Top 7 Best Center Backs of All Time

About the art of defending in football, scarcely any positions carry as much obligation and impact as that of the center-back. The job of a center-back isn’t just about preventing goals; it requires exceptional anticipation, positioning, and leadership to organize the defense and guarantee the team’s stability.

Throughout the beautiful game, there have been innumerable legendary center-backs who have made an indelible imprint on the game.

From their commanding presence on the field to their ability to read the game and make crucial interventions, these players have become symbols of defensive greatness.

In this article, we will delve into the annals of football history and feature the top 7 best center-backs of all time, celebrating their outstanding commitments and colossal influence on the game.

1 Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer is a German previous professional footballer and manager. In his playing career, he was nicknamed Der Kaiser (“The Sovereign”) because of his extravagant style, domination, and oversight on the field.

Beckenbauer rose 103 times for West Germany and played in three FIFA World Cups and two European Championships.

He is one of three men, along with Brazil’s Mário Zagallo and France’s Didier Deschamps, to have won the World Cup as a player and as a manager; he lifted the World Cup prize as captain in 1974 and reiterated the feat as a manager in 1990.

2 Bobby Moore

Bobby Moore was an English professional footballer. He most notably played for West Ham Joined together, captaining the club for over a decade, and was the captain of the England national team that won the 1966 FIFA World Cup.

He is widely regarded as perhaps of the greatest defender throughout the entire existence of football and was referred to by Pelé as the greatest defender that he had at any point played against.

Moore played north of 600 games for West Ham during a 16-year residency, winning the FA Cup in 1963-64 and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1964-65.

3 Franco Baresi

Franco Baresi is an Italian football youth team coach and a previous player and manager. He mostly played as a sweeper or as a central defender and spent his whole 20-year career with Serie A club AC Milan.

Baresi captained the club for 15 seasons. He is regarded as one of the greatest defenders of all time and was ranked 19th in World Soccer magazine’s rundown of the 100 greatest players of the 20th 100 years.

With Milan, he brought home three UEFA Champions League championships, six Serie A titles, four Supercoppa Italiana titles, two European Super Cups, and two Intercontinental Cups.

4 Fabio Cannavaro

Fabio Cannavaro is an Italian professional football coach and previous player. A center-back, he spent the majority of his career in Italy.

Cannavaro has earned accomplishments with the Italy national team. He was part of the Italy team which won continuous UEFA European Under-21 Championships in 1994 and 1996.

After gaining his most memorable senior cap in 1997, he assisted his national team to the final of UEFA Euro 2000, being named in the team of the tournament, and became a captain in 2002, following Paolo Maldini’s retirement.

5 Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and the Spain national team. He played as a center-back for Real Madrid for 16 seasons, whom he captained for six seasons.

He is considered by many specialists to be perhaps the best defender in football history. Ramos began his career at Sevilla however before long caught the attention of several clubs from across Europe after displaying his talents on the field.

Eventually, he finished paperwork for Real Madrid in 2005 where he became an integral part of their backline. Ramos has been named to the FIFPro World11 eleven times; a record for a defender, and the third-most all-time.

6 Daniel Passarella

Daniel Passarella is an Argentine previous professional footballer who played as a center-back, and previous manager of the Argentina and Uruguay national football teams.

He was captain of the Argentina team that won the 1978 World Cup. Passarella was also a talented goalscorer; at one point he was football’s top-scoring defender, with 134 goals in 451 matches.

A record was later broken by Dutch defender Ronald Koeman. In 2004, Passarella was called one of the 125 Greatest Living Footballers at a FIFA Awards Service.

7 Gaetano Scirea

Gaetano Scirea was an Italian professional footballer who is regarded as one of the greatest defenders of all time. His exceptional abilities, intelligence, and leadership qualities put him aside, earning him a place among the top 7 best center-backs throughout the entire existence of the game.

His remarkable defensive abilities, combined with his calm and made style out of play, made him an integral part of Juventus’ dominance during the era.

What put Scirea aside from other defenders was his impeccable reading of the game. He had an extraordinary tactical awareness, always seeming to be out in front of his rivals.

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