Once again I am going to do a list on my top 5. This time I will focus on the top 5 centre in world football from 2000-2020. Quite a difficult one this but I am open to plenty of debate !
1. Fabio Cannavaro – Simply my favourite defender. He played for several clubs from 1992 to 2011. He was a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006. That same year he scooped the Ballon d’OR, probably mainly due to his masterclass against Germany in the World Cup. Fabio made over 700 appearances for club and country, with 136 coming for Italy. He has been involved in management since retiring coaching in the Chinese Super League.
2. Paolo Maldini – Maldini spent his whole career at AC Milan from 1978 till 2009. His senior career began in 1984 at the club. A club legend, Maldini would make 902 appearances for AC. He would make 126 appearances for Italy. Furthermore, he would become one of only 18 players to surpass 1,000 appearances. He would win 7 Seria A titles, 5 Champions Leagues, World Soccer player of the year in 1994.
3. Giorgio Chiellini – Currently still playing with Juventus in the Serie A and the Italian national side. Chiellini has played over 500 games for the Juventus and has amassed over 100 caps for Italy. He simply puts his body on the line to protect the goal line. He has won 8 Serie A titles as well as winning Serie A defender of the year three seasons in a row 2008-2010.
4. Sergio Ramos – Many are not fans of Ramos but his record and medals speak for themselves. The 34 year old has more or less spent the majority of his professional career at Madrid. Ramos has made over 600 appearances for the club and has broken all kinds of records. He has become Spain’s most capped player of all time making 170 appearances since his debut in 2005. He is also the countries 10th highest goalscorer. Just some of his honours include 5 Champions League medals, 4 La Liga titles, 2 European Cups in 2008 and 2012 with Spain and a World Cup in 2010.
5. Carlos Puyol – Joined up with Barcelona in 1995 as a youth. Worked his way up to the senior squad after playing with Barcelona C and Barcelona B. He made over 650 appearances for the club in an outstanding career. A no nonsense defender. He won 21 titles including a World Cup in 2010, Euro Cup in 2008 with Spain. Furthermore, with Barcelona he won 3 Champions League, 6 La Liga titles and 2 Club World Cups to name but a few.
That completes my top 5 centre backs in world football 2000-2020. Some defenders that were close to making the list include Jaap Stam, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry and Alessandro Nesta to name but a few.