender

13
513 410
Ruud Krol is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Ruud Krol Defender

14
312 359
Elías Figueroa is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Elías Figueroa Defender

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15
402 357
Carlos Alberto Torres is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

16
1,622 820
Fabio Cannavaro is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Fabio Cannavaro Defender

17
1,570 1,028
Sergio Ramos is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Sergio Ramos Defender, Midfielder

18
514 219
Cesare Maldini is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
veterancw added Cesare Maldini Defender

19
294 337
Leovegildo Lins da Gama Júnior is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Leovegildo Lins da Gama Júnior Defender, Midfielder

20
249 204
Roberto Rosato is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Zicopoust added Roberto Rosato Defender

21
471 361
Daniel Passarella is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

The Best Current Soccer Players

22
317 277
Marius Trésor is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Marius Trésor Defender

23
250 223
Tarcisio Burgnich is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

24
171 157
Manuel Sanchís Hontiyuelo is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Andrea Pillerè added Manuel Sanchís Hontiyuelo Defender

25
229 197
Miodrag Belodedici is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
MariusCeasuri added Miodrag Belodedici Defender

26
625 383
Lilian Thuram is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Lilian Thuram Defender

27
292 233
Nílton Santos is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Nílton Santos Defender

28
1,370 644
Philipp Lahm is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Philipp Lahm Defender

The Best Soccer Players of the '90s

29
146 130
Hilderaldo Bellini is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
lendomacondenorz added Hilderaldo Bellini

30
1,157 708
Thiago Silva is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Thiago Silva Defender, Midfielder

31
144 150
Karl-Heinz Schnellinger is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

32
525 340
Daniel Alves is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Daniel Alves Defender

33
246 173
Manfred Kaltz is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Manfred Kaltz Defender

34
405 254
Alessandro Costacurta is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

35
157 179
Domingos da Guia is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Domingos da Guia Defender

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36
197 89
Fulvio Collovati is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Zicopoust added Fulvio Collovati Defender

37
184 157
Hans-Peter Briegel is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Hans-Peter Briegel Defender, Midfielder

38
780 516
Javier Zanetti is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Javier Zanetti Defender, Midfielder

39
200 145
Morten Olsen is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Morten Olsen Defender, Midfielder

40
141 60
Mauro Tassotti is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
berteds added Mauro Tassotti Defender

41
339 230
Giuseppe Bergomi is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Giuseppe Bergomi Defender

42
273 233
Claudio Gentile is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Claudio Gentile Defender

Baseball Players With The All-Time Weirdest Superstitions

43
601 579
Gerard Piqué is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Gerard Piqué Defender

44
605 610
Lothar Matthäus is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Lothar Matthäus Defender, Sweeper, Midfielder

45
241 205
Lúcio is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
shisu added Lucio Defender

46
120 142
Velibor Vasović is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Velibor Vasović Defender

47
246 178
Aldair is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Aldair Defender

48
131 160
Berti Vogts is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Berti Vogts Defender

49
99 139
Karlheinz Förster is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

50
133 148
José Santamaría is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
shisu added José Santamaria Defender