Top 10 centre-backs of the Premier League era

    The English top flight is blessed with some quality options at the rear.

    Following the English top flight’s name change to the premier league in 1992, the English top flight has become a force to be reckoned with. it is the most popular league in the world and therefore generates the highest revenue. These high revenues mean that it attracts the best talent from around the world, and naturally, the league has seen some of the best to ever play the game ply their trade here.

    Defense is an integral part of any good soccer team. as sir alex ferguson once said, “attack wins you games, defense wins you titles”. therefore, for any team to dominate the game, a proper defensive setup is important. the first division has seen its fair share of world-class defenders. here is a list of the top 10 defenders of the premier league era.

    10. gary pallister

    gary pallister and steve bruce formed the defensive pairing that was instrumental in manchester united’s success in the league in the early 1990s. pallister spent most of his career at old trafford and middlesbrough but most of his trophies came with the red devils. pallister was part of manchester united between 1989 and 1998. in that period he won 4 leagues and 3 fa cups among others. He also made a total of 211 appearances for Middlesbrough in two separate seasons.

    9. we are jaap

    jaap stam’s career in the premier league was not very long. he only played three seasons in the premier league but won the league in all three seasons with manchester united. he won the treble in his first season with the red devils. the Dutchman played a crucial role in all those victories. However, he was sold in the summer of 2001 after Sir Alex Ferguson believed there was a lapse in quality following his return from injury. His stay in England, although brief, was full of success.

    8. steve bruce

    steve bruce was a key member of the manchester united team that dominated the league in the early 1990s. bruce, along with pallister, laid the foundation for united’s first three title wins of the premier league era. the defender also had the ability to score goals at crucial moments. his late brace against sheffield wednesday to win united’s first title in over 25 years proves it.

    7. vincent kompany

    vincent kompany was the first player to join after the big money acquisition of the city. The Belgian international joined Manchester City in 2008 and it turned out to be one of his best investments. kompany remained with etihad for 12 years. during his time at city, kompany won four first division titles among other accolades. He made 265 appearances for the Cityzens in which he helped the team keep a clean sheet 96 times.

    6. ricardo carvalho

    When Mourinho first came to England to manage Chelsea, he brought Ricardo Carvalho with him from Porto. carvalho arrived at chelsea after a victory in the champions league and continued with the rhythm of his new club. The defender won 2 consecutive league titles after arriving in England. Carvalho spent 6 years at Stamford Bridge, won multiple league titles and, along with John Terry, formed one of the most formidable defensive pairings the league has ever seen.

    5. sun campbell

    sol campbell began his career at tottenham hotspur and spent 9 years with spurs. despite that, he is not well liked by the spurs faithful. The reason: He joined their bitter rivals’ Arsenal on a free transfer in the summer of 2001. Campbell was an exceptional centre-back. after joining Arsenal, he had the trophies to prove it. Campbell won back-to-back major league titles with Arsenal and was the destroyer-in-chief in Arsenal’s defense during their “Invincibles” season in 2003-04.

    4. nemanja vidic

    It was Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand who formed United’s defensive pairing in their record 14 consecutive clean sheets. vidic was a nightmare for opposing attackers due to his no-nonsense approach and dominance of him in the air. Despite a poor start in the first division, considered weak for the league, Vidic went on to dominate the top flight. The Serbian played 211 games for the Red Devils and kept 95 clean sheets. In that time, Vidic won 5 first division titles and the Champions League. He is regarded as one of the best central defenders in Old Trafford history.

    3. tony adams

    mr. Arsenal, also known as Tony Adams, spent 19 years at Arsenal, his entire football career. if this was rare, his defensive resolve was rarer. The former Arsenal and England captain won 4 league titles in three different decades, which defines his longevity. he was what they call a ‘pure defender’, with a no-nonsense approach. his positioning and reading of the game was top notch. Adams played 255 times for the Gunners, helping them to 115 clean sheets.

    2. river fernando

    rio ferdinand broke the british transfer record when he joined manchester united for £30m in 2001 from arch-rivals leeds. Manchester United’s heavy investment in a defender paid off as Rio won everything there was to win at club level for the Red Devils. ferdinand, together with the very aggressive vidic, formed one of the best defensive pairings witnessed in the history of the beautiful game. He won 14 trophies in total with Manchester United, including 6 Premier League trophies. Ferdinand has also played for teams such as West Ham, Leeds and Queens Park Rangers during his time in the English top flight.

    1. john terry

    The defender ranked first on this list is former Chelsea captain John Terry, arguably the greatest defender in Premier League history. he spent most of his career representing chelsea. John Terry was named UEFA Club Defender of the Year three times. In his 19 years at Chelsea, John Terry made 492 appearances for the London club and kept a clean sheet 214 times. At Stamford Bridge, Terry won the Premier League title five times. he also has the champions league and fa cup to his name.

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