This weekÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s top ten looks at the best central defenders of recent history. My list is here, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure there are many others who should be included. Please feel free to comment on my choices or add your own;
Born – 5th September 1967
74 caps for Germany.
A sweeper with absolute class. Started out in midfield but became a wonderful defender. European footballer of the year in 1996.
Born – 13th April 1978
70 caps for Spain
Tough tackling, hard working defender selected in the Uefa team of the year on three occasions.
Born – 26th November 1965
59 caps for England
For a period around 1990Des Walker was the best defender in the World. Fans used to sing, Ã¢â‚¬Å“YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll never beat Des Walker.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Born – 7th November 1978
72 caps for England
Controversial figure who has twice broken the world record fee paid for a defender. In my view, the best England have had for many years.
Born – 19th March 1976
78 caps for Italy
Uefa team of the year four times, Italian defender of the year four times and runner-up four times, FIFpro world XI twice. Quite simply one of the best.
Born – 13th September 1973
120 caps for Italy
World Cup winning captain and only defender to ever be awarded the World footballer of the year title.
Born – 12th April 1941 Died – 24th February 1993
108 caps for England
Another World Cup winning captain. When he sadly died, Pele said, “He was my friend as well as the greatest defender I ever played against. The world has lost one of its greatest football players and an honourable gentlemanÃ¢â‚¬Â
Born – 8th May 1960
81 caps for Italy
A wonderful career saw him play over five hundred league games for his only club, Milan. I have not seen that much of Baresi but what I have looked pretty good. Better judges than me say he is the best ever.
Born – 11th September 1945
103 caps for Germany
Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe Emperor.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ World Cup winning captain, European Championship winning captain, world cup team of the tournament three times, European championship team of the tournament twice, German footballer of the year four times. He was the best footballing centre half the World has ever seen.
Born – 26th June 1968
126 caps for Italy
Another one club man for Milan. Italian captain from 1994 to 2002. Record number of appearances for Italy. Too many awards and honours to mention. In my opinion, the finest defender of all time.
Over to you!