The Greatest Defenders of All-Time

Definition of defender includes as following ;

Full-Back, Wing-Back, Semi-Side Back, Center-Back, Stopper, Sweeper and Advanced Sweeper.

Defenders in the 2-3-5 Metodo system is considered in either center-back or side-back depend on role and style of player. In the 3-2-5 W-M system, it is a center-back alongside twice semi-side-backs. Moreover, Definition includes both full-back in 4-4-2 system and wing-back in 5-3-2 system. Regarding of center-back include both sweeper and stopper or marker and even attacking sweeper. The sweeping system was originated by Alexandru Apolzan in the 1950s. The fact of matter, attacking sweeper must be very good in both defensive and offensive skills so they would be advantage to be considered in higher place. Defending skill and tactical system was just developed and reached high potential in recent decade especially influence of defensive style of playing, thereby advantage will be sided on the second part of football history. 


50. Alessandro Costacurta

Date Of Birth  : 24 April 1966
Nation  Italy, Caps :  59 Games
Height : 183 cm, Position : Stopper 
Major Club  :  AC Milan 
World Cup Participation :  1994, 1998 (11 Games)
Club Honours : 7 Times Italian Series A, 1 Time Copa Italia
5 Times UEFA Champion League (1989,1990,1994,2003,2007)
3 Times UEFA Champion League Runner-Up (1993,1995,2005)
2 Times Intercontinental Cup (1989, 1990)
International Honours : 1994 FIFA World Cup Runner-Up
Individual Achievement  : None

Total Skill : B+,  Peak Performance A, Total Performance : B-

"Grande Billy" Alessandro Costacurta was one of the greatest man-markers in the World during the first half 1990s. He formed the most formidable defensive units ever during his extensive career at Milan. Costacurta is a tactical versatile defender, could play as center-back and later as a full-back. He was a gifted and tenacious defender with tactical intelligence, timing and strong tackling ability. He was also effective in aerial combat and was outstanding in ability to read the game and anticipated play with a great positional sense. Costacurta played for AC MIlan in consecutive 20 seasons, being renowned for his professionalism and longevity and is known as one of the most decorated footballers ever in international club competition alongside Paolo Maldini. Due to an extreme high competitiveness of Italian national team, he debuted lately at 25 years old. He was never nominated in Ballon'Dor.   
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49. Willi Schulz

Date Of Birth  : 4 October 1938
Nation  :  Germany
Position     :  Sweeper
Height    :  181 cm
Major Club  :  Schalke 04, Hamburger SV
Caps  : 66 Games
World Cup Participation : 1962, 1966, 1970 (13 Games)
Club Honours  :  None
International Honours :  1966 FIFA World Cup Runner-Up
1970 FIFA World Cup Third Place
Individual Achievement  :    None

Total Skill : A-, Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : C+

Willi Schulz was one of the greatest center-backs in the world in the mid-1960s. Schulz started out as a right half back in the late 1950s. With the change from the WM system to the 4-2-4, Schulz was converted from half back to stopper by the mid-60s and reach prime of career at that period. He was not only a superb in positional play as a conservative sweeper with no urge to join the attack of his teams and focused on marshalling his defense but also had a high quality at man-to-man duels. He was noted for his calmness even under pressure, his solid passing game, aerial ability and a special expertise at sliding tackling. Kicker rate Schulz in 3 world-class seasons and 6 seasons include world-class of international-class include the 1966 World Cup. This rating is the best ever for German center-back position. He finish 3rd place in German footballer of the year in 1967 and in top five in other twice times. In 1968, he was part of the FIFA XI against Brazil. Schulz never won any trophy in his career, best at Cup Winners' Cup and DFB Pikal runner-up. Schulz finished 12th Ballon'Dor in 1968 and was also nominated in 1966.
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48. Pietro Vierchowod

Date Of Birth  :  6 April 1959
Position : Stopper, Height : 179 cm
Nation : Italy, Cap :  45 Games
Major Club  :  Sampdoria
World Cup Participation  : 1982, 1986, 1990 (7 Games)
Club Honours  : 2 Times Italian Series A
4 Times Copa Italia
1990 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup
1996 UEFA Champion League
International Honours  : 1990 FIFA World Cup Third Place
Individual Achievement :1983 Guerin Series A Player of The Year

Total Skill : B+, Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : B-, Age Bonus
“The Tsar” Pietro Vierchowod was one of the best stoppers in the World during the mid-1980s. A tenacious physical player, he is considered as one of the toughest defenders in Series A during the mid and late-1980s, being renown for his immense strength, aggression, tight marking and hard tackling. His speed, anticipation and ability to read the game enabled him to break down opposing plays, win back possession and intercept loose ball. These attributes also allows him to excel the zonal marking system. Maradona said Vierchowod is his toughest opponent as he always could turn his position to come back against him. He played for five big Italian clubs. Four of them stay only a season. As an era of high competitiveness among congregation of world-class defenders, he was limited in the opportunity. According to media rating in Series A, it is considered to win three world-class seasons. 
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47. Manuel Amoros

Date Of Birth  : 1 February 1962
Nation  : France, Caps : 82 Games
Height   : 172 cm, Position : Left and Right-Back
Major Club : Olympique Marseile
World Cup Participation : 1982, 1986 (12 Games)
Club Honours : 3 Times French Champions, 1 Time French Cup
1993 European Cup Winners, 1991 Runner-Up
International Honours : 1986 FIFA World Cup Third Place
1984 European Championship Winner
Individual Achievement : 1986 French Player Of The Year
1986 European Defender of The Year
1986 FIFA World Cup Best Defender

Total Skill : B+,  Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : B-

Manuel Amoros was a versatile full-back who was able to play both left and right-side without a significant difference due to his great in both feet. He was an extraordinary wing-back in the world during 1980s with his fast, excellent movement, intelligent and skillful with additional great scoring support. Amoros played his first World Cup as a starter in 1982 in spite of his age 20 year olds only. He often went forward to play like winger and his elegant style led him as a popular defender especially his performance in match against Brazil in World Cup 1986 and he was voted as the best right-back of tournament by international-press. Amoros was one of the most successful French players during his time, won the top trophies both club and international competitions. He was finished 4th European footballer of the year in 1986 and also finished 12th in 1987.
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46. Velibor Vasovic

Date Of Birth  :  3 October 1939
Nation  : Yugoslavia, Caps : 32 Games
Height : 186 cm, Position :  Advanced Sweeper
Major Club : Partzan Belgrade, Ajax Amsterdam
World Cup Participation  :   None
Club Honours :  4 Times Yugoslavia Leagues
3 Times Dutch Champions, 3 Times KNVB Cup
1971 European Cup
2 Times European Cup Runner-Up (1966, 1969)
International Honours  :  None
Individual Achievement :   None

Total Skill : B+, Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : B-

Velibor Vasovic is the most talented defender in history of Eastern European football and is also one of the most underrated defenders ever due to his disappearance in major international tournament for Yugoslavia. He was a key player for Ajax in the era Rinus Michel originated his total football style of play. Vasovic arrived at Ajax from Partizan Belgrade where he had just picked up a European Cup runners-up medal, five years later he captained the team to their first ever European Cup in 1971 as the first non-Dutchman to captain Ajax; he had also laid out the blueprint for how to play the position of libero in the modern game. In his more subdued moments he claimed to be the central architect behind the total football philosophy, but it is undeniable that his pace and intelligence allowed Michels to implement the ruthlessly efficient offside trap that became a hallmark of Ajax's defensive strategy. He was never nominated in Ballon'Dor.
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45. Victor Rodriguez Andrade

Date Of Birth : 2 May 1927
Nation : Uruguay
Caps. : 42 Games
Position : Left and Right-Wing-Back
Height : 169 cm
Major Club : Penarol   
World Cup Participation : 1950, 1954 (9 Games)
Club Honours : 3 Times Uruguay Champions    
International Honours : 1950 FIFA World Cup Champion
1956 Copa America Winner
Individual Achievement : 1950 FIFA World Cup Best Defender

Total Skill : B+, Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : B-

Victor Rodriguez Andrade was the greatest half-backs in the World during the 1st half 1950s, could operate in the both side from his effective two feet according to the metodo system. He was regarded as a successor as a nephew of Jose Leandro Andrade. V.R.Andrade was a complete defensive player with considerable physical and technical asset and help the great balance between defensive and offensive role. He start career at Central Espanyol and moved for Penarol where he met his peak career. He was best known for his highlight at the 1950 world cup final when he was assigned to mark the great Brazilian Zizinho and his performance result is one o fthe keys to help Uruguay win the trophy. Andrade was also successful in the 1954 World Cup and is the only Uruguayan player in his generation to win both World Cup and South American championship which is its first trophy within 10 years.    
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44. Silvio Marzolini


Date Of Birth  : 4 October 1940
Nation  :   Argentina
Caps  :   28 Games
Position :  Left-Back
Height  :  183 cm
Major Club :   Boca Juniors
World Cup Participation : 1962, 1966 (6 Games)
Club Honours  : 5 Times Argentina Champions
International Honours : 1967 Copa America Runner-Up
Individual Achievement : 1966 FIFA World Cup All-Stars Team

Total Skill : B+ , Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : B-

Silvio Marzolini was the best side-back in South Americas during the middle 1960s and is one of Boca Junior's greatest players ever. Marzolini was really difficult to play against for attackers, was not fast but his excellent positioning was enough to control his area and very reliable in defensive task, could effectively go forward too. He had such good ball controlling that it gave him time and space to play the ball away safely. After the first stage group of World Cup 1966 had been finished, British Press rated him as the best player for that stage. Marzolini was chosen to play for the rest of the world all-star team against England at Wembley in 1967. However, He rather played too few matches for Argentina national team because there were a few matches to play during his active playing era.
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43. Ciro Ferrara


Date Of Birth  : 11 February 1967
Nation  : Italy, Caps : 49 Games
Height : 180 cm, Position  : Sweeper
Major Club : Napoli, Juventus
World Cup Participation : 1990 (No Game)
Club Honours : 6 Times Italian Series A
2 Times Copa Italia1989 UEFA Cup
1996 UEFA Champion League, 
2 Times UFEA Champion League Runner-Up (1997,1998)
1996 Intercontinental Cup          
International Honours   :   None
Individual Achievement  :   None

Total Skill : A-, Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : B-

Ciro Ferrara is one of the most underrated defenders ever. He started his career at hometown club Napoli before moving to Juventus and became captain soon after joining the team, and soon became one of the most experienced and decorated players. A true commader in Juventus's backline, being an experienced and dominating defender. Internationally, He was never truly realized despite his impressive tally of caps. There are two reasons for this: First of all, Italy had a host of other world class players in his position that often blocked his route. Secondly, he was very unfortunate with injuries. This was most notable in the buildup to the 1998 World Cup in France. He is not so well-known outside his native-country, but within Italy he is regarded as just another illustrious defender in a long-line of world class Italian defenders. Ferrara is considered as the best defender in series A by media rating once in 1987. He was nominated in Ballon'Dor once in 1997.
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42. Albert Shestenev

Date Of Birth  : 20 June 1941
Nation : Soviet Union, Caps : 90 Games
Height : 183 cm, Position : Sweeper
Major Club : CSKA Moscow
World Cup Participation : 1962, 1966, 1970 (9 Games)
Club Honours : 1 Time USSR Champion, 1 Time USSR Cup
International Honours : 1964 European’s Nation Cup Runner-Up
Individual Achievement : 1970 Soviet Union Footballer Of The Year
1968 UEFA Euro Team Of Tournament
2 Times European Defender of The Year (1969, 1970)

Total Skill : B+, Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : B-

“Ivan The Terrible” Albert Shesternev is the greatest Soviet Union defender ever and one of the greatest central defenders of the world during the late 1960s. He debut professional career when he was just age of 18 year olds. Shesternev basically played as sweeper, being captain who was everything in defensive line of Soviet Union during his era. He won 90 caps for his nation although there were a lot fewer competitive matches if compare to the present. Many have believed Shesternev would be among world’s greatest defender of all-time if he got permission to play in a famous big club of the Europe. In 1966 World Cup Final, He led Soviet Union reached semi-final round and finishing fourth place. In 1968, He was selected as a starter FIFA World XI against Brazil. Aside from 1970 which he won player of the year of his nation, Shesternev was voted 3rd in 1966, 1968 and 1969. He was nominated in Ballon'Dor four times, finished 14th, 11th and 10th between 1968 and 1970 respectively.
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41. Paul Janes

Date Of Birth  : 10 March 1912
Nation   :  Germany
Caps   :  71 Games
Position  :  Right-Full-Back
Height  :  178 cm
Major Club :  Dusseldorf
World Cup Participation : 1934, 1938 (4 Games)
Club Honours  : 1 Time German Champion
International Honours    :  1934 FIFA World Cup Third Place
Individual Achievement  : None

Total Skill : A-, Peak Performance AA-, Total Performance : B

Paul Janes is the best defender in the world in the second half 1930s and is considered as a player who helped to shape the beginning phase of German football was a member and leader of the famous legend "Breslau Eleven" which is refer to Germany national team in the 1930s .Paul Janes established a record for most German caps which wasn’t broken until 1970. Janes started out as a right half back, but during the 1934 World Cup he debuted as right back and stayed at that position for the rest of his career. One of Janes’ best assets was his powerful yet accurate shooting ability, which gave him the nickname "World Champion of Precision". His trademark was hard shots from all possible angles. He rarely was caught off-guard on the pitch, as he had the ability to anticipate what the opponent was planning and he interpreted defensive play always as the first step in building up the next attack. His career was interrupted by World War I but still return to play firs-level matches in the post-war era and retired at 38 years old. The DFB list him in the top 20 best German footballers of all time. Paul-Janes Stadium, homeground of Dusseldorf in the past was named after him.
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40. Laurent Blanc


