BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 19:  Carles Puyol of FC Barcelona (R) and his teammate Gerard Pique looks on during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Valencia CF at Camp Nou stadium on February 19, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona won 5-1.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

10 Best Centre-back Duos of All-time

The Premier League's most successful manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, once claimed "attack wins you games, defence wins you titles." 


But somehow, we still always revert back to worshipping the forwards, sending the tireless defenders to the back burner. This list attempts to break the monotone for a change and focuses on the "less fortunate" instead. 


Here are ten best centre-back duos of all time.

10. Gaetano Scirea and Claudio Gentile

Italian juggernauts, Juventus, have given us some remarkable defenders over the years, and these two probably are the best of the lot. 


Not only were they impeccable with Juventus, they saw success at the international level with Italy as well. They bagged six Scudetto and a European Cup with the Bianconeri, and helped Italy to the 1982 FIFA World Cup. 

9. Marcel Desailly and Laurent Blanc

Arguably the one of the best defensive pairings to ever grace the field, Marcel Desailly and Laurent Blanc, led France's golden generation at the turn of the century. 


During a five-year period from 1998 to 2003, they won the World Cup (1998), European championship (2000) and two FIFA Confederations Cups (2001, 2003) before their run ended. 

8. Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister

Sir Alex Ferguson gave us countless moments to cherish over the years, and seeing these two shielding United's goal was one of them. 


It took a long time for United to get a foothold, but once they did, there was no stopping the duo. The formidable partnership bagged three FA Cups and Premier League titles, one League Cup, and the 1991 European Cup Winners' Cup. 

7. Mark Lawrenson and Alan Hansen

During Liverpool's glory days, Mark Lawrenson and Alan Hansen established themselves as the most formidable defensive pairing in the league. 


Hansen had already won two league titles before Lawrenson joined the club, and added five more to his tally with the former Brighton and Hove Albion defender alongside him. In addition to three League Cups and an FA Cup, the duo also conquered Europe in 1984. 

6. Bobby Moore and Jack Charlton

Despite not playing together at club level, the duo deserves a spot just for their heroics with England in the 1966 FIFA World Cup. Thanks to their unmatched grit and impeccable awareness, the Three Lions did not concede a single goal in group play. 


Portugal finally broke the deadlock in the semifinal, that, too, from the spot. The duo stepped up in the final as well, helping England to a 4-2 win over West Germany. 

5. Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand

Two modern day icons, one unforgettable partnership. While Vidic was one of the most headstrong defenders United could have asked for, Ferdinand was all about precision and impeccable interception. 


The bedrocks to Sir Alex Ferguson's untouchable legacy, Vidic and Ferdinand were two major contributors to Edwin van der Sar's record-breaking unbeaten run in 2009, when he went 1,103 minutes without conceding a single goal in the English Premier League.

4. Franco Baresi and Alessandro Costacurta

Baresi had already spent nearly a decade at AC Milan before Costacurta broke into the first team. The sensational pair held Steaua Bucharest (1989) and Benfica (1990) in two consecutive European Cup Finals, etching their name in history for a lifetime. 


Following their European triumph, the duo led Milan to four consecutive Serie A titles.

3. Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique

While Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique have been impressive for Barcelona over the last season, it would be foolish to draw comparisons with the legendary pairing of Puyol and Pique for Spain and Barcelona. 


The formidable duo picked a treble (winning the UEFA Champions League, Copa del Rey and La Liga) in Pique's debut season at Barcelona and followed the act with three more league titles and a Champions League. They also helped Spain to their first ever World Cup triumph in 2010. 

2. Franz Beckenbauer and Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck

Widely regarded as the best defender in history, Franz Beckenbauer, had all the help he could've possibly needed in Hanz-Georg Schwarzenback. They played together for Bayern Munich and West Germany and enjoyed unmatched success for both club and country. 


The duo helped Bayern to three consecutive European Cup titles in the 1970s, and replicated their brilliance with West Germany by leading them to 1972 European Championships and 1974 FIFA World Cup. 

1. Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Nesta

Arguably the greatest defensive duo in football, Nesta and Maldini, led AC Milan to unprecedented success. While Maldini epitomised leadership and panache, Nesta probably was one of the best technical defenders of the game at that time. 


They were the two best central defenders in the world at that time and helped Milan to two emphatic Champions League triumphs (2002/03, 2006/07).