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Greatest Defender of all time


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Read an interesting comment about defenders being snubbed from any real credit in the modern game. A view I agree with. So let's discuss some.

Some of my personal favourites:

Baresi, Nesta, Cafu, Carvalho, Vidic, Adams.

Greatest of all time (in my opinion):

Beckenbaur

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I would say:

Nesta, Maldini, Cannavaro, Cafu, Desailly, Matthäus (dumb as bread but what a player), I would rather have Terry in there than Vidic mate...

Favourite because of his style and not of what he has done Cannavaro... and Matthäus

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I'd go for Beckenbauer being the best defender ever. Never seen him playing live but from the videos I've seen I have to say that I've never seen such a great defender. Unbelievable vison, great technique and good defense skills.

From the ones I've seen playing I'd pick Terry, Nesta and Carvalho.

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I would say:

Matthäus (dumb as bread but what a player)

I could have sworn he was a Midfielder. I didn't realise he was moron, though.

I imagine Beckenbauer to be the greatest defender of all time, he did manage to man mark Johan Cruyff during the 1974 WC Final.

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For me, Franz Beckenbauer is in a class of his own. No one comes close.

From the rest of the defenders in history, Nesta is my favorite. Has some unbelievable moments of brilliance, especially in the CL.

I could have sworn he was a Midfielder. I didn't realise he was moron, though.

True, but he sometimes played as a sweeper.

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Best defender in my lifetime, probably Maldini. The guy was simply born to be a leader and to defend. To be the best defender, you have to be solid and quick and to play as long as he did at the top level was a credit to him. Legend.

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I would vote for someone who I've seen play extensively. Given my age I can't say I've seen Beckenbauer in real time or Adams in his prime.

So for me its Ricardo Carvalho. Champions League winner with Porto, adapted to the Premier League tremendously and won 3 Premier League's and formed one of the best centre back pairings of the generation with John Terry, moved to Madrid and had an excellent debut campaign last season with Los Blancos. Not the biggest, not the fastest and not the strongest but so very clever, a second to none reading of the game and a tremendous man marker and tackler, a joy to watch play.

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I would vote for someone who I've seen play extensively. Given my age I can't say I've seen Beckenbauer in real time or Adams in his prime.

So for me its Ricardo Carvalho. Champions League winner with Porto, adapted to the Premier League tremendously and won 3 Premier League's and formed one of the best centre back pairings of the generation with John Terry, moved to Madrid and had an excellent debut campaign last season with Los Blancos. Not the biggest, not the fastest and not the strongest but so very clever, a second to none reading of the game and a tremendous man marker and tackler, a joy to watch play.

And he knew when, how and why to foul someone, whether they be on the ball or off it. Not exactly the most respected of skills but it is an immensly useful one.

I admire Carvalho so much I was very tempted to buy one of his Madrid shirts, even though I support Barcelona in La Liga.

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Going from an English perspective, I'd give an honorary mention to Sol Campbell of older days.

When he was in his prime he had very good assets, pace & strength. Ledley King would've been fantastic, had he not had all those injury problems he has.

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Ledley King would've been fantastic, had he not had all those injury problems he has.

Love you for this comment :D. Ledley is still among the best three CBs imo in the league despite his fitness issues, he's just great.

Can only speak for the defenders I've seen. Alessandro Nesta is the best centreback I've seen. His style was beautiful and incredibly effective. There will never be another like him. And I didn't even see him in his prime at Lazio..

The likes of Cafu, Maldini, Carlos and Thuram etc. in their prime were before my time so Ashley Cole is the best fullback I've ever seen. Superb player and incredibly consistent, an honour to have seen him play.

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Love you for this comment :D. Ledley is still among the best three CBs imo in the league despite his fitness issues, he's just great.

Haha, he truly is a fantastic defender. I feel very sorry for him, because when he plays he's very good. This season he's played a lot more games, it's encouraging for him.

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I can't believe so many of you rate Cannavaro so highly, i think he is incredibly overrated based on his 2006 world cup performance, i think he was good but nowhere nowhere the best in his generation. I rate Puyol, Terry, and Carvalho higher.

Here is the top 4 defenders in my lifetime.

1. Nesta

2. Maldini

3. Thurman

4. Cafu

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