Date Of Birth  : 7 September 1968
Nation  : France, Caps  : 97 Games (16 Goals)
Height : 192 cm, Position : Advanced Sweeper
Major Club  : Monpellier
World Cup Participation  :   1998 (5 Games)
Club Honours : 1 Time English Premier League
1 Time French League, 2 Times Coupe De France
International Honours  : 1998 FIFA World Cup Champion
2000 European Championship Winners
Individual Achievement : 1990 French Footballer Of The Year
2 times UEFA Euro Best XI (1992,1996,), 1998 Legion De Honour

Total Skill : B+,Peak Performance AA-,Total Performance: B-,Age Bonus

Laurent Blanc was voted as the fourth greatest French player of century according to France Football’s poll. He holds the all-time record most appearances in European Championship Team Of Tournament with 3. Blanc began his career as offensive midfielder with Monpellier. Only a few years later did he settle as a defender. He was one of several club’s players with 9 clubs to play in his overall career. Blanc scored the first golden goal in World Cup history. He was known as a surprisingly high-scoring defender, excellent anticipation, elegant on-the-ball skill style. He was a threat to the opposition’s goal from the air or from either foot. Blanc played for the middle-level team in the majority of his career and won few trophies as a result. Blanc scored more than 133 goals in his career and is named as Inter Milan Player of The Year in 2000. Blanc was nominated in Ballon'Dor four times, finished best place at 14th in 1998.
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39. Marcel Desailly

Date Of Birth  : 7 September 1968
Nation  : France, Caps  : 116 Games
Height : 188 cm, Position : Stopper
Major Club  : AC Milan, Chelsea
World Cup Participation : 1998, 2002 (10 Games)
Club Honours : 2 Times Italian Series A, 1 Time FA Cup
2 Times European Cup (1993, 1994)
1995 UEFA Champion League Runner-Up
International Honours  : 1998 FIFA World Cup Champion
2000 European Championship Winners
2 Times FIFA Confederation Cup Winners (2001, 2003)
Individual Achievement : 1998 FIFA World Cup All-Star Team
2 times UEFA Euro Team of Tournament (1996, 2000)
Premier League Team of The Decade

Total Skill : B+, Peak Performance A+, Total Performance: B+

Marcel Desailly is the greatest defender ever to born in the Africa continent and is one of the most international team decorated defenders of all-time, was a stalwart center-back and note for his superb strength and stamina, domination in the air, radiation confidence and leadership. Desailly was one of a few players in history to win 2 consecutive European Cup with different team. He had firstly avhived it with Olympique Marseile before going on his career in AC Milan and won the second one. There, He was a World-Class deep-lying defensive midfielder in front of back-line. Then, He was transferred to English Premier League with Chelsea. He basically played as a man’s marker for France national team and being one of the best stoppers in the World, was voted as 4th place best player of the 1998 FIFA World Cup tournament. Desailly was voted in top eleven Ballon D’or 4 times during 1994 to 1996 and 1998, finished best place in 1996 at 8th.
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38. Philippe Lahm


Date Of Birth :   11 November 1983
Position  : Left and Right-Back, Height : 170 cm
Major Club  : Bayern Munich, Caps : 113 Games
World Cup Participation  :  2006, 2010, 2014
Club Honours : 8 Times Bundesliga, 6 Times DFB-Pokal           
2013 UEFA Champion League, 2 Times Runner-Up
International Honours  :  2008 UEFA Euro Runner-Up
2014 FIFA World Cup Champion
Individual Achievement  :  2 Times UEFA Euro Best XI (2008, 2012)
3 Times FIFA World Cup All-Stars Team (2006, 2010, 2014)

Total Skill : B+, Peak Performance A, Total Performance: B+

"Masgic Dwarf" Phillip Lahm is the best defender in the World during the first half 1950s and is one of the most successful defenders ever in international football. He was grown up with Bayern youth team and settle down for his club through his career. Lahm spent his prime period during the first half 2010s. He was captain of both Bayern in the 2013 winning treble and 2014 FIFA World Cup champion. The transition from 2013 to 2014 saw his change in left-back to defensive midfielder position and was rated by kicker in world-class in both role. Although Lahm is right-footed player, he is able to play on both sides in the back-line effectively utilized from his tactical intelligence and versatility. He often cuts from the flank to the inside area. In particular, he is renowned for his pace, technique, stamina, and precise tackling abilities. Lahm was incredibly chosen in World Cup and UEFA Euro all stars team 5 consecutive tournaments. He was named in FIFPro World XI and ESM team of the year twice and get the highest place in Ballon'Dor at 6th in 2014. He is also named in the 2015 UEFA Ultimate team of the year and The 2016 All-Time Euro XI.
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37. Alan Hansen

Date Of Birth  :  13 June 1955
Nation  : Scotland, Caps : 26 Games
Height  : 188 cm, Position : Sweeper
Major Club : Liverpool
World Cup Participation : 1982 (3 Games)
Club Honours : 8 Times England Top Division
1 Time Scottish First Division
2 Times FA Cup, 3 Times League Cup
3 Times European Cup (1978, 1981, 1984)
1985 European Cup Runner-Up
International Honours :  None
Individual Achievement :  None

Total Skill : A-,Peak Performance AA-,Total Performance: B,Age Bonus

Alan Hansen was known as the greatest defender ever to come from the Scotland and is one of the greatest defenders in history of English football league and European Cup. A stellar defensive organizer and technician, He was one of the most important player of “The Red Machine” Liverpool which is the most successful team in Europe for years between lately 1970s to early 1980s. Hansen played all 4 European Cup final matches and win 3 times. On the other hand, He unfortunately was not a long-period starter for Scotland national team after World Cup 1982 was ended just because of a compatible buddy of center-back from Aberdeen like Willie Miller and Alex Mcleish. He played as sweeper, had never been frighten on his face, coolness like stagnant and reliable in every situations. Hansen was never nominated in Ballon'Dor.
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36. Hans Peter Briegel

Date Of Birth : 11 October 1955
Nation  : Germany, Caps : 72 Games
Position : Left, Right-Wing-Back and Center-Back
Height : 188 cm, Major Club : Kaiserslautern
World Cup Participation : 1982, 1986 (13 Games)         
Club Honours : 2 Times East German Cup
International Honours : 1980 European Championship Winner
2 Times FIFA World Cup Runner-Up (1982, 1986)
Individual Achievement : 1985 German Footballer of The Year
1985 European Defender of The Year

Total Skill:  B+, Peak Performance AA-, Total Performance: B

"The Steamroller from Palatinate" Hans Peter Briegel was famous as a versatile and very completed German defender. He could highly perform as stopper and wing-back in both side with supporting by his superb physical strength and stamina, high level of mentality and aggression combined with top-class teamwork ability and technical options. Briegel possessed great crossing ability and even good in aerial game. According to kicker rating and believing of his performance in Italian Series A with Hellas Verona where he was one of indispensable players to lead winning the only top tier league title in its history. He won 2 World-Class seasons in club level (half of season as stopper 1.5 season of full-back) and and 7 seasons of international class in both club and NT career. According to German Footballer of the year voting, He was German defender of the year twice time and was the most weekly appearances of a Bundesliga team of the season once in 1982 when Kicker did not rate him as world-class in the whole season. He was nominated in Ballon'Dor twice, finished 14th and 8th in 1984 and 1985 respectively.
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35. Karlheinz Forster


Date Of Birth  : 25 July 1958
Nation  : West Germany, Caps  : 81 Games
Height : 178 cm, Position : Stopper
Major Club : VFB Stuttgart, Olympique Marseile
World Cup Participation : 1982, 1986 (14 Games)
Club Honours : 1 Time Bundesliga Champion
2 Times French Champions, 1 Time French Cup
International Honours : 2 Times FIFA World Cup Runner-Up(1982,1986)
1980 European Championship Winners
Individual Achievement : 1982 German Footballer Of The Year
2 Times European Championship Best XI (1980, 1984)
VFB Stuttgart Greatest Player Ever

                                                     Total Skill : B+, Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : B

Karlheinz Forster is the greatest man’s marker in history of the Bundesliga games. Kicker ranking rated him 1.5 world-class seasons and 7.5 International-class seasons. However, the rating is underrated if compare to SCD rating which shows he could be also considered in world-class in 1984. Forster was the most important player in defensive line of both VFB Stuttgart and Germany during the 1st half 1980s. After Germany had to be disappointed with 2 consecutive losing in World Cup final round, Forster feel his mission for West Germany should be enough and decide to retire from international competition in spite of his 28 year olds of age only and immediately moved to play in France. This regrettably led him not participate in World Cup 1990 which West Germany was able to win a title and he was still in good performance with Olympic Marseille. Forster never played in final match in any European Competition and he reached once semi-final in each of three major European club competitions According to German Footballer of the year voting, He finish finish 3rd place in 1986, was German defender of the year four times and is named in Bundesliga team of the season twice. Forster was nominated in Ballon'Dor once in 1986.
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34. Claudio Gentile

Date Of Birth  : 27 September 1953
Nation  : Italy, Caps  : 71 Games
Position : Left/Right-Back
Height  : 178 cm, Major Club  :  Juventus
World Cup Participation : 1978, 1982 (13 Games)
Club Honours : 5 Times Italian Series A
2 Times Copa Italia, 1977 UEFA Cup
1983 European Cup Runner-Up
1984 European Cup Winners Cup
International Honours  : 1982 FIFA World Cup Champion
Individual Achievement  : 1982 FIFA World Cup Best Defender
1980 European Championship Team Of Tournament

Total Skill : B+, Peak Performance A, Total Performance : B

Gentile born in Libya, is one of the toughest and roughest defenders in the history of the game, considered by many as one of football 's greatest ever man markers. Gentile generally played at Centre Back but switched to Left or Right Back when needing to mark certain wide-playing attackers. One of Gentile's most favored tactics was to stand behind the striker who had the ball while kicking between his opponent's legs to play the ball, leaving the opposing player's legs beaten and bruised. Gentile was also a master of the hard tackle to get the ball, not the player, and was rewarded for his skill by a career that lacked even a single sending off. Gentile is considered as the best defender in Series A once in 1977. In World Cup 1982, He notably man-marked Diego Maradona out of the game, also performed a violent tackle from behind on Zico and later ripped the Brazilian's shirt in half during a tussle. Gentile was never nominated in Ballon'Dor.
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33. Fernando Hierro

Date Of Birth  : 25 March 1968
Nation : Spain, Caps    89 Games (29 Goals)
Height  : 188 cm, Position :  Sweeper
Major Club : Real Madrid
World Cup Participation : 1994,1998,2002 (12 Games)
Club Honours : 5 Times Spanish La liga, 1 Time Spanish Cup
3 Times UEFA Champion League (1998, 2000, 2002)
2 Times Intercontinental Cup (1998, 2002)
International Honours  : 1982 FIFA World Cup Champion
Individual Achievement : 1997 El Pas Spanish Footballer Of The Year
1998 UEFA Champion League Best Defender

Total Skill : B-, Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : B

Fernando Hierro was famous as a leader in Real Madrid’s defensive line in the era of “Galaticos Version II” and regarded as the greatest Spanish defender in the modern era. He was equally at ease as a central defender or defensive midfielder, he had the ability, at his peak, to combine solid defensive play with a near-unlimited passing range and surprising goalscoring talent, dominated air battles in front of his goal, which made him one of the world's most sought-after players. He played with an intensity that served to motivate him and deflect spotlight off the skill player. As a defender, Hierro had a remarkable scoring record. He led Spain in total goals with 29 before being overtaken by Raul Gonzalez, and in club play was fourth in the world for defensive player goals with 105 in 497 first division games. He was nominated in Ballon'Dor three times during the 2nd half 1990s and finished in top twenties twice.
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32. Billy Wright

Date Of Birth  : 6 February 1924
Nation : England, Caps  : 105 Games
Height : 180 cm, Position : Center-Back
Major Club :  Wolvehampton Wanderers
World Cup Participation : 1950, 1954, 1958 (10 Games)
Club Honours : 3 Times English Top Division1 Time FA Cup
International Honours : None
Individual Achievement : 1952 FWA Footballer Of The Year
3 Times European Defender of The Year (1956, 1957, 1958)
1957 Silver Ball European Footballer Of The Year
1959 Order of The British Empire
English Football Hall Of Fame

Total Skill : B+, Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : B

Billy Wright is one of the great legends in history of British football, is the best defender in the Europe during the 1950s. He signed as professional at 17 years old and then became the first football player in the world to earn 100 caps. Wright was a central defender and a captain of England national team through decade of 1950s. He was the most popular player for English’s football fan during his era with his profession and reliability of football playing. Wright was a master of timing both in terms of beating taller players to headers and winning the ball in strong tackles. He also had a remarkable reading of the game, able to break up attackers with almost telepathic interception and launch quick break upfield. He made 541 appearances to Wolvehampton and regarded as club’s greatest player ever, Specialty, A statue of him was erected beside Wolves' Molineux Stadium in memory of him in 1996, three years after the completion of a stand at the stadium named in honour of him. He is rated by many as the second greatest defender of England only to Bobby Moore. Wright also finished 9th and 6th place Ballon'Dor in 1956 and 1958 respectively.
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31. Fabio Cannavaro

