best athletes The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
81.6k votes 8.6k voters 177.8k views 308 items Embed

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
3,743 653
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Paolo Maldini Defender

2
1,885 733
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Franco Baresi Defender

3
2,207 700
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Franz Beckenbauer Defender, Sweeper

4
319 340
Mauro Ramos is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Andrea Pillerè added Mauro Ramos Defender

5
1,326 549
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Cafu Defender

6
481 453
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Djalma Santos Defender

7
1,840 647
Alessandro Nesta is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Alessandro Nesta Defender

8
276 256
Leovegildo Lins da Gama Júnior is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Leovegildo Lins da Gama Júnior Defender, Midfielder

9
363 282
Carlos Alberto Torres is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

10
705 437
Giacinto Facchetti is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

11
449 307
Ruud Krol is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Ruud Krol Defender

12
574 348
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder

13
227 135
Roberto Rosato is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Zicopoust added Roberto Rosato Defender

14
1,523 774
Roberto Carlos is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Roberto Carlos Defender, Midfielder

The Best Soccer Players of All Time

15
273 279
Elías Figueroa is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Elías Figueroa Defender

16
829 558
Bobby Moore is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Bobby Moore Defender

17
241 177
Tarcisio Burgnich is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

18
298 209
Marius Trésor is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Marius Trésor Defender

19
441 180
Cesare Maldini is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
veterancw added Cesare Maldini Defender

20
161 108
Manuel Sanchís Hontiyuelo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Andrea Pillerè added Manuel Sanchís Hontiyuelo Defender

21
1,749 854
Carles Puyol is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Carles Puyol Defender

The Best Official Republican Candidates for 2016

22
437 327
Daniel Passarella is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

23
212 152
Miodrag Belodedici is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
MariusCeasuri added Miodrag Belodedici Defender

24
1,278 892
Sergio Ramos is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Sergio Ramos Defender, Midfielder

25
1,441 784
Fabio Cannavaro is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Fabio Cannavaro Defender

26
274 205
Nílton Santos is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Nílton Santos Defender

27
1,217 616
Philipp Lahm is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Philipp Lahm Defender

28
570 362
Lilian Thuram is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Lilian Thuram Defender

The Sexiest Female Soccer Players

29
140 99
Hilderaldo Bellini is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
lendomacondenorz added Hilderaldo Bellini

30
1,029 661
Thiago Silva is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Thiago Silva Defender, Midfielder

31
131 120
Karl-Heinz Schnellinger is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

32
236 145
Manfred Kaltz is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Manfred Kaltz Defender

33
150 147
Domingos da Guia is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Domingos da Guia Defender

34
387 229
Alessandro Costacurta is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

35
175 134
Hans-Peter Briegel is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Hans-Peter Briegel Defender, Midfielder

The Weirdest Sports from Around the World

36
427 309
Daniel Alves is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Daniel Alves Defender

37
188 70
Fulvio Collovati is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Zicopoust added Fulvio Collovati Defender

38
126 41
Mauro Tassotti is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
berteds added Mauro Tassotti Defender

39
705 499
Javier Zanetti is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Javier Zanetti Defender, Midfielder

40
321 211
Giuseppe Bergomi is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Giuseppe Bergomi Defender

41
190 124
Morten Olsen is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Morten Olsen Defender, Midfielder

42
262 211
Claudio Gentile is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Claudio Gentile Defender

The Best Soccer Goalies of All Time

43
123 142
Berti Vogts is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Berti Vogts Defender

44
209 186
Lúcio is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
shisu added Lucio Defender

45
502 520
Gerard Piqué is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Gerard Piqué Defender

46
101 49
Riccardo Ferri is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Piero Cusin added Riccardo Ferri Defender

47
126 129
José Santamaría is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
shisu added José Santamaria Defender

48
113 114
Velibor Vasović is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Velibor Vasović Defender

49
552 595
Lothar Matthäus is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Lothar Matthäus Defender, Sweeper, Midfielder

50
155 121
Alan Hansen is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Alan Hansen Defender