Top 10 Best Central Defenders in Football History

Best Central defenders in football history. Although in the world of football forwards are usually the players who attract the most fans, the truth is that a football team cannot play with only one type of player. Unless it is a BubbleFootball team because as you well know, everyone plays in all areas. 

But in conventional football, central defenders, goalkeepers and defenders are needed. What would a good football team be without defenders, right? Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about here.

10 Best Central Defenders in Football History

We are going to name the 10 Best Central Defenders in Football History, although we do not number them because surely everyone has their preferences. Let’s start!

10. Dario Srna

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Дарио Срна (@dariocss)

  • Citizenship: Croatia Croatian
  • Year of birth: 1982
  • Personal achievements:
  • The best player of Ukraine in the 2008/09 season – according to polls of Premier League clubs
  • Honored Master of Sports of Ukraine 2009
  • The best player in FC Shakhtar in 2009 according to the results of voting on the club’s official website

Dario has been a player for FC Shakhtar for many years. He deserved the captain’s armband for his reliability and determination. Many still believe that he should take the position of a playmaker. Why? With only one accurate pass across the entire field, he could bring the attacker to the opponent’s goal.

That is why they began to cover him already near their gates. Another good trait was his toughness in the game. Despite its small size, it coped well with larger opponents in a corps fight.

9. Rio Ferdinand

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5)

  • Citizenship: England England
  • Year of birth: 1978
  • Personal achievements:
  • West Ham United Player of the Year: 1998
  • Member of the PFA Team of the Year (6): 2001/02, 2004/05, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2012/13
  • FIFPro Team of the Year Member: 2007/08
  • Inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame: 2016

This player is remembered for being the most expensive defender in the history of British football. The lucky club was Manchester United, which bought him. We can say one thing, such money was not spent in vain. 

Rio excelled in the position of a central defender and insured the goalkeeper in any difficult moments. Edwin Van Der Sar speaks of him as the goalkeeper’s most trusted friend. Often, Ferdinand saved the gates alone, left without the help of his teammates.

8. John Terry

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by John Terry (@johnterry.26)

  • Citizenship:  England
  • Year of birth: 1980
  • Personal achievements:
  • Chelsea Young Player of the Year: 1998
  • Chelsea Fans Player of the Year (2): 2001, 2006
  • PFA Team of the Year (4): 2004, 2005, 2006, 2015
  • Alan Hardecker Prize (2): 2005, 2015
  • PFA Player of the Year (1): 2005
  • Included in the FIFPRO World Team (5): 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
  • UEFA Club Football Awards (3): Best Defender: 2005, 2008, 2009
  • FIFA World Symbolic Team: 2006
  • Chelsea Special Service Award (2): 2009, 2016

Player of the English club Chelsea. John spent many years in it, having a captain’s armband and invincible authority. The fans loved him for his fantastic will to win. You can remember many moments where Terry fought to the end and literally gnawed the ball from the opponent. 

The only negative trait of John was his aggression, caused by sports anger. Often it was removed. But it is worth remembering that this particular player was the core of Chelsea FC and the England team, where he also played for many years.

7. Dani Alves

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Dani Alves (@danialves)

  • Citizenship: Brazil Brazil / SpainSpain
  • Year of birth: 1983
  • Personal achievements:
  • The best defender of the championship of Spain in football: 2008/09
  • Included in the symbolic team of the XXI century according to UEFA
  • Included in the symbolic team of Europe according to ESM (6): 2006/07, 2008/09, 2010/11, 2011/12
  • Included in the symbolic team of the world according to FIFA (5): 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015
  • Included in the symbolic team of the world according to UEFA (4): 2009, 2011, 2015
  • Included in the symbolic team of the year according to L’Équipe (2): 2007, 2011
  • Included in the symbolic team of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 according to FIFA

Unique Brazilian right flag defender. Most of his career was spent in the famous football club Barcelona. Dani left a lot of impressions for football fans. He did a great job as a defender.


The Best Manchester United Players of All Time: Top 10


He confidently defended his half of the field, but as soon as the ball hit him, he confidently passed along the flank and made a pass into the opponent’s penalty area. Alves is the co-creator of many beautiful goals. He has an excellent cross from the flank, which gave a chance to score the ball to higher teammates.

6. Philipp Lam

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Philipp Lahm (@philipplahm)

  • Citizenship: Germany Germany
  • Year of birth: 1983
  • Personal achievements:
  • Included in the symbolic team of the 2006 FIFA World Cup
  • Included in the symbolic team of the European Championship 2008 according to FIFA
  • Included in the symbolic team of the 2010 FIFA World Cup
  • Included in the symbolic team of the European Championship 2012 according to UEFA
  • Included in the symbolic team of Europe according to UEFA: 2012
  • Included in the FIFA symbolic team: 2013, 2014
  • German Footballer of the Year: 2017

A German football player who played for the German national team and the Bayern football club. Philippe has earned a reputation as a key player in his team over the course of his career. 

Almost the whole game started with him, and the coaches built the whole game around him. What can I say, Lam has an excellent pass, good shots on goal, which very often pierced goalkeepers, and, when necessary, composure in the opponent’s goal area.