Date Of Birth  :  13 September 1973
Nation : Italy, Caps  :  136 Games
Height : 176 cm, Position : Stopper, Major Club : Parma
World Cup Participation :  1998, 2002, 2006 (15 Games)
Club Honours :  2 Times Spanish La Liga
2 Times Copa Italia, 1 Time UEFA Cup
International Honours : 2006 FIFA World Cup Winners
2000 European Championship Runner-Up
Individual Achievement : Parma Greatest Player Ever
2000 UEFA Euro Team of The Tournament
2 Times Series A Defender of the Year (2005, 2006)
2006 AIC Oscar De Calcio Footballer Of The Year
2006 Italian Series A Footballer Of The Year
2006 FIFA World Cup Silver Ball, Best Defender
2006 Ballon'Dor, FIFA/World Soccer Player of The Year

Total Skill : B+, Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : B, Age Bonus

Fabio Cannavaro is best known as the only defender in history to win FIFA world player of the year award as well as the oldest recipient. Cannavaro actually could play as both sweeper and stopper, noted for his outstanding in his fierce defending, aggressive and interception but has a limitation in setting the game from the back-line. Cannavaro was always overshadowed by Nesta,being voted 2nd on Italian series A defender of the year 4 times. His tall is just lower-average as defender and it has been his disadvantage to manage with aerial ball especially his mistaking to lose winning goal in EURO 2000. 2006 was Cannavaro’s best year which he won 10 individual awards. Afterwards, He had a hard time to sustain his performance with Real Madrid because of loosely defensive system of the team. Cannavaro is named in ESM team of the month 9 times and team of the year once time. He was never voted in Ballon'Dor in other year than 2006.
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30. Jose Santamaria

Date Of Birth :  31 July 1929
Nation  :  Uruguay
Height : 180 cm, Position : Stopper
Major Club  :  Real Madrid
Caps : 20 Games For Uruguay and 16 Games For Spain
World Cup Participation  :  1954, 1962 (7 Games)
Club Honours   :   5 Times Uruguay Champions
5 Times Spanish La Liga
4 Times European Cup (1958, 1959, 1960, 1966)
2 Times European Cup Runner-Up (1962, 1964)
1960 Intercontinental Cup
International Honours  : 1956 Copa America Winner
Individual Achievement  : 1954 FIFA World Cup All Stars Team
1961 European Defender of The Year

Total Skill : A-, Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : B+

Jose Santamaria is the greatest South American man-marker of all-time, is the best defender in history of Real Madrid club and was the best defender in the World during the 1950s, is one of the most international club decorated defenders of all-time, was an indispensable defender of Real Madrid “The First Decade of Galaticos” He was known for his toughness, uncompromising, top-class stamina and strength. Real Madrid brought him due to his world cup’s performance. Santamaria first played for Uruguay but later moved to play for Spain after playing for Real Madrid just one year. Nonetheless, he was dropped for Spain’s first team of the 1962 FIFA World Cup because of his failing down performance, had never been called for Spain any longer. 
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29. Marcos Cafu

Date Of Birth  : 7 June 1970, Height  : 176 cm
Nation  :  Brazil, Caps : 142 Games
Position : Right-Wing-Back, Major Club : AS Roma, AC Milan
World Cup Participation  :  1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 (21 Games)
Club Honours  : 1 Time Brazil National Champions
2 Time Italian Series A, 1 Time Copa CONMEBOL
2 Times Copa Libertadores Cup (1992,1993)
2 Times Intercontinental Cup (1992, 1993),2007 FIFA Club World Cup
2007 UEFA Champion League, 2005 Runner-Up
International Honours :  2 Times FIFA World Cup Winners (1994,2002)
1998 FIFA World Cup Runner-Up
2 Times Copa America Winners (1997, 1999)
1997 FIFA Confederation Cup
Individual Achievement  :   2008 Officer Of The Order Of Rio Branco
1994 South American Footballer Of The Year, 1993 Bronze Ball

Total Skill : B+, Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : B

Marcos Cafu is best known as the only player in history of World Cup to play in 3 final matches which is the record. He became a superstar since early career with Sao Paulo where he won South American Footballer of The Year. He started playing the first one in 1994 which he was fortunately replaced of Jorginho because of his injury in the 22nd minute. Afterwards, Cafu participated the second in 1998 which Brazil was just runner-up. Thirdly, He was selected as captain in World Cup 2002 leading Brazil to win that tournament. Cafu is a right wing-back with outstanding pace, technique and dynamic defensive and offensive force. He was similar to many legendary Brazilian wing-back not able to perform world-class defensive quality but his intelligent always help him to prevent opponents well. Cafu was nominated in Ballon'Dor once in 2002 and being voted in top twenties. He was also selected by El Pais as the best right-back in South Americas four times between 1992 and 1995. 
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28. Jose Nasazzi

Date Of Birth  :  24 May 1901
Nation : Uruguay, Caps :  51 Games
Height  : 182 cm, Position : Center-Back
Major Club : Bella Vista, Nacional
World Cup Participation : 1970 (4 Games)
Club Honours  : 2 Times Uruguay Champions
International Honours : 1930 FIFA World Cup Winner
3 Times Copa America (1923, 1924, 1926)
2 Times Olympic Games Gold Medal (1924, 1928)
Individual Achievement  : 1930 FIFA World Cup Best Player
2 Times Copa America Best Player (1923,1935)  

Total Skill : B+,Peak Performance A,Total Performance : B+,Age Bonus

“The Great Marshal” Jose Nasazzi is widely considered as the greatest defender in the pre-war era, is the most national team decorated footballer of all-time, is regarded by many as one of the greatest Uruguayan legends of all-time and is the only defender in history of World Cup to win Golden Ball award, and is the only defender ever won Copa America MVP more than once time. He was captain for Uruguay in their glory years which was the most successful team in the world especially winning the first World Cup in 1930 and basically noted for his leadership and reliability. Nasazzi played as right-side central defender in 2-3-5 system. Regrettably, Uruguay refused to defend their title in World Cup 1934 despite they are still rated as one of the best teams in the World. 
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27. Giuseppe Bergomi

Date Of Birth  :  22 December 1963
Nation  : Italy, Caps : 81 Games
Position :  Stopper, Semi-Right Back
Height : 180 cm, Major Club : Inter Milan
World Cup Participation : 1982, 1986, 1990, 1998 (20 Games)
Club Honours : 1 Time Italian Series A, 1 Time Italian Cup
3 Times UEFA Cup (1991, 1994, 1997)
International Honours  :  1982 FIFA World Cup Winner
1990 FIFA World Cup Third Place
Individual Achievement  : 1988 UEFA Euro Team of Tournament

Total Skill : B+,Peak Performance A+,Total Performance : B+,Age Bonus

“Lo Zio” Giuseppe Bergomi is regarded by many as the greatest marker of all-time, was a roughness defender but it was full of talent and qualities. He was best remembered as one of the best youngest player ever to play for World Cup final at only 19 year olds of ages and surprisingly marked Rummenigge lost his great performance. Bergomi was a consistency World-Class defender during the 2nd half 1980s. In 1990 World Cup, he was selected as captain for Italy. After miss the 1994 FIFA World Cup squad, he was selected to play in 1998 FIFA world cup in France in his age of 35 year olds. However, media rating shows he was never the best Series A defender in any year. Bergomi tied with Facchetti to be retired number for Inter Milan. He mainly played as sweeper in his career and hold record most appearance for Inter Milan with 757 matches of play. He also finished one runner-up and twice semi-finalist in UEFA Cup with Inter Milan. Bergomi was never nominated in Ballon'Dor.
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26. Jurgen Kohler

Date Of Birth  : 6 October 1965
Nation : Germany, Caps : 105 Games, Height  : 186 cm
Position :  Stopper, Major Club : Juventus, Borussia Dortmund
World Cup Participation  :  1990, 1994, 1998 (13 Games)
Club Honours : 3 Times Bundesliga Champions
1 Time Italian Series A, 1 Time Copa Italia
1993 UEFA Cup, 1997 UEFA Champion League
1997 Intercontinental Cup
International Honours : 1990 FIFA World Cup Winners
1996 European Championship Winners, 1992 Runner-Up
Individual Achievement : 1997 German Footballer Of The Year
1992 European Championship Best XI

Total Skill : B+, Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : B+

Jurgen Kohler is widely considered as the finest European stoppers or man’s markers ever. He was one of the most completed stopper with his strong, positional play and precision tacking , Although an aerial ability and speed were skills he was just in average only but Kohler always manage it with his tactical ability, known as a pure defender not available in technical option. Kohler was totally rated by kicker in 2.5 world-class seasons and 8.5 international-class seasons, noted for his world-class in a half season for 5 years.In the 1991 - 1992 season, Italian Media's rating to him is overlapped to world-class even kicker rates in international-class only. He was strong as if being a steel wall could mark many superstars out of their games. Kohler used to give an interview that there was no strikers who could make him trouble through his career. According to German Footballer of the year voting, He was German defender of the year in only twice times and was named in Bundesliga team of the season six times and was the most weekly appearances of a Bundesliga team of the season once in 1988. Kohler was nominated in Ballon'Dor once in 1997 and finished 11th place.
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25. Domingos Da Guia


Date Of Birth  : 19 November 1912
Nation  : Brazil, Caps  : 30 Games
Height  : 186 cm, Position :  Center-Back
Major Club  : Flamengo, Corinthians
World Cup Participation :  1938 (4 Games)
Club Honours  : 1 Time Uruguay Champion
1 Time Argentina Champion
International Honours  : 1938 FIFA World Cup Third Place
Individual Achievement  : 1938 FIFA World Cup Best Defender
Brazil Football Museum Hall Of Fame

Total Skill : A-,Peak Performance A+,Total Performance: B+,Age Bonus

“The Divine Master” Domingos Da Guia is considered as the greatest South American defender during the 2nd half 1930s and the 1st half 1940s as well as  the greatest Brazilian central defender of all-time. He was noted for his reliable in defensive duty and going forward to support attacking game by his technical abilities particularly dribbling, skillful on the abll and never resouricng to violence. He was never the quickest of players, but defended with a great sense of calm which filled his team-mates with confidence. He was also one of the first defenders to dribble the ball away from danger rather than just making big clearances. He quickly rose to fame as one of Bangu's key player. Despite the fact Bangu had a history of fielding black player, Domingos might have witnessed racism in football. Afterwards, Domingos Da Guia settled down as an idol of Flamengo and Corinthians club for a decade until he had became club’s legend.
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24. Javier Zanetti

Date Of Birth  : 10 August 1978
Nation : Argentina, Caps : 144 Games
Height  :  178 cm, Position :  Right-Back
Major Club : Inter Milan
World Cup Participation : 1998, 2002 (8 Games)
Club Honors : 5 Times Italian Series A, 3 Times Copa Italia
1998 UEFA Cup, 2010 UEFA Champion League
International Honours : 2 Times Copa America Runner-Up (2004, 2007)
1995 Pan American Games Winners
1996 Olympic Games Silver Medal
Individual Achievement  :   None

Total Skill: B+,Peak Performance A+,Total Performance: B+,Age Bonus

“The Tractor” Javier Zanetti is one of the greatest-oldest players of all-time, is an all-round full-back with his strength, resilience, stamina, acceleration, work rate and his ability to run past opposing defenders when joining the attack from his right back position. He is also referred to by team supporters and media as "The Captain" as he has captained the club for over decade. He has appeared in more than 775 official matches for the club and over 550 Series A matches which is the highest all-time total among non-Italian born players. He sometimes switched to play as right-side midfielder or central defensive midfielder. Zanetti is regarded as Inter Milan's greatest player in the 2000s. He is the best defender in Series A in 1996 according to media rating. Unfortunately, he was excluded in squad of the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cup despite being the best Argentine player in his position undoubtedly. He holds the all-time record most appearances first level career games in defender posiiton with more than 1060 games, also holds the record most appearances for Argentina national team with 145 matches of play and the most appearances in Copa America with 22. Zanetti was never nominated in Ballon'Dor and retired his career at 41 years old.
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23. Andreas Brehme

Date Of Birth :   9 November 1960, Height  :  175 cm
Nation : West Germany, Caps : 86 Games (8 Goals)
Position : Left-Wing-Back
Major Club :  Kaiserslautern, Inter Milan
World Cup Participation : 1986,1990,1994 (16 Games)
Club Honours  : 1 Time Bundesliga, 1 Time DFB-Pokal
1 Time Italian Series A, 1 Time UEFA Cup
International Honours : 1990 FIFA World Cup Winners
1992 European Championship Runner-Up
Individual Achievement : 1990 European Defender of The Year
1989 Guerin Italian Series A Footballer Of The Year
1990 Bronze Ball European Footballer Of The Year
1990 FIFA World Cup Best Defender
2 Times UEFA Euro Best XI (1984, 1992)

Total Skill : A-, Peak Performance AA, Total Performance : B+ 

Andreas Brehme is considered to be one of the greatest free-kick takers and crossers of all time as one of a few players in the world who could play with both feet equally well, making him valuable as an outfield player. He was best remembered as a winning-scorer with taking penalty in World Cup 1990 final round. Brehme was great in stamina, positional play, precision crossing and teamwork ability. In Bundesliga Game, He was rated in international-class 5 seasons as left wing-back plus a season as central defensive midfielder. His individual performance in Italian Series A coud be rated in 2 World-Class seasons. Brehme totally scored 65 goals in his whole professional career. According to German Footballer of the year voting, He finish 2nd place in 1990 and was German defender of the year only once time. He was also nominated in 1989 Ballon'Dor, finished 14th.
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22. Karl-Heinz Schnellinger


