The Most Famous Defender in Soccer: Ranking the Top Names

Choose the defender you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:18 (Updated on Dec 1, 2023 14:29)
Welcome to StrawPoll, the home of thought-provoking and engaging polls! Today, we invite you to dive into the exhilarating world of soccer and help us determine the most famous defender to grace the field! With their uncanny ability to break down attacks and protect their team's fortress, defenders have always been the unsung heroes of the beautiful game. Our interactive ranking features legends like Maldini, Ramos, Beckenbauer, and many more - but we want to know who YOU think deserves the title of the most iconic defender in soccer history. Cast your vote, make your voice heard, and if your favorite isn't on our list, don't hesitate to suggest a missing option! Let the thrilling debate begin, and may the best defender win!

Who Is the Most Famous Defender in Soccer?

  1. 1
    Franz Beckenbauer
    Sven Mandel · CC BY-SA 4.0
    The German defender is widely regarded as one of the greatest defenders of all time. He won numerous titles with Bayern Munich and the German national team, and also coached both teams to success.
    Franz Beckenbauer in other rankings
  2. 2
    The Italian defender spent his entire career with AC Milan, winning multiple titles and earning a reputation as one of the best defenders of his generation. He also captained the Italian national team.
    Paolo Maldini in other rankings
  3. 3
    Bobby Moore
    Panini · Public domain
    The English defender captained his country to its only World Cup victory in 1966. He also had a successful club career with West Ham United.
    Bobby Moore in other rankings
  4. 4
    Another AC Milan legend, Baresi won numerous titles with the club and was known for his exceptional reading of the game and ability to anticipate opponents' moves.
    Franco Baresi in other rankings
  5. 5
    Carlos Alberto Torres
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    The Brazilian defender is best known for his memorable goal in the 1970 World Cup final against Italy. He also won multiple titles with his club team, Santos.
  6. 6
    The Italian defender won the World Cup with Italy in 2006 and was named FIFA World Player of the Year the same year. He also had a successful club career with teams like Real Madrid and Juventus.
    Fabio Cannavaro in other rankings
  7. 7
    The Serbian defender was a rock at the heart of Manchester United's defense for many years, winning numerous titles with the club. He was known for his physicality and leadership skills.
  8. 8
    The Spanish defender has won numerous titles with Real Madrid and the Spanish national team. He is known for his aggressive style of play and goal-scoring ability.
    Sergio Ramos in other rankings
  9. 9
    Virgil van Dijk
    Ailura · CC BY-SA 3.0 at
    The Dutch defender has quickly established himself as one of the best defenders in the world, winning the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool and being named the UEFA Men's Player of the Year in 2019.
    Virgil van Dijk is a highly reliable defender in the world of football. He is known for his exceptional defensive skills and ability to read the game. Van Dijk is a strong and commanding center-back who possesses great physicality and aerial prowess, making him an imposing figure in defense. He is also adept at intercepting and tackling opponents, rarely losing duels. Van Dijk's composure on the ball allows him to initiate attacking plays and contribute to the team's build-up play. His leadership qualities and calm demeanor make him a natural choice for captaincy. Van Dijk's performances have consistently demonstrated his exceptional defensive abilities, making him one of the most sought-after defenders in the world.
    • Position: Center-back
    • Height: 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 meters)
    • Weight: 203 pounds (92 kilograms)
    • Strengths: Defensive positioning, aerial dominance, physicality, interceptions, tackling
    • Leadership: Captaincy potential, ability to organize the defense
    Virgil van Dijk in other rankings
  10. 10
    The German defender has won numerous titles with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, as well as the World Cup with Germany in 2014. He is known for his excellent positioning and passing ability.

Missing your favorite defender?


About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous defender in soccer. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or defender is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 202 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each defender once every 24 hours. The rank of each defender is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous defender in soccer

Soccer, or football as it's known in many parts of the world, is the most popular sport on the planet. It's played by millions of people and watched by billions each year. In the game of soccer, defenders play a crucial role in protecting their team's goal and preventing the opposing team from scoring. Throughout the history of soccer, there have been many great defenders who have left their mark on the game. From legendary players like Franz Beckenbauer and Paolo Maldini to modern-day stars like Virgil van Dijk and Sergio Ramos, there's no shortage of talent when it comes to defenders in soccer. When it comes to determining who the most famous defender in soccer is, it's a tough question to answer. Some might argue that it's based on their individual accolades, while others might consider their impact on their team or the game as a whole. Regardless of how you define fame in soccer, there's no denying that the world of soccer is filled with talented and celebrated defenders.

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