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
4,844 889
Paolo Maldini is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

2
2,317 1,070
Franco Baresi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

3
2,821 920
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Sweeper

4
2,324 813
Alessandro Nesta is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

5
1,718 739
Cafu is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

6
586 736
Djalma Santos is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

7
399 615
Mauro Ramos is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Andrea Pillerè added Defender

8
2,004 912
Roberto Carlos is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

9
1,041 710
Bobby Moore is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

10
2,272 982
Carles Puyol is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

11
1,816 866
Fabio Cannavaro is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

12
814 576
Giacinto Facchetti is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

13
710 487
Frank Rijkaard is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

14
1,820 1,184
Sergio Ramos is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

15
339 422
Elías Figueroa is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

16
539 464
Ruud Krol is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

17
569 253
Cesare Maldini is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
veterancw added Defender

18
424 411
Carlos Alberto Torres is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

19
273 238
Roberto Rosato is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Zicopoust added Defender

20
700 408
Lilian Thuram is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

21
498 390
Daniel Passarella is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

22
301 375
Leovegildo Lins da Gama Júnior is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

23
1,510 663
Philipp Lahm is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

24
335 313
Marius Trésor is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

25
243 231
Miodrag Belodedici is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
MariusCeasuri added Defender

26
260 259
Tarcisio Burgnich is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

27
304 264
Nílton Santos is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

28
175 191
Manuel Sanchís Hontiyuelo is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Andrea Pillerè added Defender

29
1,250 756
Thiago Silva is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

30
151 158
Hilderaldo Bellini is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
lendomacondenorz added

31
603 393
Daniel Alves is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

32
153 175
Karl-Heinz Schnellinger is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

33
444 275
Alessandro Costacurta is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

34
876 535
Javier Zanetti is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

35
252 196
Manfred Kaltz is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

36
161 204
Domingos da Guia is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

37
191 177
Hans-Peter Briegel is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

38
207 109
Fulvio Collovati is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Zicopoust added Defender

39
297 251
Claudio Gentile is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

40
362 248
Giuseppe Bergomi is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

41
661 623
Lothar Matthäus is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Sweeper, Midfielder

42
161 79
Mauro Tassotti is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
berteds added Defender

43
205 164
Morten Olsen is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender, Midfielder

44
271 224
Lúcio is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
shisu added Defender

45
675 647
Gerard Piqué is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

46
129 161
Velibor Vasović is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

47
139 175
Berti Vogts is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

48
103 155
Karlheinz Förster is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

49
616 514
Jaap Stam is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender

50
132 113
Antonio Cabrini is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time
Defender