Greatest Defenders In South American Football History

By Peter C May 10, 2021

There is a long list of amazing and successful defenders to emerge from the football-crazy South American continent. Some of these defenders are briefly talked about in our list below. Enjoy the read!

Javier Zanetti

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He is not just one of the greatest Argentine defenders to play the game but also one of the greatest La Albiceleste players in history. He was very tough, visionary, and technically gifted as a footballer.

Daniel Passarella

The former Argentine national team captain won two World Cup titles after playing instrumental roles. Passarella is one of the top-scoring defenders in history.

Roberto Carlos

He was widely known for his strong left foot and his freekick scoring abilities. The 48-year-old Brazilian wizard finished second in the list of players running for the Ballon d’Or award in 2002.

Jose Santamaria

The Uruguayan, who is currently 91 years old made over 220 appearances for Real Madrid during his playing days. He played for both Uruguay and Spain at the international level.

Ivan Cordoba

44-year-old Cordoba featured for the Colombian national team. He won five successive Serie A trophies and the UEFA Champions League all with Italian outfit Inter Milan. He possessed a great pace and had mixed fortunes while playing at the international level.


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The Brazilian needs no introduction. He captained the Seleção to the World Cup title in 2002. At club level, Cafu won a whopping 20 trophies. He has the highest number of caps for the Brazilian national football team.