Five Best Defensive Duos Of All Time In International Football

Five best defensive duos: A layman often divides the game of football into only attacking and defending. If an attack sets apart the winner from the losers then defending is what lays the foundation for it. The fundaments of defending in football have not changed much over the years and if done properly it turns into an art.


The reading and understanding of the game alongside the ability to face the challenges head-on set a good defender apart from a world-class one. The calmness and composure to deliver the blow to the opposition’s attack have produced many unforgettable moments in football. They say two is better than one and that’s absolutely true when it comes to defending. Various pairs of defenders have won silverware together at the international level and have set examples for future generations to follow. Here are five iconic defensive pairs that changed football forever –

5) Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique

As of the present, no defensive pairing is more successful than Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique at both the club and international levels. Both at the club and international level, Pique has partnered with Puyol in the back four since he returned to Catalonia from Manchester United in 2008. During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Spain’s defensive pairing won the title with La Furia Roja together.


4) Gaetano Scirea and Claudio Gentile

Claudio Gentile and Gaetano Scirea were both extremely successful at the international level with Italy. It was Gentile who was the traditional defender, playing mostly as a centre-back, while Scirea served as the sweeper. With Italy, they won the 1982 World Cup and with Juventus also, they had tremendous success.

3) Marcel Desailly and Laurent Blanc

A strong defensive pairing of Marcel Desailly and Laurent Blanc led the golden generation of French football at the turn of the century. As the French team began winning everything in sight from 1998 to 2003, Desailly became the lynchpin of the back four for over a decade. At the Parc des Princes, Les Blues won the FIFA World Cup in 1998, the first title they won during that era. Before their run at the top of the international game ended, France won the 2001 and 2003 editions of the FIFA Confederations Cup.

2) Djalma Santos and Nilton Santos

During the 1958 FIFA World Cup, Djalma Santos and Nilton Santos revolutionized defending when they helped Brazil defeat Sweden in the final. Nilton Santos was known for his runs forward in attack on the left side of the pitch, something full-backs had not played much at that time and Djalma Santos was known for his defensive play on the right side. After winning the Jules Rimet Trophy four years later in Chile, the two continued their international success together.


1) Roberto Carlos and Cafu

Each of them is considered the best of all time at their respective positions and they showed it every time they stepped on the pitch. The duo lifted the 1997 and 1999 Copa America and the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup together before winning the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Their partnership came to an end when they decided to hang up their boots after the 2006 FIFA World Cup.


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