Date Of Birth  :  31 March 1939
Nation : Germany, Caps : 47 Games
Position  : Left-Full-Back/ Center-Back
Height  : 180 cm, Major Club : FC Koln, AC Milan
World Cup Participation : 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970 (16 Games)
Club Honours : 1 Time Bundesliga
1 Time Italian Series A, 4 Times Copa Italia
2 Times European Cup Winners’ Cup
1969 European Cup, 1969 Intercontinental Cup
International Honours  : 1966 FIFA World Cup Runner-Up
1970 FIFA World Cup Third Place
Individual Achievement : 1962 German Footballer of The Year
1962 FIFA World Cup All-Star Team
1962 Bronze Ball European Footballer of The Year
3 Times European Defender of The Year (1962, 1963, 1964)

Total Skill : A-, Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : B+

Karl-Heinz Schnellinger was the best defender in the World in the first half 1960s. He was not only rated in 3.5 world-class seasons in Bundesliga and all World Cup tournaments he played from kicker ranking but also a consistency world-class defender in Italian series A in several years. Schnellinger mainly played as left-back in 4-4-2 system but he sometimes was used as sweeper for Germany which he was still rated in world-class in world cup 1970. He was noted for his superlatively positional play, tackling ability, physical power pace and his winning mentality. Moreover, Schnellinger also did offensively duty well especially his long passing. His best year was 1962 which was the only year he won 2 major individual awards. According to German Footballer of the year voting, He was German defender of the year only twice times. Schnellinger was voted in 5th, 11th and 12th Ballon'Dor between 1963 and 1965, respectively.
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21. Hector Chumpitaz

Date Of Birth  : 12 April 1943
Nation  : Peru, Caps : 105 Games
Height  : 168 cm, Position : Sweeper
Major Club : Universitario
World Cup Participation : 1970, 1978 (10 Games)
Club Honours  : 5 Times Peruvian League
1972 Copa Libertadores Cup Runner-Up
International Honours  : 1975 Copa America Winner
Individual Achievement :  All-Time Copa America All-Star Team
2 Times South American Defender of the Year (1969, 1971)
CONMEBOL All-Star Team In The Last 50 Years

Total Skill : A-, Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : B+

“The America’s Captain” Hector Chumpitaz is one of Peru’s most recognized footballer player,  was known for his great technique, his leadership, his organization ability on the field, A strong reader of the game with excellent ball skills and distribution but the weak point is his aerial ability. He marshaled a capable defense to support Peru’s attack led by Teofilo Cubillas. Chumpitaz was selected captain of the American continent's team in 1973. He was an impressive defender-scoring with 74 goals in 530 career matches. Chumpitaz is considered as the best South American defender in the early 1970s. He was named to the list of best World Cup players of all time by Terra.com in 2006. He was elected the 35th best South American footballer of the 20th century in a poll by the IFFHS in 2000.
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20. Ronald Koeman

Date Of Birth  : 21 March 1963
Nation : Netherlands, Caps  : 78 Games (14 Goals)
Height  : 183 cm, Position :  Sweeper
Major Club : Barcelona
World Cup Participation : 1990, 1994 (9 Games)
Club Honours : 4 Times Spanish La Liga, 1 Time Spanish Cup
4 Times Dutch Champions, 3 Times Dutch Cup
2 Times European Cup (1988, 1992)
International Honours : 1988 European Championship Winners
Individual Achievement : 1988 UEFA Euro Best Defender
2 Times Dutch Footballer Of The Year (1987, 1988)
2 Times European Defender of The Year (1988, 1992)

Total Skill : B+, Peak Performance AA-, Total Performance : B+

Ronald Koeman was well-known as the greatest defender-scorer in history of the game with 225 goals in 647 matches which is an all-time world record. Koeman scored not less than 10 goals in a season almost every years during his career. Most were done by his free-kick specialist, powerful and rocket long shooting and penalty taking. He was also a great sweeper with intelligent play ensured an organized defense and provided excellent distribution from the back, always generated precision passing. His leadership ability enabled him to excel as captain of Holland in 1994 World Cup final. He played for all three big of Holland like Ajax, PSV and Feyenood. Koeman was known for his low speed which made him a hard time to catch high-speed attackers. He was voted in 5th and 8th Ballon'Dor in 1988 and 1992.
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19. Antonio Cabrini

Date Of Birth  : 8 October 1957
Nation : Italy, Caps  : 73 Games
Height : 178 cm, Position : Left-Back
Major Club  : Juventus
World Cup Participation : 1978,1982,1986 (18 Games)
Club Honours : 6 Times Italian Series A
2 Times Copa Italia, 1977 UEFA Cup
1983 European Cup Runner-Up
1984 European Cup Winners Cup
1985 Intercontinental Cup
International Honours : 1982 FIFA World Cup Champion
Individual Achievement :  None

Total Skill : B+, Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : B+

“The Beautiful Antonio” Antonio Cabrini is considered as the greatest full-back of the world during 1980s. Because of his popularity as a fascinating and good-looking football player, On the field, his technical and physical qualities made of him the most popular defender of the history of Italian football. Cabrini was almost a completed side-back, showing his world-class defensive and offensive quality but his right-foot was the only disadvantage that it was not rather useful in some occasions. But still, His left-foot was good enough to create many goals for his team especially scored 9 goals for Italy is the all-time record for Italian defender. He was one of the main players of Juventus in their glory era which was the most successful team in Italy. According to media rating, he is the best defender of Series A twice times in 1984 and 1986. He was voted from www.channel4.com as a starter in Juventus all-time XI. Cabrini was voted in 13th and 14th Ballon'Dor in 1978 and 1983, respectively.
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18. Carlos Alberto

Date Of Birth  :  17 July 1944
Nation : Brazil, Caps : 53 Games
Height : 180 cm, Position : Right-Wing-Back
Major Club  : Fluminese
World Cup Participation : 1970 (6 Games)
Club Honours : 3 Times Brazilian National Champions
International Honours : 1970 FIFA World Cup Winners
1974 FIFA World Cup Third Place
Individual Achievement : 1970 FIFA World Cup Best Defender
1998 FIFA World Team Of Century

Total Skill : A-, Peak Performance AA-, Total Performance : B+

Carlos Alberto Torres is widely regarded as the finest right wing-back of all-time during his peak. He was all-round full-back with his ball control, dribbling, playmaking ability, brilliant positioning, great tackling and reading of the game. Carlos Alberto could play as sweeper as well. He selected as captain, was best remembered in world cup 1970 with his scorer in final match which has been regarded as one of the best score in world cup history because of a very beautiful co-ordination between several players prior to his decisive finishing. However, His big getting injury impacted his career not to be as great as he should have been and disappeared a considerable amount of his NT career. Carlos Alberto was not among the best in his defensive skills but reputable for his first-class offensive skill. He was never voted in top ten South American Footballer of The Year which began in 1971 and never participated in Copa Libertadores Cup and Copa America.
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17. Leovegildo Junior

Date Of Birth  :   25 June 1954
Nation : Brazil, Caps : 74 Games
Height : 174 cm, Position : Left-Wing-Back
Major Club :  Flamengo
World Cup Participation : 1982, 1986 (10 Games)
Club Honours  : 5 Times Brazil State Champion
4 Times Brazil National Championship, 1 Time Brazil Cup
1981 Copa Libertadores Cup, 1981 Intercontinental Cup
International Honours : 1983 Copa America Runner-Up
Individual Achivement :  1982 FIFA World Cup All-Star Team
1981 Bronze Ball South American Footballer Of The Year
1992 Brazilian League Footballer of The Year
2 Times South American Defender of The Year (1981,1982)

                                                    Total Skill:  B+,Peak Performance A+,Total Performance: B+,Age Bonus

Leovegildo Junior is a notable technical gift Brazilian defender and midfielder in the 1980s and is also one of the most sustainable Brazilian players ever. A style of balance player between defense and offence, Junior was famous for his incredible dribbling ability and accurate short-passing. He is one of the indispensable players in the golden age of Flamengo club during the first half 1980s that was the period he regularly played as left-back and was named three times Brazilian League Best XI. Then, he settle down playing in Italian Series A with new roles as defensive midfielder and won 1985 unofficial Italian Series A player of the year as a central midfielder  role and media rating to him in the 1984 - 1985 season is one of the highest average points ever. He then returned to Brazil and still played as DM and won Brazilian League Best XI twice include once player of the year, retried at around 40 years old. In total, he played more than 1100 matches includes unofficial games. Junior also finished 5th and 9th South American Footballer of The Year in 1982 and 1983 as the best defender, respectively.
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16. Matthias Sammer


Date Of Birth : 5 September 1967
Nation : Germany, Position : Advanced Sweeper
Height  : 180 cm, Major Club :  Borussia Dortmund
Caps : 51 Games (Germany), 23 Games (East Germany)
World Cup Participation : 1994 (4 Games)
Club Honours : 3 Times Bundesliga Champions
2 Times East Germany Champions
1997 UEFA Champion League, 1997 Intercontinental Cup
International Honours : 1996 European Championship Winner
1992 European Championship Runner-Up
Individual Achievement : Dortmund's Greatest Player Ever
2 Times German Footballer of The Year (1995,1996)
1996 UEFA Euro Player Of Tournament
1996 European Footballer Of The Year

Total Skill : A, Peak Performance AA+, Total Performance B+

“The Prince Of East Germany”  Matthias Sammer is one of three defenders in history to win European footballer of the year although he won the awards nonunanimously, only one vote more than Ronaldo . He early start as central midfielder. He was ranked in international-class 3.5 seasons in Bundesliga until the end of Germany in world cup 1994, moving down to play as attacking libero instead of Lothar Matthaeus, showing his fantastic vision when support attacking game. As libero, He reached world-class 2 seasons leading both Dortmund and Germany winning the biggest title of Europe. He was even compared as the same footage with Franz Beckenbauer. Unfortunately, Sammer was gotten a big injury leading to retirement eventually. All in all, His career as defensive player was performed in only 3 years. He was also voted 9th and 4th FIFA world player of the year in 1995 and 1996 respectively and also finished in top ten Ballon'Dor in 1995 and 1997. According to German Footballer of the year voting, He was German defender of the year twice times and was named Bundesliga team of the season four times.
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15. Alessandro Nesta

Date Of Birth  :  19 March 1976
Nation  : Italy, Caps : 78 Games
Height   :  187 cm, Position :  Sweeper
Major Club  :  Lazio, AC Milan
World Cup Participation  :   1998, 2002, 2006 (9 Games)
Club Honours :  2 Times Italian Series A, 3 Times Copa Italia
1 Time UEFA Cup Winners’s Cup
2 Times UEFA Champion League (2003, 2007), 2005 Runner-Up
2007 FIFA Club World Cup
International Honours :  2006 FIFA World Cup Winners
Individual Achievement : 2000 UEFA Euro Best Defender
4 Times Series A Defender Of The Year (2000,2001,2002,2003)
2000 European Defender of The Year

Total Skill : A-, Peak Performance AA-, Total Performance : B+

Alessandro Nesta is considered as the greatest defender of the World during the 1st half 2000s. He was known for his unlucky with often getting injury particularly missing to play in World Cup 2006 final round. Plus, Nesta was out of action for the whole 2008-2009 season in Series A. The fact of matter, Nesta won 5th European footballer of the year in 2000, was the best defender in Italian Series A in early 2000s which he won defender of the year almost every seasons. He was known for his talent to manage with opponent attacker, Outstanding agility, Intelligent , Excellent anticipation. Nesta started well-known in career as sweeper with Lazio which he was a valuable asset of the club and played with them for decade before transferring to AC Milan. He is also  the best defender in series A in 1999 by media rating. Nesta is named in ESM team of the month 12 times and team of the year once time. His best year was 2000 which he was voted in 5th both Ballon D’or and 8th FIFA world player of the year. Additionally, he finished 14th and 13th Ballon'Dor in 2001 and 2003, respectively.
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14. Djalma Santos

Date Of Birth : 27 February 1929
Nation : Brazil, Caps : 98 Games, Height : 173 cm
Position : Right-Back, Major Club : Portugesa, Palmeiras
World Cup Participation : 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966 (11 Games)
Club Honours : 2 Times Brazilian National Champions
3 Times Brazilian State Championship
3 Times Torneio Rio-Sao Paulo
Copa Libertadores Cup Runner-Up (1961, 1968)
International Honours : 2 Times FIFA World Cup Winners(1958,1962)
3 Times Copa America Runner-Up (1953, 1957, 1959)
Individual Achievement : 1994 FIFA World Cup All-Time Team
3 Times FIFA World Cup All-Star (1954, 1958, 1962 Best Defender)
3 Times Copa America Team of The Tournament (1953, 1957, 1959)
1954 World Cup Best Defender, Brazil Football Museum Hall Of Fame

Total Skill : A- , Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : B+, Age Bonus


Djalma Santos is the greatest right-back of all-time. He is one of the two players in history of world cup to be unofficially voted in All-Star team 3 times which is the record together with Beckenbauer. He was selected in world team of century more sources than any right-back with 4 from total 9 sources. A rock-solid right back for the great Brazilian Cup teams of 1958 and 1962, Djalma was the first Brazilian player to make 100 caps. A physical specimen While primarily known for his defensive skills, he found time to raid down the right flank and was steadfast in support of the attacking game. He was a tough, rugged and uncompromising right back, Known for his soccer sense and intelligence on the pitch, he was often given the role of marking the opponent's fastest wing player, Djalma was also a deadball specialist. His consistency and longevity with around 1060 total games career was done at his retirement in NT career at 39 years old as the oldest player to appear in Brazil national team and holds the record longest span career of Brazil with more than 16 year. He retired from his club career at 40 years old.
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13. Roberto Carlos

