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3 All Time Best Defenders from the FIFA World Cup

It is saddening how one remembers the one moment of magic or a splendid goal scoring form of a forward but forgets that the defensive wall is equally responsible. Here is the list of three defenders who have carved their names in FIFA World Cup history.

Franz Beckenbauer


The elegant German retired international made last ditch tackles look pleasing. His authority on the ball made him an insurmountable force. Such was Franz's prowess that he could run up the field and score goals. His crowning moment came when he helped West Germany win the 1974 World Cup. West Germany's defensive woes were eliminated when Beckenbauer started playing as a sweeper rather than a midfielder.

The tournament saw the German lead from the front and the finals against Netherlands could be considered as one his best matches. The talent of Cruyff was undermined by the zonal marking used by Franz and he destroyed Netherlands theory of Total football with vital interceptions. A true gentleman, Franz always seemed to reserve his best for bigger occasions.


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Fabio Cannavaro


It is really tough for someone to choose between Cannavaro and Maldini, but the former helped Italy lift the 2006 World Cup and played extraordinarily. Cannavaro is one of the few defenders that Italy has produced who could play with guile even under pressure. The sole recipient of the Ballon d'or as a defender in the last two decades, Fabio was at his best in the 2006 World Cup.

He played in every minute of every match alongside Buffon and intercepted 16 times. He led Italy with vigor and his ability to destroy the opposition attack and create chances for his own team helped Italy down Germany in the semis. He jumped above Mertesacker and cleared the danger before dispossessing Podolski and ran with the ball at pace and then played in Totti who helped Italy score the second goal.

Fabio's Italy conceded two goals in the whole tournament and that helped them win their fourth World title. Fabio was rightly named as the " Wall of Berlin" after his performance in the final.

Daniel Passarella



One of the best goal scoring defenders of all time, Daniel Passarella made Argentina believe in their footballing abilities. He was an accurate dead ball specialist and his leadership skills were unparalleled. With daunting authority on the ball, he played mostly as a sweeper.

Argentina till 1978 was not considered as football powerhouse with nothing much to show for their overall competitiveness. It was the World Cup of 1978 that had changed the tides. Passarella led Argentina with newly found resilience and helped them play together as a unit. He could break plays and start the counter attack with his precise passing skills. He led Argentina to their first World Cup glory and was a part of the 1986 winning team as well. However, he did not play in a single match due to injury,


These defenders might not get the acclamation they deserve, but they will always be remembered in the footballing fraternity. Hope you have enjoyed this segment, stay updated for our next segment.

3 All Time Best Defenders from the FIFA World Cup Reviewed by Sushmoy Mallik on 00:23 Rating: 5

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