5. David Louis

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by David Luiz (@davidluiz23)

  • Citizenship: Brazil Brazil
  • Year of birth: 1987
  • Personal achievements:
  • Footballer of the Year in Portugal: 2010
  • Included in the FIFA symbolic team: 2014

Brazilian national team player and Chelsea FC player. A real wall and the face of his team. Has an impressive punch. Often the team trusts him even a penalty. David very rarely leaves chances to the attackers of the opposing team.

In cases where Louis fights for the ball, they can only be pitied. Despite his young age, he confidently earned the main place in his team and today does not upset his fans.

4. Thiago Silva

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Thiago Silva (@thiagosilva)

  • Citizenship: Brazil Brazil
  • Year of birth: 1984
  • Personal achievements:
  • Silver Ball Winner (Brazil)
  • The best defender of the championship of Italy 2010/11
  • Winner of the Golden Samba Award (3): 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Made into the FIFA Team of the Year (3): 2013, 2014, 2015

This Brazilian football player in the fight for the ball does not leave a single chance to his counterpart. At the moment, he spends his career at FC PSG. He also owns the captain’s armband and enjoys authority in the team. 

It differs from others in that at a difficult moment it is able to think extraordinary and get to the ball before anyone else. Enough dimensional player with good physical data and good speed. It is especially important that this is one of the few football players who defeated tuberculosis and after that, he plays with renewed vigor.

3. Sergio Ramos

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sergio Ramos (@sergioramos)

  • Citizenship: Spain Spain
  • Year of birth: 1986
  • Personal achievements:
  • Don Balón Young Player of the Year Award Winner
  • Included in the team of the year according to UEFA: 2016

Spanish national team player and Real Madrid player. He is very cunning and cold-blooded. It is distinguished by a special will to win and purposefulness. In 2010, together with his team, he won the World Championship. 

In addition, he won absolutely all club cups. Sergio today is the main and indispensable central defender who is not going to give way to someone.

2. Roberto Carlos

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Roberto Carlos 罗伯特卡洛斯 (@oficialrc3)

  • Citizenship: Brazil Brazil / SpainSpain
  • Year of birth: 1973
  • Personal achievements:
  • UEFA Best European Defender (2): 2001/02, 2002/03
  • The second player in Europe according to “France Football”: 2002
  • The second player in the world according to FIFA: 1997
  • The best defender of the championship of Italy: 1996
  • Best Defender of the Brazilian Championship: 2010
  • Brazil Silver Ball winner (3): 1993, 1994, 2010
  • EFE Trophy Winner: 1998
  • Golden Foot Award Winner: 2008
  • Included in the symbolic team of UEFA (2): 2002, 2003
  • Included in the symbolic team of the championship of Brazil: 2010
  • Included in the FIFA 100 list
  • Turkey Coach of the Year: 2013/14

A true Brazilian legend. He played in the time of Ronaldo and does not hide in his shadow at all. This is a defender of a completely different class. His speed was simply crazy, and often even the fastest players in the world could not get him. 

His shot was so strong that many goalkeepers could not parry his ball even because of the penalty area. Teammates very often trusted him with the execution of a free-kick, which often ended in success. Many people know his “dry sheet”, the direction of which the best goalkeepers in the world could not calculate. An amazing defender who deserves fame and respect.

1. Carles Puyol

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Carles Puyol (@carles5puyol)

  • Citizenship: Spain Spain
  • Year of birth: 1978
  • Personal achievements:
  • Spain Young Player of the Year 2000/01
  • European Defender of the Year: 2005/06
  • Included in the symbolic team of Europe according to ESM (4): 2001/02, 2002/03, 2004/05, 2005/06
  • Included in the symbolic team of Europe according to UEFA (6): 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010
  • Included in the symbolic team of the world according to FIFA (3): 2007, 2008, 2010
  • Included in the symbolic team according to FIFPro (3): 2007, 2008, 2010
  • Included in the symbolic team of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 according to FIFA
  • Included in the symbolic team of the 2010 FIFA World Cup
  • Included in the symbolic team of the XXI century according to UEFA: 2012
  • Winner of the Prince of Asturias Prize 2012
  • Recipient of the Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit: 2011
  • Golden Foot: 2016 (in the nomination “Football Legends”)

He deserved his nickname for a reason. Such a will to win cannot be seen in the eyes of many players. Carlos devoted his entire life to his national team and the Barcelona club. He won absolutely all the cups along with the Spanish Cup, and he went out to his last match with tears. Of course, Carles can be called the best defender in the history of football.

The Best Right, Left and Centre-Backs in The World

No.RightsCentralLeft
1KafuFranz BeckenbauerPaolo Maldini
2Philip LamBobby MooreRoberto Carlos
3Daniel AlvesAlessandro NestaGiacinto Fachetti
4Javier ZanettiFabio CannavarroMarcelo
5Carlos AlbertoCarles PuyolAshley Cole
6Gary NevilleSergio RamosRuud Krol
7Lilian ThuramRonald KoemanAndreas Brehme
8Gianluca ZambrottaDaniel PassarellaPaul Breitner
9Giuseppe BergomiFranco BaresiBishente Lizarazu
10Jalma SantosLothar MatthäusJordi Alba

Related Articles

Related Articles

Latest Articles