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
4,125 758
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Paolo Maldini Defender

2
2,037 880
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Franco Baresi Defender

3
2,466 763
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Franz Beckenbauer Defender, Sweeper

4
1,479 620
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Cafu Defender

5
2,009 712
Alessandro Nesta is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Alessandro Nesta Defender

6
532 565
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Djalma Santos Defender

7
354 451
Mauro Ramos is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Andrea Pillerè added Mauro Ramos Defender

8
1,702 817
Roberto Carlos is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Roberto Carlos Defender, Midfielder

9
917 608
Bobby Moore is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Bobby Moore Defender

10
504 383
Ruud Krol is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Ruud Krol Defender

11
636 394
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Frank Rijkaard Defender, Midfielder

12
393 336
Carlos Alberto Torres is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

13
740 484
Giacinto Facchetti is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

14
297 336
Elías Figueroa is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Elías Figueroa Defender

The Top 10 Oldest Living Things on Earth

15
291 319
Leovegildo Lins da Gama Júnior is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Leovegildo Lins da Gama Júnior Defender, Midfielder

16
1,935 898
Carles Puyol is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Carles Puyol Defender

17
245 191
Roberto Rosato is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Zicopoust added Roberto Rosato Defender

18
1,472 985
Sergio Ramos is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Sergio Ramos Defender, Midfielder

19
496 208
Cesare Maldini is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
veterancw added Cesare Maldini Defender

20
1,557 805
Fabio Cannavaro is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Fabio Cannavaro Defender

21
316 264
Marius Trésor is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Marius Trésor Defender

The Best Current Soccer Players

22
463 353
Daniel Passarella is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

23
249 217
Tarcisio Burgnich is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

24
228 190
Miodrag Belodedici is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
MariusCeasuri added Miodrag Belodedici Defender

25
170 151
Manuel Sanchís Hontiyuelo is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Andrea Pillerè added Manuel Sanchís Hontiyuelo Defender

26
290 226
Nílton Santos is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Nílton Santos Defender

27
614 377
Lilian Thuram is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Lilian Thuram Defender

28
1,328 636
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
144 124
Hilderaldo Bellini is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
lendomacondenorz added Hilderaldo Bellini

30
1,117 689
Thiago Silva is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Thiago Silva Defender, Midfielder

31
142 143
Karl-Heinz Schnellinger is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

32
245 165
Manfred Kaltz is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Manfred Kaltz Defender

33
156 172
Domingos da Guia is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Domingos da Guia Defender

34
401 249
Alessandro Costacurta is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

35
497 332
Daniel Alves is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Daniel Alves Defender

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36
194 86
Fulvio Collovati is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Zicopoust added Fulvio Collovati Defender

37
183 152
Hans-Peter Briegel is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Hans-Peter Briegel Defender, Midfielder

38
198 139
Morten Olsen is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Morten Olsen Defender, Midfielder

39
756 512
Javier Zanetti is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Javier Zanetti Defender, Midfielder

40
336 227
Giuseppe Bergomi is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Giuseppe Bergomi Defender

41
137 57
Mauro Tassotti is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
berteds added Mauro Tassotti Defender

42
271 229
Claudio Gentile is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Claudio Gentile Defender

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43
120 134
Velibor Vasović is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Velibor Vasović Defender

44
99 134
Karlheinz Förster is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

45
567 560
Gerard Piqué is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Gerard Piqué Defender

46
131 158
Berti Vogts is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Berti Vogts Defender

47
588 606
Lothar Matthäus is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Lothar Matthäus Defender, Sweeper, Midfielder

48
234 203
Lúcio is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
shisu added Lucio Defender

49
244 175
Aldair is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Aldair Defender

50
131 146
José Santamaría is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
shisu added José Santamaria Defender