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Sergio Ramos has been ranked as the 7th greatest centre-back in football history

Give Me Sport logo Give Me Sport 17/06/2021 Rob Hoskin

After 16 incredible years, Sergio Ramos will leave Real Madrid.

The Spanish defender will announce the news in a press conference on Thursday.

Ramos was signed from Sevilla in 2005 for €27 million and it’s proven to be an incredible bargain for the Bernabeu club.

The club captain has played 671 times for Los Blancos, scoring more than 100 goals.

He’s helped the club lift five La Liga titles as well as four Champions Leagues.

He will be leaving as a bonafide club legend.

Ramos has been so good at Real that he’s in the conversation for the greatest centre-back of all time.

However, it would very much be a case of ‘recency bias’ if Ramos was named as the best defender ever.

There have been some incredible defenders in football history and, while he may well find himself in the top 10, not even Ramos can believe he’s the greatest ever.

But who is?

Well, that’s a question 90min tried answering last year as they named the 25 best centre-backs in football history.

Let’s take you through the list:


25) Gerard Pique

24) Aldair

23) Billy McNeill

22) Rio Ferdinand

21) Giorgio Chiellini

Ramos’ former Spanish teammate, Gerard Pique, just about makes the top 25 while there are two British representatives in the form of Scotland’s Billy McNeill and England’s Rio Ferdinand. Current Italian captain, Giorgio Chiellini, just misses out on the top 20.

Giorgio Chiellini holding a football ball on a field © Provided by Give Me Sport


20) Alan Hansen

19) Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck

18) Claudio Gentile

17) Jaap Stam

16) John Terry

There are more Brits involved with former Liverpool defender Alan Hansen and Chelsea legend John Terry inside the top 20.

Bayern Munich’s Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck, Juventus’ Claudio Gentile and Dutchman Jaap Stam are also in the top 20.

John Terry holding a bottle © Provided by Give Me Sport


15) Laurent Blanc

14) Marcel Desailly

13) Fernando Hierro

12) Carles Puyol

11) Jose Santamaria

Two Frenchmen in Laurent Blanc and Marcel Desailly and pipped by two Spaniards as Fernando Hierro and Carles Puyol are 13th and 12th respectively.

José Santamaría - who played for both Uruguay and Spain - is just outside the top 10.

Carles Puyol holding a frisbee in the air © Provided by Give Me Sport


10) Billy Wright

9) Daniel Passarella

8) Ronald Koeman

7) Sergio Ramos

6) Fabio Cannavaro 

Billy Wright spent his entire career at Wolves and made 105 appearances for England from 1946-1959.

Daniel Passarella helped Argentina win the 1986 World Cup, while Ronald Koeman was a legendary figure for the Netherlands, Ajax and Barcelona.

Ramos then finds himself in seventh, just beaten by Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro.

Fabio Cannavaro wearing a uniform © Provided by Give Me Sport


5) Gaetano Scirea

4) Alessandro Nesta

3) Bobby Moore

2) Franco Baresi

1) Franz Beckenbauer

So, Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer has been ranked as the greatest defender in football history. He beat AC Milan icon Franco Baresito to the crown with England’s World Cup winner, Bobby Moore, in third.

Another Italian find themselves fourth in the way of the formidable Alessandro Nesta. And there's another as Juve hero, Gaetano Scirea, makes up the top five.


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