Chelsea F.C is an English football club which was founded in 1905 in London. The club also known as "The Blues" are now 106 years old. Read on to find out more about the all-time best defenders at Chelsea.
There is no doubt that Chelsea Football Club is one of the oldest and most popular football clubs in England. The club, which has been operating since 1905, is located in west London.
Chelsea plays in the English Premier League and has always been among the top English football clubs. The club has a long history, achievements and honors, both in the UK and international competitions.
Chelsea has won the English Premier League six times so far. He has also won eight FA Cups and five EFL Cups.
The team has also won two European Cups, one European Super Cup, one Champions League and two Europa League titles.
The lion symbol is used as the main symbol of the logo of Chelsea club. The club is, on average, the fifth most stable English football team.
With an average of 4,403 spectators per English Premier League game, Chelsea is sixth in number of fans.
In the following, after giving a brief overview of the history of Chelsea and the honors of this club, we present the list of all-time best Chelsea defenders and then, we will introduce each one briefly.
Before we get to the list of the best Chelsea defenders ever, let's take a brief look at the history and achievements of the Chelsea team.
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Chelsea is one of the professional football clubs in England. The club was founded in 1905. Chelsea is currently competing in the English Premier League.
The club is one of the most successful English clubs with over 30 honors in English professional football competitions and European international competitions.
Chelsea's first great honor was winning the league title in 1955. Chelsea won the FA Cup in 1970 and won their first international title in 1971, winning the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.
The last two decades have been the most successful in the history of Chelsea: they have won five league titles and one UEFA Champions League!
Chelsea is one of five clubs to have won all three of UEFA's top competitions and is the only London club to win the Champions League.
The main Chelsea outfit is the royal blue shirt and shorts with white socks. The club's current logo is a standing lion holding something resembling a cane.
In terms of club value, £2.13 billion ($2.576 billion) is the sixth most valuable football club in the world and with more than € 428 million in 2017, it became the eighth highest paid football club in the world.
Chelsea they have won 18 titles of their 29 total trophies in the last 16 years. The turning point for the club was when the Russian billionaire businessman, Roman Abramovich, bought the club.
Since he took over, The Blues has won many major titles, including 5 Premier League titles (3 of which were with Jose Mourinho being the coach), 5 English FA Cups (in 2010 the club won both the Premier League and the FA Cup for the first time), 3 League Cups, 2 UEFA Europa Leagues and most remarkable, the first and only UEFA Champions league in the history of the club in 2012.
That means only Manchester united has won more trophies than them since the Russian's takeover. Furthermore, many great legendary players have represented the club and played an enormous role in achieving the recent successes, including some defenders who have eternized their names in the minds of the Blues fans with their astounding performances on the field.
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In the following section, we will introduce the all-time best defenders at Chelsea, the best ever Chelsea right-back defenders, and the best center-back defenders in Chelsea history.
Gary Cahill joined Chelsea in 2012 for 8.4 million Euros from Bolton Wanderers, where he had made a name for himself as a worthy center-back. He went on to win the most important trophy in the history of the Blues in his debut season, the UEFA Champions League in 2012, as well as an English FA Cup in the very same season.
Gary Cahill has been a vital cause in winning two further Premier Leagues titles in 2015 and 2017, one English League Cup in 2015 and two Europa Leagues in 2013 and 2019. Moreover, he has made a total of 290 appearances for Chelsea and scored 25 goals.
He has been named in the "Professional footballers' association team of the year" three times, in 2014, 2015 and 2017.two of which was when Chelsea won the PL title at the end of the season. Gary Cahill made his international debut while playing for Bolton Wanderers in 2010, and went on to represent England national team 61 times, including 2 World Cups in 2014 and 2018, as well as EURO 2016. Cahill is known for his ability in heading, taking volley shots and astonishing tackling.
Furthermore, he has a good pace and can control and read the game very well. The current player of Crystal Palace is regarded as one of the best Chelsea defenders of all time, considering all his stats and achievements with the club.
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Graeme Pierre Le Saux, born 17 October 1968, is an English football pundit and retired footballer. He played from 1989 to 2005 starting as a left winger during his first spell at Chelsea, later transitioning to the role of a left back at Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers and Southampton, and for the England national football team.
Le Saux, who has played for the Blues in 2 different periods of time, started off his career as a left midfielder and changed his position to left back later on. He is known to be among the best Chelsea defenders of all time.
Graeme Le Saux made his debut in 1989 for the Blues and made nearly 90 appearances for them before joining Blackburn in 1993, where he became a starter and was a vital part of the historic team that won the Premier League in 1995. In 1997, he returned to Chelsea with a record-breaking fee for signing an English defender of 10.50 million Euros until that time.
His stay at Stamford Bridge lasted 6 seasons this time, alongside winning 1 Europapokal der pokalsieger sieger (UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, the Blues beat VfB Stuttgart in the final match), one UEFA Super Cup in 1999 as well as an English Super Cup in 2001. Even though he suffered from many injuries during his second spell at Chelsea, he was a first choice when available.
Le Saux has played in a total of 270 matches for the Blues of London, provided 16 assists and scored 12 goals. He eventually left Chelsea for the second time to join his last club, Southampton, where he finally hanged his boots in 2005.
In addition, he has also made 36 appearances for England national team. With regard to his stats, Graeme Le Saux seems to be worthy of being in the list of best ever Chelsea defenders.
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Ricardo Alberto Silveira de Carvalho OIH, born 18 May 1978, is a retired Portuguese professional footballer who played as a center back. He is widely considered one of the greatest center backs from the modern era. He is currently the assistant manager of French club Marseille.
