My Top Four Favourite Italian Defenders of All-Time

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Over the years, there have been so many legendary Italian Defenders. Italy has probably produced the best defenders of all-time. However, that’s up for debate. Anyways, here are my top four favourite Italian Defenders of all-time!

 

4. Fabio Grosso 

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Fabio Grosso is probably one of the most underrated defenders that I’ve seen. Not only was his positioning great when he defended, but also his offensive prowess. He was a fast defender who could fling nice crosses into the opponent’s box while tracking back effectively. I’d say that his style is similar to modern fullbacks such as Alphonso Davies, Achraf Hakimi, and even Raphael Varane to a certain extent. Although, Varane is a Center back, not a full-back. Also, another huge reason he’s one of my favourite Italian Defenders of all-time was his performance in the 2006 World Cup. In that tournament, he scored a crucial goal against Germany in the Semifinals. However, his most notable moment was when he scored the winning penalty against France that gave them the World Cup Trophy. To this day, that is still my favourite Italian Soccer moment!

 

3. Fabio Cannavaro 

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At number three comes Fabio Cannavaro! Aside from him being a crucial part of Italy winning the 2006 World Cup, I admire his style of play. He was fairly short for a centre-back, as he’s 5’9″. Despite that, I admired his aggressiveness. If you were an attacker, it was very difficult to avoid getting tackled hard by Fabio Cannavaro. A big part of that was that he could read plays like the back of his hand and anticipate what would happen faster than the majority od defenders. I wouldn’t say he was spectacular going forward. But, what makes him one of my favourite Italian Soccer defenders was his fierceness. When he made his many tackles, opposing players could feel them. That’s one of the big reasons why even before the match, opposing attacking players were scared of facing Fabio Cannavaro. In my view, Giorgio Chiellini is the modern player that most resembles him, style-wise. However, Chiellini is significantly taller.

 

2. Alessandro Nesta

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Similar to Fabio Cannavaro, I admired Alessandro Nesta because of his aggressiveness. However, unlike Fabio Cannavaro he’s 6’2″. If you were an attacker in the box against Nesta, chances are you wouldn’t get many good chances. That’s demonstrated in the video above where Alessandro Nesta gives a hard tackle on Lionel Messi in the box. Messi thought he was going to score, but then Nesta made a good tackle to prevent that from happening! Not many players could beat Nesta in the box. His tackles were fierce, he was very strong and his aerial ability was next to none. At AC Milan, he was joined by the likes of Maldini, Zambrotta, Cafu and other legendary defenders. So, you could imagine how many opponents didn’t want to face the Rossoneri at that time! It’s tough to compare his style to any modern footballer. I guess Chiellini most replicates his style. Maybe, even Koulibaly as well.

 

1. Paolo Maldini

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There’s no question that Paolo Maldini is arguably the best defender of all-time. He’s also my favourite Italian Defender of all-time. I also wrote about him being one of my favourite Serie A players of all-time. I admired him for several reasons but above all, his leadership ability. He was AC Milan and Italy’s captain for several years. He was a born leader! Of course, his ability to defend was above basically any other in the history of soccer. But, his leadership ability was just as great, in my view. He’s also one of the most decorated Italian Players ever. Not only did he win seven scudetti, but he also led AC Milan to five Champions League trophies. It’s very tough to pinpoint a player who has won that. Not even Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi have won that many domestic titles and Champions League yet. Paolo Maldini was on a different level from every defender on the pitch. Hopefully, he leads AC Milan back to the glory days as the technical director.

There you have it, this is my article on my top four favourite Italian Defenders of all-time. Like always, thank you for reading this article! I really do appreciate it.

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My Three Favourite Serie A Players of All-Time

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There have been many players that have caught my eyes in Italian Soccer over the years. Even now, there are still tons of players that I like watching on a weekly basis within the league. However, there are three players that stood out for me over all these years of watching Serie A. So, here are my three favourite Serie A players of all-time.

3. Francesco Totti

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The king of Rome was an outright legend and Roma fans worship him like a God. Indeed, he was everything that encapsulates a legend. He was a great captain that won multiple trophies with the Giallorossi. He’s also my third favourite Serie A player of all-time. Similar to other legends I’m going to mention in this article, I liked him for more than just his skill with the ball. He not only had the hunger and mental strength to deliver in clutch moments for the club, but he was also a true leader. By just watching him on TV, you could tell that everyone one of his teammates respected him. You could also tell that he was a leader on that pitch. I’d compare him to a general. That’s why he’s my third favourite Serie A player of all-time.

2. Paolo Maldini

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Paolo Maldini is arguably the greatest football defender of all-time. He narrowed defending down to a science. For the most part, he didn’t have to make tackles. He read the game so well that for the most part, he was able to strip opponents of the ball without being rough. When he was on AC Milan it must’ve been tough for opposing managers to figure out his vulnerabilities, as they were nearly impossible to find. In Maldini’s case, I admired him purely because of his intelligence for the game. Of course, you need certain skills to be as great of a defender as he was. But, the reason why I liked him so much and why I think he’s an all-time great is because it was almost as if he was four steps ahead of his opponents every play. He was able to anticipate opposing player’s movements as well as what they’d do in advance, faster than everyone else. That’s why I loved him as a player so much.

1. Alessandro Del Piero

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I’ve explicitly mentioned multiple times, that Del Piero is my favourite soccer player of all time. I even wrote on article about how I became a Juve fan and watching him was a big part of that. Here’s the article on how I became a Juve fan , just for reference. Anyways, I became a Juve fan because of Alessandro Del Piero. He always been one of the few inspirational athletes for me. Like with Totti, I really admired his mental strength. It didn’t matter how mighty the opponent was, he was never afraid of dribbling past multiple defenders to pass or to score. He’s scored many great goals against formidable opponents. Among my favourites are his clutch free-kick goal against Inter in 2006, his amazing goal at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2008 that made fans give him a standing ovation, as well his goal against Germany in the 2006 World Cup. Sometimes, I wish he’d come out of retirement for just one match, that’s how much I admired him as a player.