Date Of Birth : 10 April 1973, Height  : 169 cm
Nation : Brazil, Caps : 125 Games (11 Goals)
Position : Left-Wing-Back, Major Club  :  Real Madrid
World Cup Participation  :  1998, 2002, 2006 (13 Games)
Club Honours : 4 Times Spanish La Liga
2 Times Brazil National Champions
3 Times UEFA Champion Leagues (1998, 2000, 2002)
2 Times Intercontinental Cup (1998, 2002)
International Honours : 2002 FIFA World Cup Winner,1998 Runner-Up
2 Times Copa America Winners (1997, 1999)
1997 FIFA Confederation Cup
Individual Achievement : 1998 EFE Trophy, 2002 FIFA Dream Team
 2 Times UEFA Champion League Best Defender (2002, 2003)
1997 Silver Ball FIFA World Player Of The Year
2002 Silver Ball European Footballer Of The Year
2 Times FIFA World Cup All-Star Team (1998, 2002 Best Defender)Brazil Football Museum Hall Of Fame

Total Skill : B+, Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : B+

Roberto Carlos is one of the most team decorated footballers of all-time and was the greatest South American defender between the late 90s to early 2000s, was one of the best football entertainers and one of the most popularity iconic defenders with his trademarks like powerful and banana free-kick, excellent technique, recuperation, high work-rate and speed, All of those was formed such an awesome style of play led him as a superstar in spite of being defender. On the other hand, Roberto Carlos has never been a World-Class in defensive performance, often lost his position because of his routine running forward to wing-line. He has already scored 92 goals in all official competitions in club level. Seedorf is named in ESM team of the month 34 times and team of the year six time as the record of awards. He was also voted in top five FIFA world player of the year in 2002 and 2003 and Ballon D’or in 1997. In 2002 Ballon D'or, he got much more 1st place votes than the first place but finally lost in final points.

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12. Berti Vogts

Date Of Birth :  30 December 1946
Nation :  West Germany, Caps : 96 Games
Height  :  168 cm, Position : Right-Full-Back
Major Club :  Munchengladbach
World Cup Participation  : 1970, 1974, 1978 (19 Games)
Club Honours : 5 Times Bundesliga, 1 Time DFB-Pokal
2 Times UEFA Cup, 1977 European Cup Runner-Up
International Honours : 1974 FIFA World Cup Winners
1970 FIFA World Cup Runner-Up
1972 European Championship Winner, 1976 Runner-Up
Individual Achievement  :  1977 European Defender of The Year    
2 Times German Footballer Of The Year (1971, 1979)
2 Times FIFA World Cup All-Star Team (1974, 1978)

Total Skill : A-, Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : B+

“The Terrier” Berti Vogts is the best European right-back of all-time. He was the most instrumental player in a backline of Germany to success in every international tournament between 1970 -1976 especially World Cup 1974 final round which his best highlight was appeared, was able to effectively neutralizing and mark Johan Cruijff not to reach his prime level. However, He was very overshadowed by Beckenbauer whom he partly forced his greatness. He was known for his aggressive style, uncompromising, tireless and world-class tackling was not only great in defensive game as a right full-back. He was rated as a world-class player 5.5 seasons and International-Class 6.5 seasons from kicker ranking in Bundesliga. According to German Footballer of the year voting, He also finish second place twice times, was German defender of the year five times and was named in Bundesliga team.of the season ten times and was the most weekly appearances of a Bundesliga team of the season twice in 1971 and 1976. Additionally, Vogts was finished 5th of Ballan D’or in 1975 and also finished 15th, 10th, 13th and 10th Ballon'Dor in 1971, 1974, 1976 and 1977, respectively. 

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11. Lilian Thuram

Date Of Birth : 1 January 1972
Nation :  France, Caps : 142 Games
Position :  Right-Full-Back/ Center-Back/ Semi-Right Back
Height  : 185 cm, Major Club : Parma, Juventus
World Cup Participation  :    1998, 2002, 2006 (16 Games)
Club Honours  :  2 Times Italian Series A, 1 Time Copa Italia
1 Time Copa De France, 1 Time UEFA Cup
International Honours : 1998 FIFA World Cup Champion
2000 European Championship Winner
2006 FIFA World Cup Runner-Up
Individual Achievement  : 1997 French Footballer Of The Year
1997 Guerin Italian Series A Footballer Of The Year
1998 FIFA World Cup Bronze Ball, 1998 Legion de Honour
2 Times FIFA World Cup All-Star Team (1998 Best Defender, 2006)
1998 European Defender of The Year, 2000 UEFA Euro Best XI

Total Skill : A- , Peak Performance AA-, Total Performance : B+

Lilian Thuram is the greatest French defender of all-time, was a world-class all-round defender and one of the best defenders of the World between lately 1990s to early 2000s. Although he always mentioned his favorite position was Center-Back which he mostly played in his club career but Thuram reached in his prime as a right-back as media rating shows Thuram has the highest seasonal average rating among defenders since 1975. As a full-back, His performance is regarded as one of the greatest right-back the World has ever seen particularly for international level, was best remembered as a scorer two goals in match against Croatia in World Cup 1998 semi-final and was finally rated by kicker as the best player of the tournament . He possessed top-level stamina and strength, excellent positioning and above-average skillful. Thuram is named in ESM team of the month 15 times and team of the year twice times. He holds the record with other five players most EURO tournaments play with 4. Thuram finished 7th place Ballon'Dor in 1998.
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10. Ruud Krol


Date Of Birth  : 24 March 1949
Nation : Netherlands, Caps : 83 Games
Height  : 184 cm, Position :  Left-Back/ Sweeper
Major Club : Ajax Amsterdam, Napoli
World Cup Participation : 1974, 1978 (14 Games)
Club Honors : 6 Times Dutch Champions, 4 Times Dutch Cup
3 Times European Cup (1971, 1972, 1973)
1972 Intercontinental Cup
International Honors : 2 Times FIFA World Cup Runner-Up(1974,1978)
Individual Achievement : 1976 UEFA Euro Team Of Tournament
2 Times FIFA World Cup All-Star Team (1974, 1978)
1979 Bronze Ball European Footballer Of The Year
1981 Guerin Italian Series A Footballer Of The Year
2 Times European Defender of The Year (1978, 1979)

Total Skill : A-, Peak Performance A+, Total Performance : A-

Ruud Krol is the greatest defender ever in history of Dutch football. He was a remarkably all-round defender who could play anywhere in defensive line according to “Total Football” style of play creating by Rinus Michels. Krol played as left-back for both club and national level until his 29 year old of ages before switching to play as libero in World Cup 1978 which he was captain of team. Afterwards, He moved to play as libero for Napoli and became one of the best defender in Italian series A. An intelligent, skillfully elegant and physically commanding player, Krol played very important role helping Ajax Amsterdam won 3 consecutive European Cup trophies and reaching world cup final round 2 times. Krol obtained the highest point average seasonal rating by media among defenders in history of Italian Series A, was also rated by media as the best foreign player in the 1981 -1982 season of Italian Series A. Krol also finished 6th place Ballon'Dor in 1978 and finished in top twenties in other three years.
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9. Elias Figueroa


Date Of Birth  :   25 October 1946
Nation : Chile, Caps :  47 Games
Height  : 183 cm, Position : Center-Back
Major Club : Penarol, Internacional
World Cup Participation : 1966, 1974, 1982 (9 Games)
Club Honours   :   2 Times Brazil National Championship
2 Times Uruguay Champion, 2 Times Chile League
International Honours   :  1979 Copa America Runner-Up
Individual Achievement : 2 Times Chilean League Best Player
3 Times Uruguayan League Best Player
1981 Chile Sportsman Of The Year
2 Times Brazilian League Footballer Of The Year (1972, 1976)
5 Time South American Defender of the Year (1973 - 1977)
3 Times South American Footballer Of The Year (1974, 1975, 1976)
1977 Bronze Ball South American Footballer of The Year
1999 IFFHS Chile Player of The Century

Total Skill : A, Peak Performance AA, Total Performance : A-

Elias Figueroa is the greatest South american defensive player of all-time, is one of the best domestic defenders ever and is the greatest Chilean player of all-time, holds the record as the most winners in South American footballer of the year, beat many world-class attackers in that era. He was also designated as the best player in Uruguayan league in 1967 and 1968 and the best player in Chile league in 1977 and 1978. He was noted for his elegant style of play, his calmness in the center of defense and his ability to cut out opposition attacks and immediately launch counter attacks from the back. He was also praised throughout his career for being a gentleman on and off the pitch. Figueroa is also renown for his technique skills like vision and ball controlling. He was considered four times as the best CB of the world and six times of the Americas by CEDEP. He was voted as 8th best South American footballer of century from IFFHS poll. FIFA named him as the best player in the World in 1976, was also voted in top 7 South American Footballer of The Year in 1972 and 1973.
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8. Nilton Santos

Date Of Birth  :  16 May 1925
Nation : Brazil, Caps  : 75 Games
Position : Left-Wing-Back, Semi-Left-Back
Height  : 180 cm, Major Club : Botafogo
World Cup Participation  : 1950, 1954, 1958, 1962 (15 Games)
Club Honours : 3 Times Brazil State Championship
2 Times Torneo Rio Sao Paulo
International Honors : 2 Times FIFA World Cup Winners(1958,1962)
3 Times Copa America Runner-Up (1953, 1957, 1959)
Individual Achievement : 1958 FIFA World Cup Best Defender
1998 FIFA World Team Of The Century
Brazil Football Museum Hall Of Fame

Total Skill: A ,Peak Performance AA,Total Performance: A-,Age Bonus

Nilton Santos is the greatest South American side-back of all-time, was selected in FIFA world team of century in 1998. Nilton Santos was very outstanding in his attacking duty with his pace, world-class dribbling, crossing and noted for his incomparable technique, his superb reading of the game, actical knowledge of the his great fair play on the pitch. He was one of the first defenseman to advance deep into opposition territory as a legitimate offensive weapon. Considering of his defensive skills, He was not among the greatest ever in this point but he was still a world-class one during his era. Nilton Santos was based on left-side defender but sometimes moving to inside defender. He was selected in Brazil team for world cup 1950 which they won runner-up but he was not a starter at his 25 year olds of age as he just start his professional club career at 23 years old.. He is rated by Swedish newspaper to achieve the highest grade in every games in the 1958 World Cup. Afterwards, He gradually reached his prime and become an indispensable player of Brazil national team.
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7. Gaetano Scirea


Date Of Birth  :  25 May 1953
Nation  : Italy, Caps :  78 Games, Height  : 178 cm 
Position : Advanced Sweeper, Major Club : Juventus
World Cup Participation : 1978, 1982, 1986 (18 Games)
Club Honours  : 7 Times Italian Series A, 2 Times Copa Italia
1977 UEFA Cup, 1984 UEFA Cup Winners’s Cup
1985 European Cup, 1983 Runner-Up
1985 Intercontinental Cup
International Honours : 1982 FIFA World Cup Winners
Individual Achievement  :  1980 UEFA Euro Best Defender

Total Skill : A, Peak Performance AA-, Total Performance : A-

Gaetano Scirea is one of the best defenders the world has ever seen, was a World-Class classic libero and was the best defender of the World in the 1st half 1980s, has never been as well-known from fan around the world as his great ability. Consequently, He is regarded as one of the most underrated footballers of all-time. Scirea was a graceful defender of great vision and ball controlling skills and tactical ability, played the sweeper, or libero, role for most of his career, and contributed to the development of this position initiated by Franz Beckenbauer in the 1970s. In the latter part of his career, Scirea played a more defensive central-defender role, which he excelled at just the same. According to media rating, he is the best Series A defender only once in 1979. He was a gentleman never got sent-off or suspended in his career. Scirea is also one of only nine players in the history of the European football that won all three major UEFA football competitions. Scirea was nominated in Ballon'Dor only once and finished 12th place in 1982.
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6. Daniel Passarella

Date Of Birth  : 25 May 1953
Nation : Argentina, Caps : 70 Games (22 Goals)
Height  : 173 cm, Position : Advanced Sweeper
Major Club : River Plate, Fiorentina
World Cup Participation : 1978, 1982, 1986 (12 Games)
Club Honors  : 4 Times Argentina Champion
International Honors : 1978 FIFA World Cup Winners
Individual Achievement : 1978 FIFA World Cup Best Defender
1976 Argentina League Footballer Of The Year
3 Times South American Defender of The Year (1978,1979,1980)

Total Skill : A , Peak Performance AA-, Total Performance : A-

“The Great Captain” Daniel Passarella is one of the greatest defenders ever to come from the Americas and one of the best defender-scorer in history of the game. His leadership, passion and his organization prowess on the field led him as an outstanding captain leading Argentina to make a victory winning their first World Cup. He was a libero who excellent in the air despite his medium height and often join the attack to make a lot of scores. He was also noted for using his elbows against rivals whilst managing to avoid the referee's gaze. Passarella kept the second best record as top scoring defender only to Ronald Koeman. He scored more than 180 goals in his club career. His wonderful season was 1976 that he incredibly scored 24 goals from 35 matches. Passarella is considered the best defender in Series A once time in 1986 according to media rating. Unfortunately, He didn’t play any game in world cup 1986 just because of fractious relationship with Bilardo and Maradona. Passarella finished 7th, 4th, 8th, 6th, 6th and 7th South American footballer of the year in 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1982, respectively. 
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5. Giacinto Facchetti


