Football: Top 10 Defenders of All Time
The game of Football in all its intensity has always been a battle of Attack vs Defence. Sure, scoring goals is an essential aspect of the game. However, an even more important facet is defending the goal. The Art of Defending is tried by many, mastered by a few.
Defenders need to be sturdy, athletically fit players who know where to be at the right time and who won’t fear to put in a tackle or two. A perfectly timed sliding tackle or an off the line clearance can be as important as winning the match for the team. If there is any coordination that is essential to maintain in this high paced, filled with adrenaline game; it is that between a Goalkeeper and a Defender.
There have been various types of defenders in the past. However, the main classification comes as a difference in the position, i.e. A centre back and a Fullback. Centre Backs are the pillars of any defendant who are usually tall and athletically strong who know when to put a firm foot ahead and when to recede. On the other hand, fullbacks are usually fast and agile players who support their respective wingers and also trail back at times of defense.
Centre backs are known to be dangerous during set pieces like Free kicks or corners, as they can easily tower over players to head the ball in the opposition’s net. However, a fullback with the help of their speed supplement the team’s attack and are many times seen scoring vital goals for the team. Even in the center back position, there are various sub-categories; with the most popular one being the position of a sweeper.
A sweeper is usually the last person on the defensive line just before the goalkeeper. Hence it is essential that the Sweeper can be a reliable player. Since he is the one on which the most important aspect of the game depends on – Goals.
In the history of Football, there have been defenders who have stood out concerning a particular style and position in defending. We take a look at 10 of the Best Defenders of All Time -
Bobby Moore –
Cited by the Brazilian legend Pele as the “best man marker he played against”, Richard “Bobby” Moore is considered as one of the best English defenders to have ever graced the pitch. Immortalised since he led the Three Lions to the World Cup victory in 1966, Moore’s 108 caps for England and his glory days in West Ham United were the highlights of his illustrious career.
Having scored a total of 26 goals from 716 matches, one of the greatest moments for Moore was in the 1970 World Cup when his sublime sliding tackle prevented Jairinzho, a legendary Brazilian winger from scoring from near the penalty area. The star also has a statue dedicated to him outside the Wembley Stadium.