10 Best Centre-Backs In Premier League History, Ranked​

Who is the greatest Centre back in the Premier League history? Chelsea's legend John Terry has been crowned the greatest Premier League Centre back.

The 20 Greatest Premier League Centre Backs of ALL Time

The Premier League is one of the most followed Leagues in Europe nowadays and since the start of the League, great defenders have always taken part in the League and displaying great performances at the Back.

When we talk about the best Premier League centre backs of all time , players like John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Tony Adams and many others will come to our mind.

Table of Contents

Who Are The Best Centre Backs In The Premier League

The Premier League has seen many exceptional center-backs throughout its history. Here's an article on the top 10 greatest Premier League center-backs of all time:

In the present Premier League era, the best centre back is actually Virgil Van Dijk  who have shown great performances and consistency in his style of play especially since he joined Liverpool.

The Chelsea Icon and legend John Terry has been crowned as the best Premier League centre back of all time ahead of the legend Rio Ferdinand and Tony Adams.

John Terry played for enjoyed 19 years of career at Chelsea. The ex Chelseas player who played more than 400 appearances for Chelsea left them in 2017 to join Aston Villa before he finally retired in 2018.

10 Best Center Backs In Premier League History

Here we pick our top 10 Premier League centre-backs of all time, all of whom are footballers, not just defenders. We've used a number of stats from over the seasons to quantify our rankings, as well as a player's overall contribution to the game in history.

1) John Terry

  • 492 appearances
  • 41 goals
  • 214 clean sheets

There is no denying John Terry's talent as a footballer, despite his dubious behavior, and there are many factors to take into account both on and off the field. Wayne Rooney, who has 491 Premier League appearances, remarked of John Terry, who has 492, "He's the toughest defender I've played against."

He is powerful, physical, huge, good in the air, and has excellent game reading skills. You leave feeling as though you participated in a real game. Only eight individuals have captained England more often than Chelsea great and one-club player Terry. Terry won the Premiership trophy five times. He was selected for the UEFA Team of the Year four times and is respected by his international peers.

2. Rio Ferdinand

  • 504 appearances
  • 11 goals
  • 189 clean sheets

Rio Ferdinand's elegance, composure, and ability to read the game made him a dominant force with Manchester United. His partnership with Nemanja Vidic was formidable, and Ferdinand's technical quality on the ball also set him apart.

3) Virgil Van Dijk

  • Still playing
  • 14 goals
  • 65 assists

Virgil van Dijk's impact on Liverpool since joining in 2018 has been immense. His commanding presence, aerial dominance, exceptional composure, and ability to read the game place him among the best center-backs in Premier League history.

4) Tony Adams

  • 255 appearances
  • 12 goals
  • 115 clean sheets

Tony Adams is an Arsenal legend known for his leadership, tenacity, and commanding presence at the back. His defensive abilities were crucial in Arsenal's successes, including winning multiple league championships.

5) Vincent Kompany

  • 265 appearances
  • 18 goals
  • 94 clean sheets

“There are some players you wish played for your club,” said Gary Neville, not known for his appreciation of the noisy neighbours in blue. “Vincent Kompany was one of them.” Kompany spent 12 seasons at Manchester City having been bought by Mark Hughes from Hamburg and initially played as a defensive midfielder. It wasn’t long before he moved to his natural home becoming the heart and soul of Manchester City under Pep Guardiola, winning four Premier League titles.

6) Sol Campbell

  • 503 appearances
  • 20 goals
  • 154 clean sheets

Having represented Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, Sol Campbell was a formidable center-back. Known for his physicality, aerial prowess, and ability to play out from the back, Campbell was a top-class defender in the Premier League.

7) Nemanja Vidic

  • 211 appearances
  • 15 goals
  • 95 clean sheets

Nemanja Vidic's strength, aggression, and no-nonsense defending made him a fearsome presence for Manchester United. He formed a formidable defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand, contributing to United's numerous titles.

8) Jaap Stam

  • 79 appearances
  • 1 goals
  • 22 clean sheets

Jaap Stam only spent three seasons in the Premier League but won titles in every one of them with Manchester United, including the famous treble in his debut season. With Steve Bruce having left two years earlier and Garry Pallister departing in the offseason, Alex Ferguson made Stam the world’s most expensive defender and got his money’s worth. Peter Schmeichel would go on to call the Dutchman the best defender he ever played behind at OId Trafford.

In 2001, Ferguson, in what he’d acknowledge was his worst transfer regret, sold Stam to Lazio, because he thought he’d lost a step on return from injury.

9. Steve Bruce

  • Premier League clubs: Manchester United (–1996)
  • Appearances: 148
  • Games won: 91 (61%)
  • Clean sheets: 61 (41%)

Steve Bruce had been at Manchester United since 1987 when the Premier League began in 1992. In his four seasons, he won three of them. He also added three FA Cups (as part of "doubles" in 1994 and 1996), one League Cup, and the 1991 Cup Winners Cup during his United career.

Incredibly, Steve Bruce never played for England, although this would have been during Graham Taylor's reign as manager, when many players were unjustly overlooked.

Bruce had a reputation for being a cool, collected force in defense. His bravery, leadership, goal-scoring, positional knowledge, and timing while making tackles and interceptions made up for his lack of speed and technical ability. Bruce transitioned into football management in 1999 after retiring.

10) Marcel Desailly

  • 158 appearances
  • 6 goals
  • 54 clean sheets

Brought to Chelsea by Gianluca Vialli in 1998, Marcel “The Rock” Desailly was already a World Cup winner, double Champions League winner with Marseille and AC Milan (where he also won two Serie A titles).

He and fellow Frenchman Frank LeBoeuf provided the Blues with a rock-solid central defensive pairing, as well as a shining example for an 18-year-old prospect by the name of John Terry. “Desailly was virtually impossible to play against,” said former Liverpool striker Michael Owen. “He was strong, quick, and good on the ball. I tried kicking him once and hurt my foot – which shows what sort of game I had against him.”

Final Thoughts On 10 Best Centre Backs In Premier League History

These 10 best Premier League center-backs showcased exceptional defensive skills, leadership qualities, and the ability to influence matches. They left an indelible mark on the Premier League through their performances, helping their teams achieve success and etching their names into football history.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the greatest player in the football history?

The greatest player in football history is no other than Lionel Messi who has achieved everything in Football.

Who is the greatest centre-back in Premier League history?

The greatest centre back in the history of the Premier League is John Terry.

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