Best Defenders In The History of The Premier League: The history of the Premier League has passed through many unforgettable star defenders such as Ferdinand, Tony Adams, John Terry, and other stars who formed a great reward for the history and achievements of the Premier League throughout its long history.
Best Defenders In The History of The Premier League
In light of the many options available, of which only 10% are chosen, we will see the absence of a large number of English football legends in the top 10 defenders of all time, and we will review them in the following lines.
The English star, Rio Ferdinand, the Manchester United star, has won the highest rating, and we find it at the top of the 10 best defenders in the history of the English Premier League, for his football services in the Premier League.
1. Rio Ferdinand
- Full Name: Rio Gavin Ferdinand
- Date of Birth: 7 November 1978
- Place of Birth: Camberwell, England
- Height: 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
- Position(s): Centre-back
Rio Ferdinand walked out of West Ham Academy with great fanfare, being described as the ‘new Bobby Moore’. He broke his record £18m move to Leeds United, but it wasn’t until he moved to Manchester United in 2002 (for another record fee of £30m) that he would begin to show his full potential.
His excellent ability to read play, along with speed and leadership, helped Manchester United win six more titles between 2002 and 2014 before leaving for one season to Queens Park Rangers. His career has not been without controversy, most notably an eight-month ban for missing a drug test. But it is his achievements and distinction in more than 504 matches in the Premier League that made him the best defender in the history of the Premier League.
2. Gary Neville
- Full Name: Gary Alexander Neville
- Date of Birth: 18 February 1975
- Place of Birth: Bury, England
- Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
- Position(s): Right-Back
Gary Neville One of the most famous defenders in the history of English football, Gary Neville has played for Manchester United since the advent of the Premier League, and is known for being a player who wears his emotions on his sleeve.
Neville has been captain of Man United since 2005, winning eight Premier League medals and being named to the Premier League Team of the Decade in 2003.
3. Tony Adams
- Full Name: Tony Alexander Adams
- Date of Birth: 10 October 1966
- Place of Birth: Romford, London, England
- Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
- Position(s): Centre Back
Perhaps no other defender on this list has made the journey during his Premier League career like Tony Adams. The England international won four Premier League titles with the Gunners. Adams has led them to victory in three different decades, but it’s his evolution as a player that really sets him apart.
He is part of a popular Arsenal backline alongside Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterbourne and Steve Bould, and was named the Premier League Team of the Year in 1993-94, 1995-96 and 1996-97.
Adams – an old-school physical defender – has cleaned up his lifestyle off the field and suddenly evolved into a more modern center-back and playing ball. The changes extended his playing career for many years. As a result, a large part of the early successes of the team was under the French leadership.
Arsenal won the Premier League title in 1997-98, and repeated the feat in 2001-2002, with Adams serving as captain in both campaigns. Each of those seasons also saw the Gunners win the FA Cup as well.
4. John Terry
- Full Name: John George Terry
- Date of Birth: 7 December 1980
- Place of Birth: Barking, England
- Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.87 m)
- Position(s): Centre-Back
One of the greatest defenders in Chelsea’s history, John Terry helped Chelsea win three Premier League titles and win the 2012 Champions League.
John Terry has also made over 300 Premier League appearances for Chelsea, and John Terry is considered as one of the greatest defenders in Premier League history towards the end of his career.
5. Dennis Irwin
- Full Name: Joseph Denis Irwin
- Date of Birth: 31 October 1965
- Place of Birth: Cork, Ireland
- Height: 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
- Position(s): Left Back
Voted as a member of the Premier League team of the last decade in 2003, Denis Irwin was an incredible star with Manchester United during his time at Old Trafford, winning seven Premier League, 3 FA Cups and the Champions League during the years. The ten he spent in the English Premier League with Manchester United.
Erwin has always found himself as a major contributor to Manchester United even towards the end of his career and is one of the greatest footballers ever to have played for the Red Devils.