Date Of Birth  : 18 July 1942
Nation : Italy, Caps :  94 Games, Height : 191 cm
Position : Left-BackMajor Club  :  Inter Milan
World Cup Participation  :   1966, 1970, 1974 (12 Games)
Club Honours    :   4 Times Italian Series A, 1 Time Copa Italia
2 Times European Cup Winners (1964, 1965)
2 Times European Cup Runner-Up (1967, 1972)
2 Times Intercontinental Cup (1964, 1965)
International Honours  :  1968 European Championship Winner
1970 FIFA World Cup Runner-Up
Individual Achievement : 1970 FIFA World Cup All-Star Team
1965 Silver Ball European Footballer Of The Year
1968 UEFA Euro Best Defender
2 Times European Defender of The Year (1965, 1968)

Total Skill : A , Peak Performance AA-, Total Performance : A, Age Bonus

Facchetti is best remembered as the greatest wing-back ever in history of the European football. He primarily played as wing-back in club career, would make marauding run upfield using his wonderful running, dribbling and crossing, even sometimes done well as left-attacker to make scores. When switch to play for Italy, Facchetti played deeper as a full-back and in the late career he could also play as center-back which his tackling was used great effect, possessed excellent stamina, great leadership and scored important goals. He is compared by some as “Beckenbauer in version of side-back” for his leadership and technical ability. He was one of the Le Grande Inter which was notable with completely defensive game. He was also voted in 5th Ballan D’or in 1968 and also finished 13th and 12th in 1971 and 1973 Ballon'Dor, respectively. Facchetti is the only player to be retired number for Inter Milan which he is one of the greatest players n history of the club and played 634 official games with scoring 75 goals. 
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4. Bobby Moore

Date Of Birth  : 12 April 1941
Nation : England,  Caps : 108 Games, Height : 180 cm
Position : Sweeper, Major Club : West Ham United
World Cup Participation : 1962, 1966. 1970(18 Games)
Club Honours :1 Time FA Cup, 1 Time Cup Winners’s Cup
International Honours : 1966 FIFA World Cup Winner
Individual Achievement : 1964 FWA Footballer Of The Year
1966 Silver Ball, 1970 Bronze Ball FIFA World Cup
1966 BBC Sports Personality of The Year 
1966 FIFA World Cup Best Defender, European Defender of The Year 
UEFA Jubilee Award (Golden Player of England)
English Football Hall of Fame, 1967 Award to O.B.E
1968 UEFA Euro Best XI, 1970 Silver Ball Ballon'Dor
1994 FIFA World Cup All-Time Team
1998 FIFA World Team of Century

Total Skill : A, Peak Performance AA, Total Performance : A, Greatness Bonus

Bobby Moore is one of the most iconic English footballers evert and is one of the greatest international defenders of all-time. His greatness has been appeared with a statue outside Wembley stadium. Moore was admired for his reading of the game and ability to anticipate opposition movement, played as center-back mostly by his genius positional play, as he had uncanny intuitive sense for where the ball was headed. His timing in the tackle was unmatched, and he was rarely off of his feet while winning the ball back for his team. Moore is known as a true leader and gentleman with his fair play. Moore is the best defender in English league 4 times according to reader poll in 1960s and analysis of the 1970s performance. In 1966, He was voted as the fourth best of Ballon D’or, and he was also voted in top ten Ballon'Dor in 1971 and 1972. Moore was voted seventh place the best player in history of World Cup by France Football. 
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3. Franco Baresi

Date Of Birth : 8 May 1960
Nation : Italy, Caps :  81 Games, Height : 176 cm
Position  : Sweeper, Major Club  :   AC Milan
World Cup Participation :  1982, 1986, 1990, 1994 (10 Games)
Club Honors :  6 Times Italian Series A
3 Times European Cup (1989, 1990, 1994), 1993 Runner-Up
2 Times Intercontinental Cup (1989, 1990)
International Honors : 1994 FIFA World Cup Runner-Up
1990 FIFA World Cup Third Place
Individual Achievement : 1990 FIFA World Cup All-Star Team
1989 Silver Medal European Footballer Of The Year
1990 Guerin Italian Series A Footballer Of The Year
2 Times European Defender of The Year (1989, 1993)
AC Milan Player Of Century

Total Skill : A+ , Peak Performance AA, Total Performance : A, Age Bonus

“Piscinin” Franco Baresi is acknowledged as the greatest center-back in history of the game. He perfectly played as sweeper and being the most important role for AC Milan’s famous defensive line which kept record without conceding a goal in consecutive more than 900 minutes. Baresi was honoured to retire number 6 for AC Milan. Even his lower-average tall of his, He still always managed with aerial ball well. Baresi was a footballer leader with excellent technique, vision and courage on the pitch. In spite of his world-class performance, He was just a start of Italy national team because departure of Gaetano Scirea. Baresi is considered as the best defender in Series A four times (1989 - 1992 and 1994) according to media rating. He was voted in 8th, 6th and 11th Ballon'Dor in 1988, 1993 and 1994, respectively and was voted in top ten FIFA World Player of the year in other three different years (1991 (6th), 1992 (9th), 1994 (9th)). Baresi was voted in top twenty in Europe’s player of century by IFFHS’s poll and in the greatest player of century in World Soccer’s poll.
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2. Paolo MaIdini

Date Of Birth  :  29 June 1968
Nation   :  Italy
Position  :  Left-Full-Back/ Center-Back
Height  :  187 cm
Major Club   :  AC Milan
Caps  :  126 Games
World Cup Participation  : 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002 (23 Games)
Club Honours  :  7 Times Italian Series A, 1 Time Copa Italia
5 Times UEFA Champion League (1989,1990,1994,2003,2007)
3 Times UEFA Champion League Runner-Up (1993,1995,2005)
International Honours  : 1994 FIFA World Cup Runner-Up
2000 European Championship Runner-Up


          Individual Achievement

1989 Bravo Award
2 Times European Championship Team Of Tournament (1996, 2000)
2 Times FIFA World Cup All-Star (1990, 1994)
1994 FIFA World Cup Best Defender
2 Times Bronze Ball European Footballer Of The Year (1994, 2003)
1994 World Soccer Player Of The Year
1995 Silver Ball FIFA World Player Of The Year
2004 Series A Defender Of The Year
2007 UEFA Champion League Best Defender 
4 Times European Defender of The Year (1994, 1995, 2003, 2005) 

Total Skill : A+ , Peak Performance AA, Total Performance : A+, Age Bonus

Paolo Maldini is regarded by so many as the greatest defender of all-time after his retirement at 41 years old. He was honoured to retire number 3 for AC Milan where he holds the record all-time most appearances with totally playing 902 matches for 25 seasons and also holds all-time record most appearance in European Cup with 139 games. In total career games, he made more than 1020 appearances. He incredibly debuted in Italian series A at 16 year olds and becoming a world-class defender since his only 20 years old for AC Milan and Italy and sustain his level through 1990s before switching from left-back to center-back during 2000s which he still reach world-class in some years. He was also voted in top ten Ballon D’or in 1993 (7th), 1995 (7th), 2000 (10th) and 2005 (6th), also being voted in top ten FIFA World Player Of The Year in 1994 (5th), 1996 (7th) and 2005 (9th). Maldini is a modern defender with considerable technique and vision, solid defensively, quick and with excellent recuperation skills. He is the best defender in Series A four times according to media rating (1988, 1993, 1995 and 2004). Maldini holds the all-time World Cup record of 2,217 consecutive minutes played and also holds with Francisco Gento of the all-time most appearances in European Cup final with 8. Maldini was finished 10th in UEFA Jubilee Poll as the best European footballer in last 50 years.
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1. Franz Beckenbauer


Date Of Birth  :  11 September 1945
Nation   :  Germany
Position  :  Advanced Sweeper
Height  :  181 cm
Major Club :   Bayern Munich
Caps  : 103 Games (14 Goals)
World Cup Participation : 1966, 1970, 1974 (18 Games)
Club Honours  : 5 Times Bundesliga, 4 Times DFB Pokal
3 Times European Cup (1974, 1975, 1976)
1 Time Cup Winner’s Cup, 1976 Intercontinental Cup
International Honours  : 1974 FIFA World Cup Winners
1966 FIFA World Cup Runner-Up
1972 European Championship Winners
1976 European Championship Runner-Up

Individual Achievement

4 Times German Footballer Of The Year
(1966, 1968, 1974, 1976)
3 Times FIFA World Cup All-Stars Team (1966, 1970, 1974)
2 Times UEFA Euro Best Defender (1972, 1976)
1966 FIFA World Cup Young Player Of Tournament
1974 FIFA World Cup Silver Ball - Best Defender
1966 Bronze Ball European Footballer of The Year
European Footballer Of The Year : Gold (1972, 1976), Silver Ball (1974, 1975)
Bayern Munich - Bundesliga Greatest Player Ever
1994 FIFA World Cup All-Time Team
1998 FIFA World Team Of Century
1999 IFFHS Germany Player of The Century
1999 Silver Ball IFFHS European Player of The Century
1999 Bronze Ball IFFHS World Player of The Century

Total Skill : A+, Peak Performance AA+, Total Performance : AA

“Der Kaiser” Franz Beckenbauer is regarded as one of the greatest footballers ever in history of the game and the greatest German footballer of all-time. He originally started playing as defensive midfielder before moved to attacking libero which he controlled rhythmic in defensive able to advance on offensive mission with his elegant style of play. Beckenbauer was rated for Kicker magazine in 10.5 world-class seasons and 2.5 international-class seasons, This would be according to his record the most appearances in top five of Ballon D’or with 10 times. He was known for his leadership and effectiveness to read the game. According to German Footballer of the year voting, He also finished second place four times, was German defender of the year 8 times and holds the record most appearances in Bundesliga team of the season with 12 and holds the record most seasons with most weekly appearances with 7 and most weekly appearances in a single season with 16. Beckenbauer is not the greatest ever as defensive player but his creativity, passing, long shooting, holding with ball and defensive game led him as one of the most completed footballer the world has ever produced. He scored more than 50 goals and made 67 assists in his whole club career. Beckenbauer was voted 4th and 6th World player of century from World Soccer and France football’s poll, respectively, was voted 3rd the best player in history of World Cup by France Football, was finished 2nd in UEFA Jubilee Poll as the best European footballer in last 50 years.
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Honourable Mention

Branko Zebec

Date Of Birth  :  17 May 1929
Nation : Yugoslavia, Caps  : 65 Games (17 Goals)
Position :  Left-Wing-Back/ Center-Back
Height : 176 cm, Major Club  :  Redstar Belgrade
World Cup Participation  :  1958, 1962
Club Honors : 1 Time Yugoslavian League
2 Times Yugoslavian Cup
International Honours   :  1952 Olympic Game Silver Medal
1960 European Championship Runner-Up
Individual Achievement  :   None

Total Skill : A-, Peak Performance A+


Branco Zebec is one of greatest players in Yugoslavian history and is one of the most completed and versatile footballers of all-time, could play everywhere on the pitch, primarily perform as left-winger and occasionally switched to many other positions, notably reached world-class in the late career as center-back. True leader, fast thinker, understood the game superbly. He was tough and a little bit skinny, but with muscles. He began his senior career at only 16 years old as a left-winger, played with great acceleration, speed and mobility. He could ran 100m for 11s, in football boots. Zebec played very good with his head and he was very calm in important moments. He was also very strong in duels and practically unstoppable on the left side. Zebec wasn't too sophisticated technical player, but he controlled ball very well. In the game he was very brave and rational as well. Never made a move too much, used dribble only when it's necessary. Zebec was known for his reliability of playing, really hard to see him mistake. However, He was never nominated in Ballon'Dor.
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Renzo De Vecchi

Date Of Birth  : 3 February 1894
Nation    :   Italy
Position  :   Semi-Left-Back
Height     : 163 cm
Major Club  :   Genoa
Caps    :   43 Games
Olympic Games Participation  :   1912, 1920, 1924
Club Honours   :   3 Times Italian Series A
International Honours    :   None
Individual Achievement  :   Genoa's Greatest Player Ever

Total Skill : B+ , Peak Performance A


Renzo De Vecchi is the greatest defender in the World between the 2nd half 1910 and 1st half 1920s. He played in amateur era of Italian Football, made his debut with Milan in Serie A when he was just 15 year olds and, when he was only 19, Genoa (italia's best team at the time) bought him for a record price. He was the leader and the best player of the Genoa side who won three Scudetto (he was the captain for 8 years) ; he's then been the youngest player ever to make his debut with the Italy national team (16 years old) at 20 he was already the captain of Italia, and was by far the best player of the team. As a player he was a left-back and had amazing skills: the press and his team-mates called him "Il Figlio di Dio" (The Son of God, literally) because he had no flaws. He was fast, strong, agile; he was a great tackler and passer and had an amazing technique even he was a defender. De Vecchi participated in three Olympic Games which Italy failed in all tournaments.
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* John Charles and Paul Breitner

These two players were not best in defender position although they both ever achieved world-class as defender. John Charles played as center-back in a few seasons before switching to settle down playing as target striker which is his peak position. Paul Breitner played as left wing-back in more seasons than midfielder and was rated in a world class season which did not include his performance in Real Madrid. But still, He was similar to Matthias Sammer to find his best position in late career. Breitner changed his position to play as central midfielder and becoming one of the greatest midfielders in the world. Accordingly, I would not rank them in anywhere as a rule that player was eligible to be ranked only one position in the series.
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Statistics

