The 25 Greatest Defenders Of All Time Have Been Named And Ranked By Fans
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AC Milan and Italy icon Paolo Maldini has been named as the greatest defender in football history in a new fan poll.
Maldini played for the Serie A giants for over 25 years and won the lot at club level, including seven Serie A titles and five Champions Leagues.
The sweeper was adept to playing at left-back as well as central defence across three different decades.
He retired from international duty after the 2002 World Cup and if he'd have hung on for four more years, he'd have added a World Cup winners medal to his trophy cabinet too.
Fans on thetoptens.com believe Maldini is worthy of top spot, but he faced stiff competition.
Nemanja Vidic comes in second place after becoming a staple of Manchester United's success in the mid 2000s, while Barcelona icon Carles Puyol is similar to Maldini in the way he's a one-club man.
John Terry and Franz Beckenbauer round out the top five, which is missing a certain Sergio Ramos.
The Paris Saint-Germain superstar enjoyed a trophy-laden 16 years with Real Madrid, winning 22 major honours with Los Blancos.
He's failed to reach those heights since moving to France last summer, but is the highest placed active player on the list.
Check out the top 25 below:
25. Lilian Thurman
24. Ashley Cole
23. Djalma Santos
22. Denis Irwin
21. Dani Alves
19. Gary Neville
18. Vincent Kompany
17. Jaap Stam
16. Rafael Marquez
15. Fabio Cannavaro
14. Alessandro Nesta
13. Thiago Silva
12. Franco Baresi
11. Rio Ferdinand
10. Gerard Pique
9. Philipp Lahm
8. Roberto Carlos
7. Bobby Moore
6. Sergio Ramos
5. Franz Beckenbauer
4. John Terry
3. Carles Puyol
2. Nemanja Vidic
1. Paolo Maldini
There are a few interesting calls in here to say the least.
Gary Neville is no doubt a legend, but he's somehow managed to rank above Dani Alves.
The Barcelona full-back is the most decorated footballer in history with 46 senior titles across four different leagues and the Brazil national team.
Franco Baresi also fails to break into the top ten, which is a crime against the sport.
Baresi spent 20 years at AC Milan and won the 1984 World Cup with Italy.
Who do you think is the best defender of all time?
Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Paolo Maldini, Nemanja Vidic, John Terry, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique