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Defender (football)



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Fabio Cannavaro, an Italian defender, who retired and played for Juventus

A defender in football is a player, who plays in at the back of the formation. There are many positions classed as a defender, mainly:

  • Left Back
  • Central Defender
  • Right back
  • Sweeper
  • Full Back

The defenders are the first number when referring to formations, for example:

  • 4-3-3 is the formation. This formation shows that there are four defenders, three midfielders and three attackers.
  • 4-4-2 is the formation. This formation shows that there are four defenders, four midfielders and two attackers.
  • 3-4-3 is the formation. This formation shows that there are three defenders, four midfielders and three attackers.

Famous Defenders

Player Position Current Club Former Clubs Best Ballon d'Or Position
BrazilDani Alves Right-Back BrazilSão Paulo SpainBarcelona, ItalyJuventus, FranceParis Saint-Germain 19th (2011)
ItalyPaolo Maldini Left-Back
Center-Back
Retired ItalyAC Milan 3rd (1994, 2003)
GermanyFranz Beckenbauer Sweeper Retired GermanyBayern Munich, United StatesNew York Cosmos Winner (1972, 1976)
SpainCarles Puyol Center-Back Retired SpainBarcelona 11th (2010)
FranceLilian Thuram Center-Back Retired FranceAS Monaco, ItalyParma, ItalyJuventus, SpainBarcelona 25th (1997)