By Position

Left-Back : 10
Right-Back : 10.5
Center-Back : 14
Sweeper : 10.5

Advanced Sweeper : 6

By Nation

Italy : 13
Germany : 10
Brazil : 6
France : 4
Argentina : 3
Holland : 2
England : 2
Uruguay : 2
Spain : 1
Soviet Union : 1
Uruguay : 1
Scotland : 1

By Decade

1910s : 0.5
1920s : 1.5
1930s : 2.5
1940s : 0.5
1950s : 5.5
1960s : 9
1970s : 6.5
1980s : 11
1990s : 11
2000s : 3
2010s : 1
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CLASSIFICATION


Class : Crown
None
Class : King

Gold

None


Silver

            Franz Beckenbauer


Bronze

Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi

Class : Queen

Gold

Bobby Moore, Daniel Passsarella,
Giacinto Facchetti,
Gaetano Scirea, Nilton Santos, Elias Figueroa, Ruud Krol




Silver

 Giuseppe Bergomi
Carlos Alberto, Djalma Santos, 
Alessandro Nesta, Berti Vogts, Matthias Sammer, Claudio Gentile
Ronald Koeman, Fernando Hierro,
Fabio Cannavaro, Lilian Thuram Roberto Carlos, Jose Nasazzi, Jurgen Kohler, Billy Wright
Andreas Brehme, Antonio Cabrini
Domingos Da GuiaMarcos Cafu 
Leovegildo Junior, 
Karlheinz Schnellinger
Hector ChumpitazJavier Zanetti
Jose Santamaria, 



Bronze

Renzo De Vecchi, 
Albert Shesternev, 
Velibor Vasovic, Marcel Desailly
 Paul Janes, Alan Hansen
Hans Peter Briegel, 
Pietro Vierchowod
Silvio Marzolini, Ciro Ferrara 
Phillipe Lahm, Manuel Amoros 
Willi Schulz, Laurent Blanc
Victor Rodriguez Andrade
Alessandro Costacurta, 
Karlheinz Forster, Branko Zebec



Substitution Group : First-Class

Jose Antonio Camacho : Spain/80s
Murtaz Khurtsilava : Soviet Union/late 60s to Early 70s
Roberto Perfumo  : Argentina/Late 60s to Early 70s
Marius Tresor : France/Late 70s to Early 80s
Jan Popluhar : Czechoslovakia/ Late 50s to Early 60s
Luis Pereira  : Brazil/1970s
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The Greatest Pure Defensive Performers Ever

1. Franco Baresi
2. Paolo Maldini
3. Bobby Moore
4. Elias Figueroa
5. Gaetano Scirea
6.  Berti Vogts
7.  Alessandro Nesta
8.  Jose Santamaria
9.  Jurgen Kohler
10. Giuseppe Bergomi
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The Highest Defender's Peaks of All-Time

1. Franz Beckenbauer
2. Matthias Sammer
3. Franco Baresi
4. Paolo Maldini
5. Elias Figueroa
6. Gaetao Scirea
7. Nilton Santos
8. Daniel Passarella
9. Giacinto Facchetti
10. Bobby Moore


75 comments:

  1. Good evening! I am a little confused by equalizing role-libero and sweeper. As for me and my knowledge of football, it's a different role. Libero- word itself suggests, libero- free. These are the players who are usually played in front of two center-back. They had better ball control than conventional center back. They had the initiative forward. Classic examples are: Beckenbauer, Morten Olsen, Sammer ... Sweeper- word itself says it all. Usually behind the two center back. It has a sense of organization and accountability, and usually more defensive characteristics. Franco Baresi is known to play as well as Popluhár and Vasovic. The last thing I remember, it was Igor Stimac in the Croatian jersey at the World Cup in France. And libero and sweeper possess distinct leadership traits. A distinction is made by me and posit stopper. The most classic examples are by me Bergomi Kohler and Gentile. Today's dominant classic center back. Kind regards!

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    Replies
    1. I think it should have been cleared about the global name of sweeping role and advanced defender role but honesty even nowadays it is still not clear and Libero is actually just a sweeper in Italian language by no difference of extent. I understand your point and at least I should differentiate it, I’d revise position name as “advanced sweeper” for Beckenbauer, Sammer, Scirea, Passarella, Olsen, Vasovic, etc

      Delete
  2. Morten Olsen began his career on the right wing. He continued as a defensive midfielder, and is remembered solely as a libero. The position of center-back in Anderlecht have played with him Peruzovic, Broos and Grun, and the Danish national team, Ivan Nielsen and Busk. They all stood behind him like a fuse while he was free after their operation. He was a libero. He was not a center back or defensive midfielder. Otherwise, the entire idea of the level of information is great. Kind regards!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, I see. I copied his profile from another player and change details but forgot to change position in all-time Denmark squad. Surely Olsen’s peak was performed as advanced sweeper but he also played as defensive midfielder so long.

      Delete
  3. Yes, he played until his 31 years. Tomislav Ivic was moved in 1980 to the position of libero. And there was only entered into legend. In this position he played is why it is respected

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  4. Can you make a top 10 list just by defending skill? Not as overall player quality but just defending.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very good idea ! but for this post, it includes only performance aspect so I’ve provided the list of them. Please see in the post. For the best pure defending skill, It is very similar to performance list, just move E.Figueroa to be ahead of Bobby Moore.

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    2. And what about Sammer?

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    3. Oh, sorry, i didn't see the your new list i thought you were referring to best peak list.

      Delete
  5. "The Greatest Pure Defending Performers Ever

    1. Baresi 2. Maldini 3. Moore 4. Figueroa 5. Scirea 6. Vogts
    7. Nesta 8. Santamaria 9. Bergomi 10. Facchetti"

    I would take out Moore, Figueroa, Vogts, Santamaria, Scirea, Facchetti and add:

    Kohler
    Thuram
    Tresor
    Desailly
    Gentile
    Forster

    In my opinion Nesta and Baresi are the top two pure defenders. Intelligence, technique and effectiveness. Gentile and Bergomi the two greatest Italian markers.
    Kohler and Forster, the two best German pure stoppers I have seen need to be included.
    Desailly, Thuram and Tresor, physically dominant but very intelligent.

    My All-Time Top 10 Complete Defenders
    Baresi=Scirea>Beckenbauer
    Nesta>Maldini
    Moore>Figueroa
    Passarella>Facchetti
    Krol

    ReplyDelete
  6. You say Krol obtained the highest point average seasonal rating by media among defenders in history. Can you post a link with this source?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It is the rating in dbscalcio.com. Krol got around 7.00 average point in that season. Anyway, the standard of given points is different between eras.

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  7. Vasovic has to be in front of Amoros and Vierchowod

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  8. Dear, Readers

    It will be a good news for AC Milan's fan. After I calculate performance of Costacurta in the system, I found he would beat Jacinto Quincoces who was extremely limited in opportunity in both domestic and international career. The professional Spanish La Liga was created when he was already 24 years old but he first participated at his 25 years old and unfortunately Spanish Civil War prevent him from extending his career after playing in La Liga only 6 seasons. Therefore, his domestic career is below average in term of longevity. Internationally, he won only 25 caps as there were a few available games at that time.

    Note that all performances of Costacurta calculated into the system all are from 1990s. For the 2000s, he is considered below international-class.

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  9. Carlos Alberto has to be Queen Silver class and you have omitted the class of Vierchowod and Zebec.

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  10. Lahm and john terry should be in this list. also kaltz.

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  11. What about Bixente Lizarazu?

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    Replies
    1. Bixente Lizarazu was once named in my top 50 DF when I first created the list. He was rated by kicker only 6 international-class seasons. He participated only 60 % of total Bundesliga matches during 7 seasons due to injury and he seems to be below average on body condition for defender position which is required a high consistent physical condition. I think he got to his prime a bit too late at the latter of 20 years old. He was also never voted high place in Ballon’Dor based on defender standard.

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  12. Hi Dearman, I am very interested in your take on Maldini vs Baresi.

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  13. I am pretty sure Dani Alves should be here. Cafu is 29. and 15. in def. lateral while Alves is 34. They play similar style and while Cafu is better the difference certainly is not that large.

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    Replies
    1. I see Cafu is stronger and made a mistake much less than Daniel Alves. Importantly, Cafu is far better in performance for Brazil national team.

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    2. The difference is done in Brazil National team even if it's really hard to not see D.Alves higher.

      However he was also good with Juventus... did a good start with QSG.

      Does it change something ?

      P. G.

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    3. He is the best right back in the World in at least 5 years but there is really no close candidate in this era. His best place in ballon dor is only 19th. I think it is clear hevis not good enough.

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  14. I would suggest Sergio Ramos
    From his first season as a starter he impresses being named La Liga breaktrough player of the year
    In his first Season at Real Madrid he already becomes an undisputed starter.
    Next year he becomes World Class , and even amongst the top players
    http://www.xtratime.org/forum/156-world-football/226571-xtratime-world-player-year-2007-countdown-3.html
    Here he was voted 15th best player of the year.
    Next Year he became the greatest defender in the world , fact highlighted at the Ballon d'Or aswell. And he was included in all the Best XI of the year(ESM/FIFA/UEFA)
    Next Season Real founded difficult time and no recognition is available but he was still Real's best defender.
    In 2010 he was the 6th best player in La Liga according to average ratings and also won the World Cup being named MVP according to player grades.
    In 2011 , he is named in FIFA Team of the Year
    In 2012 he is the best defender on the planet being named La Liga Best Defender, UEFA Team of the Year , ESM Team of the Year and won the EURO being named MVP according to castrol ratings. Also highest defender at the Ballon d'Or.
    In 2013 he's named La Liga Best Defender and included in UEFA Team of the Year and FIFA Team of the Year.
    In 2014 he's named La Liga Best Defender and included in UEFA Team of the Year and FIFA Team of the Year having a remarkable year with his heroics for Real , CWC Mvp , being even tiped for the Ballon d'Or by some personalities.
    In 2015 , he was for the 4th time consecutively named La Liga Best Defender fo the Year and was included in all possible all star teams of the year(ESM/UEFA/FIFA)
    In 2016 thing will be no different. He is already named in La Liga and UCL team of the season and UCL Final Motm.

    He has won and incredible amount of trophies and qualities and was always rewarded in all competitions with individual recognition , whether it was as usually for awards with opinion of experts , or even based on objective statistics. He has 136 caps at such a young age and is surely qualified for your list.

    Another defender who has been equally impressive with Ramos in this era has been Lahm , who surely surpassed Schulz in German history.

    I advise you include both Ramos and Lahm in the ranking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is unnecessary to consider the data of awards or status of rating in Sergio Ramos case when we have seen him enough and I’m very clear his defensive ability is not good enough. Nowadays he played against much easier attackers also. I suggest you to lay down your biased view on Real Madrid players. Lahm is rated by kicker in national level in too many times.

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    2. He plays many times per year against Messi,Suarez,Neymar,Iniesta etc. That is far from easy. In fact it is probably the most effective atacking trio in history.
      And you have defenders in your ranking who weren't world class at defending , as opossed to Ramos.
      He was rated as the 6th best player in La Liga in 2010 mostly on defensive contribution , having 90 succesful tackles and 119 interceptions in that season and also 3.7 tackle per game in the UCL.
      Next season he made 81 succesful tackles in La Liga and was dribbled past only 7 times in the ENTIRE league season. That is outstanding.

      And I'd give more weight to wide media rating than to kicker. Lahm has been constantly ranked the best/one of the best defenders in the world for so many seasons just like Ramos , and even amongst the top players of the world.

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    3. I don’t mention to those famous superstar specifically since it is just happen in Spanish Derby Match. I was talking about overall attackers in nowadays. The modern era has very few world-class defenders in comparison to the previous eras so his more prolific awards or greater statistics doesn’t mean he is better than a ton of the world-class defenders that congregated in the past.

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    4. And you base that on something else than your wishes?

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  15. I reffered to that Spanish derby match because it is what people usualy follow of him. Ramos has had to face the likes of Ronaldinho , Eto'o , David Villa , Diego Forlán , Diego Milito , Deco , Iniesta , Sergio Agüero , Thierry Henry , Zlatan Ibrahimović , Radamel Falcao , Alexis Sánchez , Diego Costa , Antoine Griezmann , Cesc Fàbregas , Luis Suárez , Neymar , Messi etc. in La Liga. What fierce atacking players did Schulz , Andrade , Janes , Shesternev , Marzolini , Vasovic etc face that makes Ramos' look weak? In fact at least ahlf of the list hasn't faced the amount of atacking talent that Ramos faced in his league.

    How can Victor Rodriguez Andrade be ahead of Ramos? Neither of us have seen Andrade play so I can't make an accurate comparasion in abilities but the only(or at least most famosu) source that caompares players abilities troughout eras is pes stats wich as inaccurate as they are , they are very generous on legend stats and have been criticised for overrating them often.

