Football’s Greatest Stoppers

Ask any West Ham fan who the club\’s greatest legend is, and you\’ll probably hear a few of them. Few, if any, would probably name anyone other than Bobby Moore. The English fullback has been with the London club for most of his career, making over 500 appearances. However, Bobby Moore achieved his greatest success with the national team. In fact, he captained the team that won the 1966 World Cup. He played a total of 108 games for the national team, which was long an England record. Moore was runner-up in the 1970 Ballon d\’Or voting and was praised by Pele himself as the best defender he had ever played against.
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Tresor was a stopper who was part of a very strong French national team led by Michel Platini in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Tresor played not only for Ajaccio, but also for Marseille and Bordeaux. Although he never won a club or national team trophy, he is considered one of the best defenders in history, and in a poll of the best French soccer players of the 20th century, he was ranked 6th, ahead of Papin, Gires, Deschamps, and Cantona. In 1972, he was also voted the best French soccer player.
As for the position of stopper, many are clear – the best defender in history is Franz Beckenbauer. Nicknamed Kaiser Franz, this German player excelled in many areas of the sport. He was admired not only for his qualities as a soccer player, but also as a leader. Buckenbauer is credited with inventing the position of libero, a position he held throughout his career. The longest and most successful of his career was with Bayern Munich, where he won 13 trophies. He was also active at the international level, winning gold medals at the 1974 World Cup and the 1972 European Championships; in addition to his two titles, he won three more valuable metals. In terms of individual honors, few defenders in the history of soccer have won as many awards as Beckenbauer. His most important award is the Ballon d\’Or, which he has won twice. After his retirement, he turned to coaching, and his success was remarkable.
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Daniel Pasarella
Daniel Pasarella is an Argentine stopper who helped the South American powerhouse win two World Cups. He excels in many aspects and is similar in some ways to the aforementioned players. He was a great leader (hence he was also Argentina\’s captain) and played not only as a classic stopper but also as a libero; with 134 goals (and 22 more for the national team) he became the most prolific defender in history, second only to Ronald Koeman. Passarella\’s most notable achievement was winning two World Cups, in 1978 and 1986. He also had a successful coaching career after his retirement.