Most of the Football Fans while discussing about the game often forget about the “Art of Defending”. A slide tackle and preventing the turn can be often as important as a penalty or a free kick. In the history of football, there have been defenders with a particular style and position in defending.

So here the list of greatest defenders in the history of football

Franz Beckenbauer:

Franz Beckenbauer was notable for his game-turning goals but amazingly, he played as a sweeper. His success was a result both of his skills and his brilliance in modifying the roles of a defender.

Before Beckenbauer came into the spotlight, the role of the sweeper or libero was purely defensive. But he saw the possibility of utilizing his position in order to lead his team’s attack and would at times finish the attack he started.

Franz Beckenbauer’s skills are equaled by his successes. He won the European Cup thrice, UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup, and the Intercontinental Cup. He also played a great part when Germany proved itself to be the best in Europe by winning the 1972 UEFA European Football Championship.

On top of those major championships is the 1974 FIFA World Cup title, which was made more memorable for Beckenbauer since he won it as a team captain.

Beckenbauer’s brilliance was twice confirmed by the Ballon d’Or the highest individual award in Europe. It is very rare for a defender to win that award and winning it in 1972 and 1976 only shows that Beckenbauer is the best defenseman ever.

Paolo Maldini:

The great Franco Baresi mentored Paolo Maldini, and it’s arguable that Maldini surpassed Baresi in his career. 904 games for Milan, 128 appearances for the Italian national team and 26 titles to his name, Maldini is a certified legend of world football.

The titles only tell half the story, because to really believe how good Maldini was, you will have to watch him and see how he works. He timed his tackles to perfection, he knew when to go forward as a left-back and knew how to hold a line when playing in the heart of the defence. Watching Maldini in action is a footballing lesson, something that everyone who wants to be a defender should view.

Simply put, Maldini is the greatest defender of all time. Very few can match what he has accomplished, and even fewer are able to say that they can match his abilities as a defender.

Carles Puyol:

Carles Puyol was the toughness in what was a beautiful Barcelona side, led by Pep Guardiola. He was the physical barrier that sides had to try and break down if they ever got themselves close to the Barcelona goal. Puyol was the perfect partner to Gerard Pique and an able leader of the Blaugrana defence which was incredibly hard to breach.

Pique, the footballer of the two, would dictate play and would be more on the ball, whilst Puyol would remain the covering defender and was incredible at the back. Not only are his skills what sets people apart, but he is also one of the greatest captains we have seen in the 21st century.

589 games for Barcelona and Spain including a World Cup, a European Championship and three Champions Leagues, Puyol is arguably the greatest Spanish defender ever.

Author's Bio: 

Myself Suresh working as a Senior SEO Analyst in 360-bytes. I write critics on latest epl & la-liga football matches & latest football news in