    Andrade vs Ramos in pes stats:
    Atack: 70-75
    DEFENCE:80-84
    Balance:83-85
    Stamina:91-87(I doubt it but I give them the benefit of doubt)
    Top speed:84-84(FIFA's official records confirmed that Ramos has been clocked at a sprinting speed of 30.6 kilometers per hour so I doubt this one aswell)
    Acceleration:82-81
    Response:85-86
    Aggility:86-77
    Dribbling accuracy:82-83
    Dribble speed:84-81
    Short pass acc:84-81
    Short pass speed:78-82
    Long pass acc:82-85
    Long pass speed:80-84
    Shoot acc:74-69
    shoot power:82-83
    shoot technique:75-75
    Free kick:72-74
    curl:74-83
    heading:80-92
    jump:85-90
    technique:84-83
    aggresion:72-76
    mentality:87-86(Ramos is nicknamed the Lion but maybem I misunderstand this stats and has to do with his composure)
    team work:90-70

    In clonclusion Ramos is clearly the superior player. If you have any more realiable stat in your head maybe it could change but I'd agree no doubt Ramos is better.
    Consistency is out of the question with most defenders. Ramos has started as a super early bloomer and has been amongst the best year by year also reaching an insane amount of caps.
    Trophy cabinet is abnormal , with also a ton of individual awards.
    He has proven himself in the best league in the wrold , in the best club competition and at NT level at the highest level in both EURO and WC.
    And has been rated at the highest in both awards , statistics and praise by all time greates(Maldini said he is his heir , Ancelotti compared him to Maldini , Cannavaro tipped him for Ballon d'Or etc.)

    How can Ramos not be far ahead of Andrade in the ranking?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. V.R Andrade has its own problem to acquire evidence is different story to consider S.Ramos who has long been seen his footage. You list only attacker names of the current era but omit to name all of great attackers in the previous era. I don’t need to waste time to type every name but each nations had a more competitiveness of candidates to be a starter. In nowadays, who could beat Rooney in his decline period, who is the best forwards in these years and they’re even not closed to Van Nistelrooy, Van Basten. Look at Italy is even worse. There is no top-class Forwards for a long time. In 90s, there was a ton of top-class forwards (Baggio, Zola, Signori, Mancini, etc). Germany is the post-era of Klose is a main reason why Germany failed in the recent Euro. There is no great target striker until Thomas Muller essentially took this role.

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    2. Ramos appeared twice times in FIFA Ballon’Dor and finished 19th and 23th is not impressive for a player who won many international trophies and as I said this era is considered to be weaker in quality of top level group.

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    3. Ramos has been nominated at the Ballon d'Or 3 times (you ommited 2008?) , 2 of wich he was the highest rated defender of the year. And in 2014 he was the 2nd because of a brillant performance from Lahm.
      So please break it down for better understanding , why is Andrade ahead of Ramos? I understand it's difficult to present his career as explicit as Ramos' , but you have to have your reasoning. I just showed you in the last comments how good Ramos have been , so please clarify why you rank Andrade above him.

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    4. It has not been a secret that players in the pre-1960s have a very few evidence of footage to watch but their value in their own era should be saved. Andrade in the 1954 World Cup was seen to be one of the best Uruguayan players and is deserved top 10 best players of tournament. Andrade anyway was a more midfielder if applied to nowadays tactic so his offensive quality is way greater than general full-back. He was very all-round players, strong and technical approach.
      But this issue is not needed to link with Ramos. Even there is none of Andrade, Ramos is still not qualified and I don’t want to waste too much time with you biased view on Real Madrid players Pele10brazil. I have a ton of works to done.

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    5. I have not spoken anything biased in these comments really... Only facts mate. And I'll let you know that Ramos has also been succesfully deployed as a midfielder and he was also ranked MVP of both EURO and World Cup according to objective average ratings. Alltough it doesn't refelcts the truth , that bassically makes Andrade's biggest achievement of being one of the best players at World Cup irellevant. I was just trying to point out that there is no relevance in Andrade's ranking ahead of Ramos and was not trying to disrupt your work. I also make my own series and wanted to be more educated on the matter. But as a side note , Andrade isn't the only defender on the list that I highlighted as clearly inferior to Ramos. When you have time I can break down the same way as I have proved with Andrade with many other defenders.
      P.S. Many of my comments here have modified your works and helped you with your series so I wouldn't call my comments waste of time. Cheers!

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    6. There is no fact on the player rating. It is biased because you cite only awards and raw rating without analysis of data. Also, you mention and prepare stats for only Real Madrid players.

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    7. By fact I meant that the awards and statistics. Based on them and , forming an overall performance augumented by overall ability and opinions of contemporary experts and greats , I formed an opinion around Ramos status in history. And I was curious on your motivation on some of the recipients on the list being ahead of him(the example I took being Andrade).

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    8. Ramos once again magnificent being named MotM in the UEFA Super Cup. He is dominating his era!

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  16. I suggest a bit revision on Roberto Carlos' role. He was clearly regarded ahead of his contemporaries Thuram and Nesta.
    It is known that Carlos was clearly inferior in defensive abilities but afaik this is not a ranking of pure defenders , otherwise he would be lower than 15.

    Given that for example , Nesta and R.Carlos were both contemporary defenders , here is how they were both rated:
    Nesta: 5th-2000 , 14/15th-2001 , 16th-2003 , nom-2004
    R.Carlos: 5th-1997 , 13th-1998 , 26/31th-1999 , 16th-2000, 18/21th-2001 , 2nd-2002 , 8th-2003 , nom-2005(Ballon d'Or)
    Also at the FIFA WPOTY it's still crushing:
    Nesta: 8th-2000
    R.Carlos: 2nd-1997 , 4th-2002 , 5th-2003
    And World Soccer Player of the Year:
    Nesta: 10th-2000
    R.Carlos: 4th-1997 , 3rd-2002 , 9th-2003

    And also rated by the wide poll of expert all across Europe , in the ESM Team of the Year , Roberto Carlos has been included an ALL TIME RECORD 7 times , while Nesta has ZERO inclusions.
    With Thuram , the comparasion would ne the same , only not so far better. The satus of them is clear , R.Carlos is even rated by many as one of the greatest in modern era , while the 2 are only amongst defenders.

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  17. Maldini or Baresi should be 1st

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  18. I don't see Lahm in this list. I think he definitely deserves a mention in this list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When this season will have been completed, we will see if his rating will be good enough to be ranked in top 50.

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    2. Can you also compile a list for all the full-backs? Right now, you clubbed all kinds of defenders together. How about making a separate list for each type of player? Great work apart from that! I hope you are doing well.

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    3. Actually there is another categorization list, please find in http://xtraimmortal.blogspot.com/2014/02/The9x100.html

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  19. My friend, I believe that Elias Figueroa should be listed as National Team A, because according to FIFA.COM article of Figueroa, He was considered the best defender of 1974 World Cup and member of star team of this tournament. Chile did not pass the group stage, but Elías Figueroa who wore the Chilean shirt, reached the highest position as defender by over others like Beckenbauer.

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  20. It is also necessary to add in the recognitions that Figueroa was considered better player of the Uruguayan league, that was are in all his splendor, when Figueroa barely had 19 years in 1968, 1969 and 1970.

    Recapitulating Figueroa was
    *The best defender and part of star team 1974 WC.
    *Best player of Uruguayan league in 1968-1969-1971.

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  21. After another great season with very significant achievements, is Ramos finally going to be included in the list?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No revision on him like you did too Lahm?

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    2. He has been ranked up in the 9 x 100 positional ranking list but still far to be listed here. His pure defensive skill is not competitive enough.

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    3. He has been included in the ESM Team of the Year once again this season and scored the most goals in his career. Yet another world class season from Ramos and I wonder how long till you will rank him because he has by far a better career than many on the list(not even talking about trophies but individual performance at the highest level in all competitions).

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    4. OK, That is impressive but note there are not many world-class defenders in the recent era so some related year he was named in FIFPro, UEFA,ESM team of the year could not guarantee his world-class performance standardized with other era. Why I can say that, just check FIFA Ballon Dor ranking since 2012, Only 2016 that the best defender (Pepe) could be voted in top 15 and most of them even below top 20. Ramos was best defender in the World based on FIFA Ballon'dor place in 2012 and 2014 but he was placed at 18th and 23th that is very low. However, he has been dramatically ranked up in central defender list from 68th to 56th as I reviewed his rating again.

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    5. I agree there aren't as many great defenders as years ago but he also was the highest rated defender at the 2008 Ballon d'Or. And FIFA separeted the awards again in 2016 so it's worthy to mention that he was the highest rated defender at the 2016 FIFA World Player of the Year.
      All in all, I think there are very few defenders in history with so many individual accolades.

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  22. In my opinion Carles Puyol should be included in this list. He was a pure class defender with leadership ability. Was he even close to reach this top 50 ?

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    Replies
    1. Please in the 9x100 positional ranking list. He is placed around 50th best central defender ever but only 30 central defenders are listed here.

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    2. Anyway 50th best central defender is in my opinion not enough. I may be wrong but what makes him that low ? I am interested.

      P. G.

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    3. He dominates defender position in his era but his pure ability isn't that great. He have an easier jobs than many other defenders as his team's ball possession is always high percentage.

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    4. Always a pleasure to argue :)

      On the one hand it seems easier to be a defender when your team has possession because you have "less to do", on the other hand when you have to defend in such teams, it's often high on the pitch, with a lot of space to cover and you are faced to "new generation" fast defender such as robben and nobody covers you etc ...
      "Less to do" but often harder tasks and I am not sure highly rated "slow" defender would have performed successfully in such situations.
      Moreover, with all the respect I have for him, S.Busquets is not the best defensive midfielder to cover a defense.
      We can see what gives Spain Defense without Puyol... or Barça's defense when Puyol got older

      Then I would add in tactics like the one used by Juventus in 2017 and even if there is "more work", it doesn't mean the work is so complicated for a skilled defender because tactic is done to ease defense and close gaps.

      All this to say, I understand your arguments, but I find it strict applied to Puyol

      P. G.

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    5. I see. Defender in dominated team face a heavier jobs from counter-attack. Puyol did some great performances in this task help Barca surviving from goal conceding several times but he also made many mistakes as I remember well. I'm not impressed with his positional sense.

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    6. Last thing and I am done. Let's take the example of W.Samuel 92 in the 9x100 list. He is the kind of defender with high defending abilities. He is only 92, I presume, because he fails at real madrid.

      But this failure also shows for a "skilled defender" it's not always easy to be succesful in a team that has possession or with an attacking mentality.

      All this to show somebody like Terry for example may have been in trouble in such teams but I can not prove it. It's for me the same kind of arguments that to say "it's easier" when your team has possession.

      Anyway, I know I won't manage to convince you to put Puyol higher on the list if I understood your philosophy (the right one I think as it prevents from only focusing on the palmares) but here is my personal feeling about Puyol.

      P. G.

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    7. W.Samuel got many injuries and also I saw him too rough defender unnecessarily. He always made a fouls to opponent instead of fairly tackle.

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  23. Domingos Da Guia ahead of Fabio Cannavaro? What sorcery is this? Cannavaro is surely far better. One is one of Brazil's best defenders and the other is widley regarded as one of the greatest defenders of all time.

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    Replies
    1. Well, I don't think Cannavaro is one of the best defenders ever. He was not great enough in air (Refer to the scene he was beaten by Salas heading goal in the 1998 World Cup and his mistake in the 2000 Euro draw goal). He is also lack of basic technique for defender.

      Domingos Da Guia is highly creditable for his dribbling and technical skill with considerable defensive ability (even it is surely inferior to Cannavaro). Anyway, I'll keep this issue for further study since there are no evidence rating for Domingos Da Guia.

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    2. Remember how Cannavaro got owned by Carew in champions league.

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  24. Not good in air??? He is one of the legendary defenders when it comes to aerial ability.
    From his wikipedia:
    "he was highly regarded for his aerial ability, courtesy of his elevation, physical strength, athleticism, timing, and heading accuracy, which enabled him to outjump larger players, and made him particularly adept at defending crosses, or at scoring with his head from set-pieces."

    Also look at Pes Stats, he has jump 96. And of course anybody who saw him play remembers how he bossed the penalty area where no balls could be coordinated because of his imperial defense. In conclusion Fabio should be ranked much higher than your rating.

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  25. Pes stats is not always reliable as there are just a few random clips to assess. Wikipedia is mostly optimistic. I know Cannavaro possesses a relative high jump but he had a problem to manage with the aerial ball. Short player need to spend more time to reach the ball for a high jump than taller player. Not like what Baresi did, he was not great in aerial battle and he was intelligent enough to prevent the situation by taking advantage of position and his opponent struggled to reach the long passed ball by then.

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  26. You say about Thuram "high speed" but why do rapidity is only C for him ?

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    Replies
    1. I think it is a mistake. However, I don't think his remarkable ability is speed even it should have been higher than C. Revised.

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  27. Don't remember Desailly was that slow : D+ is a bit low no ?

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    Replies
    1. Honesty I never think my memory is accurate so I need a time to improve the skill rating.

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  28. Sergio Ramos named amongst the 10 best players in Europe this season at the UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award. Another outstanding year for the spanish defender. After all the waiting he surely has to be ranked now.

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  29. Top100 footballers of all time.Berti Vogts is 90.
    Djalma Santos is 82.
    but berti vogts is better than djalma santos in this list.?
    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TCncrI-_JVI/WccoMDpgJCI/AAAAAAAAOT0/VdvFxHQBG4IQC0LrNCT5bDTvnGOX6zOJgCLcBGAs/s1600/WAGF%2BII.png

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    1. I'm surprised that you know what I have just updated. Please just wait. I will update in many lists as Djalma is rated down. He will be also removed from top 100 best player ever.

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  30. Still no Ramos?

    He has been ranked 5th best World player of the Year now at the 2017 The Best FIFA Men's Player.

    Surely he needs to be ranked since season after season he is outstanding.

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    1. "Ramos has been praised for his decisive performances in important games, most notably for Real Madrid, due to his tendency to score clutch goals for his team, and is considered by several pundits to be the best big-game player in the world."-Wikipedia

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