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Who Is The Best Centre Back Of The 21st Century?

Who Is The Best Centre Back Of The 21st Century?

Having a world class goalkeeper will always be a help to your team but you can't have him peppered with shots all day so before it gets to that point we need two world class centre backs and arguably there's some of the best of all time to pick from in this century.

There's certainly a debate to be had these days that defending just isn't what is used to be, Pep Guardiola claimed he doesn't bother teaching his teams how to defend and Jurgen Klopp must be following this tactic.


But the dark art of defending is still a much needed skill, especially when you come up against attacks like the ones City and Liverpool possess, and if any defenders of the current crop need some inspiration they don't have far in the past to look.

Here's our 10 candidates to vote for with the top two making it into our team of the 21st century, if we've missed anyone out then let us know in the Facebook comments:

Fabio Cannavaro:

Not many defenders win the Ballon d'Or but Cannavaro did exactly that after he captained his country to World Cup success in 2006. Two La Liga titles with Real Madrid further his claims.


The World Cup winning captain was the first defender to win the Ballon d'Or since 1996 and none have won it since. Image: PA Images.

Rio Ferdinand:.

Under Sir Alex Ferguson the Englishman became one of the best defenders on the planet winning the league six times, the Champions League and the FIFA World Club Cup. He captained his country and his club team and was named in the PFA Team of the Year six times.

Ferdinand was part of Sir Alex Ferguson's Premier League domination. Image: PA Images.

Vincent Kompany:

Kompany twice won the Belgian league and has already won the Premier League twice and it's likely the City captain will add a third title to his name at the end of this season and possibly a Champions League trophy in the future. As integral as anyone to City's revolution.

Kompany lifting the Premier League trophy. Image: PA Images.

Alessandro Nesta:

Twice the central defender won the Champions League with AC Milan and it might have been a third if it wasn't for the infamous night in Istanbul. With Milan he was a two time Serie A champion, also winning it with Lazio under Sven Goran Eriksson in 2000. He was four time Serie A defender of the year as well.

Nesta making sure history doesn't repeat itself in 2007. Image: PA Images.

Gerard Pique:

As important as anyone when it comes to both Barcelona and Spain's dominance in the last decade. How far he's come since being a youngster at Manchester United. 21 major titles to his name and counting.

And he's married to Shakira, the lucky bastard. Image: PA Images

Carles Puyol:

In the end Puyol ended up with less major trophy wins than his younger partner in the centre of defence for Barcelona but there would be no Pique without his elder partner at the Camp Nou. He started what Pique would finish for club and country.

Puyol got used to lifting trophies. Image: PA Images.

John Terry:

Mr Chelsea. Terry has been a key player in all five of Chelsea's Premier League winning teams and won so many other trophies beside. Try to imagine those early Abramovich teams without him, it's near impossible.

John Terry
John Terry

Captain, leader, legend. Image: PA Images.

Kolo Toure:


Toure was part of Arsenal's invincibles, also winning two FA Cups and getting to a Champions League final with the Gunners. Then went on to win the league with Manchester City and was a Steven Gerrard slip from being the first man to win the Premier League with three clubs. Finally went unbeaten again with Celtic.

There's no need to be upset. Image: PA Images.

Nemanja Vidic:

If all the class and ball playing skill came from Rio Ferdinand then Vidic was the ying to his yang. The pair were the perfect partnership and Vidic was one of the best pure defenders around, unless he came up against Fernando Torres.

Vidic Ferdinand
Vidic Ferdinand

He came from Serbia...Image: PA Images.

So who gets your vote?

Topics: John Terry, Sergio Ramos, defenders, Rio Ferdinand, Fabio Cannavaro

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.


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