The Five Best Defenders to Grace the Premier League

Mike Page's picture
Authored by Mike Page
Posted: Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - 13:08

Since it’s genesis in 1991, the Premier League has witnessed some amazing centre-backs earn their stripes, grow into world beaters and wow fans around the globe. 

Although perhaps not as famous as Serie A for it’s defending legacy, the Premier League is considered by many as the best league in the world and its defenders play a massive part in this reputation. 

Competition is tough, but below we visit the stories of five of the best defenders who have graced the Premier League.

5) Sol Campbell

Playing 503 games throughout his impressive career, England international Sol Campbell was the rock at the core of the famous ‘Invincible’ Arsenal team who went a whole season unbeaten - the only team to ever achieve this.

His notorious physicality and leadership qualities saw Campbell win 2 Premier Leagues, 3 FA Cups and a League Cup. He proved almost impossible to replace for an Arsenal team who have struggled for success since.

4) Vincent Kompany

Vincent Kompany was a giant at the back for Manchester City, playing a huge role as the club emerged from the shadows to become a formidable force in England. 

The club’s ultimate legend, he achieved an impressive haul of 2 FA Cups, 4 Premier Leagues and 4 League Cups. He also scored a cracking goal that potentially sealed the English Premier League title for Manchester City in 2019.

3) Rio Ferdinand

Currently known for his impressive punditry and fashion (he might be seen wearing the likes of Rolex Air King for men), back during his playing career, Rio Ferdinand was a superstar centre-back.

He moved from Leeds to Man United for a British record £30 million, where he fully justified his price tag. Known for his unique technical ability and confidence on the ball, Ferdinand was so good, he often looked as though he wasn’t trying, but that was mostly because he was just that much of a natural.

He retired having won 6 Premier Leagues, 3 League Cups and a Champions League.

2) Virgil Van Dijk

Having established himself at Celtic and Southampton, Van Dijk has reached whole new heights since his move to Premier League leaders Liverpool. 

Currently considered by many as the best defender in the world, he combines physicality and technique with an expert reading of the game. Van Dijk picked up the PFA Players Player of the Year and Premier League Player of the Season awards at the end of the 2018/19 campaign.

Having already won 1 Champions League and 1 UEFA Cup, he is bound to have many more trophies come his way in years to come. 

1) John Terry

John Terry has the greatest amount of clean sheets of any single defender in Premier League history and is also the highest-scoring defender in the league’s history

Captaining Chelsea from the age of 21, he is their most successful defender ever, winning every major honour during his time at Stamford Bridge and playing with a host of amazing players and under an array of internationally acclaimed managers.

He retired having won 5 Premier League titles, 1 Champions League, 1 UEFA Cup, 5 FA cups and 3 League Cups. There is little doubt that Terry is one of the world's best ever defenders.


Image credit: Rio Ferdinand by Gordon Flood from Trim, Ireland / CC BY 2.0

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