6. Marcel Desailly:
- Full Name: Marcel Desailly
- Date of Birth: 7 September 1968
- Place of Birth: Accra, Ghana
- Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
- Position(s): Centre-Back, Defensive Midfielder
Although he only spent six years in England, Ghanaian-born and France international Marcel Desele was able to be part of the Premier League’s Team of the Decade in 2003 and has always been a fantastic player for Chelsea FC.
During his time with Chelsea FC, Desailly was able to continue his impressive ways of winning by winning the FA Cup in 2000 and the European Super Cup in 1998.
7. Sol Campbell:
- Full Name: Sulzeer Jeremiah Campbell
- Date of Birth: 18 September 1974
- Place of Birth: Plaistow, London, England
- Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
- Position(s): Centre Back
Premier League clubs: Tottenham (1992-2001), Arsenal (2001-2006, 2010), Portsmouth (2007-2009) and Newcastle (2010-present).
Another player who has been in the Premier League since its inception in 1992, Sol Campbell found himself as one of the most popular footballers in England during this time.
Overall, Campbell was able to win the Premier League twice with Arsenal (2002 and 2004) and won the FA Cup twice with Arsenal and once with Portsmouth.
8. Ashley Cole:
- Full Name: Ashley Cole
- Date of Birth: 20 December 1980
- Place of Birth: Stepney, England
- Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.76 m)
- Position(s): Left-Back
With 207,762, Ashley Cole garnered over 100,000 more votes than his closest rivals left-back – Patrice Evra and Dennis Irwin – combined. Cole, a divisive figure in London, made a controversial move from Arsenal to Chelsea in 2006, which strained relations between the clubs and led some to question the player’s true motive for the move. What is beyond doubt is the ability of the Englishman.
Possessing skill, speed and stamina, Ashley Cole was considered by many to be the best left-back in the world, at his peak. He won two titles with Arsenal – including as an integral member of the Indomitable team in 2003-04 – and another league title at Chelsea, in 2009-10. He made 385 appearances in the Premier League before leaving England for spells in Italy and the United States.
9. Jaap Stam:
- Full Name: Jakob Stam
- Date of Birth: 17 July 1972
- Place of Birth: Kampen, Netherlands
- Height: 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
- Position(s): Centre-Back
Jaap Stam may have left Manchester United in a bad way, but it is hard to dispute that the Dutchman remains one of their greatest defenders of all time. He also stands as one of the best Premier League defenders of all time too.
Signed in the summer of 1998 with the Red Devils from PSV Eindhoven, Leap Stam made an immediate impact at Old Trafford. Playing alongside Ronnie Johnson or Henning Berg, the Dutchman was undoubtedly the main man when it came to United’s backline. He helped the Red Devils win the famous treble during his first season at Manchester United.
United won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League with Stam in the back line and the Dutchman never looked back.
The Dutch international remained United’s primary defender in 1999-00 and 2000-2001, helping them win two more Premier League titles. In all three of his full seasons at Old Trafford, he was named the Premier League Team of the Year.
Strong in the air, deceptively fast, and incredibly intimidating, Stam was arguably the best defender in the Premier League at the time. In 2007, Sir Alex Ferguson admitted he had made a mistake in selling the Dutchman. This was a rare recognition from the legendary director but it showed the value of Jap Stam.
10. Virgil van Dijk:
- Full Name: Virgil van Dijk
- Date of Birth: 8 July 1991
- Place of Birth: Breda, Netherlands
- Height: 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
- Position(s): Centre-Back
Widely known as the best defender at the moment, Virgil van Dijk has completely changed the fortunes of Liverpool FC since joining them in January 2018. Prior to the signing of the Dutchman, the red team was notorious for its poor backline. And ever since he arrived at Anfield, their defense has been almost impenetrable.
Van Dijk helped the Reds reach the Champions League final in 2018 – and then win the Champions League in 2019, being named Man of the Match in the final. He was always present in the 2018-2019 season and was named the best player in the Premier League.
What makes it so good? Basically, he has it all. He composed on the ball and rarely makes a mistake. In addition, it is almost impossible to get past him, as he is a decisive goal scorer – scoring six goals in 2018-19.
If he can continue to play the way he currently does, there is a good chance he will end up being remembered as one of the Premier League’s greatest defenders of all time