Defending is one of the hardest skills to master in football. While strikers can miss a plenty of chances and eventually grab a goal to snuff any negativity, defenders simply cannot put a foot wrong. If they do, their mistakes are played on a loop for years, making the mastering of the defensive art incredibly difficult.
In this article, we will be having a look at some of the greatest centre-backs of all time. The selection is made on the basis of skills, consistency, impact on their team, success, big game performances and work rate.
Here are the ten greatest centre-backs of all time.
6. Daniel Passarella
Passarella was a defender with an uncanny eye for goal. In fact, with 182 goals in 556 matches, he was the highest scoring defender then. He was also one of the greatest centre-backs of all time.
He won the Argentinian Premier League four times, but was most successful at international level. His presence on the pitch reflected the political issues surrounding Argentina at the time, and he was named captain for the 1978 World Cup, which Argentina won.
In 1986 he was part of the squad that won another World Cup, but illness ensured he didn’t play a major part, unlike eight years previously.
5. Gaetano Scirea
Gaetano Scirea was part of the world-class Juventus side of the 1980s. Due to his glorious performances for the Old Lady, Italian fans quickly began to take note of his abilities and gave him the status of a cult hero.
He is regarded as one of the greatest defenders Italy has ever produced. For Italy, he won 78 caps, which included helping them to success in the 1982 World Cup.
He was an extremely elegant defender and seldom committed fouls or saw himself on the receiving end of criticism from the opposition fans. A true professional in every sense of the word, Scirea rose from the Juventus academy to not only achieve legendary status at his club, but he also did a phenomenal job for the national side.
4. Franco Baresi
Franco Baresi is the best definition of defending for anybody who knows about football. He was sp good that even today he’s still considered one of the greatest in his position. Starting his career as a young prospect in AC Milan academy, Baresi made his professional debut for the club at just 17 years of age.
Ever since that, Franco lived the best of his life, playing his entire 20-year career with the Rossoneri, being the captain of the Italian side for 15 years. His tackling ability was second to none, and despite not being overtly verbal, he ensured that his teammates understood what he expected of them
With Milan, he won more than 15 titles, earning the right to be nominated for the Ballon D’Or (1989), winning the Serie A Player of the Year (1989-90) among other prizes. To credit him for his phenomenal career at the San Siro, AC Milan decided to retire the number 6 jersey that he made famous by wearing for nearly two decades.