The Portuguese center-back, who was Jose Mourinho's favorite defender and has played under his management in 3 different teams, is undisputedly one of the best Chelsea defenders ever.
After winning 6 major titles with FC Porto, including the two consecutive Portuguese league titles in 2003 and 2004, as well as the UEFA Champions league in 2004 and being named as Portuguese League footballer of the year with Jose Mourinho being in charge, he accompanied the manager in joining Chelsea in 2004.
In London things went on extremely well for the prominent defender. He helped the club secure 3 Premier League titles, 3 FA Cups, 2 English League Cups and 1 English Super Cup during his 6 year stay at Stamford Bridge. Moreover, he has represented Chelsea 210 times, and has scored 11 goals.
Ricardo Carvalho possessed a great ability in passing and anticipating the opponent's next move, superb skills with the ball and although he was not considered very tall compared to other defenders, he did great inn aerial duels.
Furthermore, he was also included in the 2016 Portuguese national team squad that managed to win the EURO. Not only is he regarded to be one of the best center backs of his generation, but also he is widely known as one of the best Chelsea defenders of all time.
Branislav Ivanović, born 22 February 1984, is a Serbian professional footballer who plays for Premier League club West Bromwich Albion. A versatile defender, Ivanović plays as a right back, although he can also play as a center back. He is definitely one of the best ever Chelsea defenders.
The Serbian versatile defender who is able to play both as a right back and a center back is widely regarded to be one of the all-time best Chelsea defenders. He joined Chelsea in 2008 for 12 million Euros and stayed there for 9 years.
Ivanovic has made 377 appearances for Chelsea and scored 34 goals, which means he is only behind the legendary John Terry in terms of scoring for Chelsea as a defender. Furthermore, he has provided a total of 34 assists, most of which when playing as a right back.
There are only 5 foreign players to have played in more than 300 matches for the Blues, and Ivanovic is one of them. Moreover, he has claimed 11 trophies with the club; 3 Premier Leagues, 1 Champions League, 3 English FA Cups, 1 Europa League, 2 English Super Cups and 1 English League Cup.
The Serbian, who is one of the best Chelsea defenders of all time, has been included in the PFA Premier League team of the year twice, in 2010 and 2015. Moreover, he is the most capped player in the history of his national team with having played in 105 matches, in which he has scored 13 goals.
Ivanovic stood out for his physical strength, ability in winning aerial battles, and unusual for a defender, his expertise in finishing.
He was a very scary opponent for the Premier League's attackers due to his massive upper body as well as his powerful lower body; he was named "the Tank" by Raheem Sterling, Manchester City's attacker and "one of the greatest signings of the club" by Jose Mourinho. As a conclusion, Branislav Ivanovic can be named as one of the best Chelsea defenders of all time.
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David James Webb, born 9 April 1946, is an English former professional footballer who made 555 appearances in the Football League playing for Leyton Orient, Southampton, and Chelsea. He became a manager, taking charge of A.F.C. Bournemouth, Torquay United, Southend United, Chelsea, Brentford, and Yeovil Town.
David Webb was an amazing player with the ability to play in many positions. The English man has made 150 official appearances for Chelsea and has scored 22 goals for the Blues.
He was a crucial part of the team which managed to win the 1970 English FA Cup and the UEFA Cup winners' Cup in 1971. Interesting to mention, Webb has worn all the numbers from 1 to 12 except for 11 in Chelsea.
However, that seems to be more sensible if we know that he has played as a center back (his main position), a right back, a center forward, and even a goalkeeper.
He played as a goalkeeper in 1971 against Ipswich Town, and more surprisingly, he kept a clean sheet in that match. Old Chelsea fans have him in their minds as one of the best Chelsea defenders ever.
Stephen Clarke, born 29 August 1963, is a Scottish professional football manager and former player who is the manager of the Scotland national team.
The Scottish defender who played for Chelsea joined Chelsea in 1987 is said to be one of the best Chelsea defenders of all time. Clarke stayed at Stamford Bridge for 11 years until he hanged his boots in 1998.
As one of the best defenders in Chelsea history, Clarke has made a total of 421 appearances for the Blues and helped them secure 3 major titles, all of which were achieved in his last two years. Chelsea won the 1997 English FA Cup, 1998 English League Cup as well as the UEFA cup winners' Cup in 1998 with having Steve Clarke in their squad.
The final match of the UEFA Cup winners' Cup against VfB Stuttgart was the last match he has ever played n for Chelsea. In 2005 when the Chelsea club turned 100 years old, he was named in the Chelsea's centenary best 11, as the right back of the team.
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Ashley Cole, born 20 December 1980, is an English former footballer who played as a left-back, most notably for Premier League clubs Chelsea and Arsenal, the former with whom he presently serves in the coaching staff for the U15 team.
The English left back is widely known as one of the best defenders in Chelsea history. Ashley Cole started his professional career with Arsenal, Chelsea's rival. He made a name for his name in Arsenal where he made a total of 228 appearances in 7 years and won 9 titles, alongside being a part of the historic invincible team of the 2003-4 season, who won the Premier League without losing a single match.
Ashley Cole also claimed one more PL title, 4 English Super Cups and 3 FA Cups with the "Gunners" before he joined Chelsea in a controversial transfer in 2006 that led to some people's being fined by the court, including himself and Jose Mourinho, Chelsea's manager at the time.
After joining Chelsea he went on to achieve 10 major titles with the Blues, including a Premier League title in 2010, 4 English FA Cups,2 English Super Cups, 1 English League Cup, 1 UEFA Europa League in 2013 and on top of all, the 2012 UEFA Champions League. Furthermore he has made a total of 338 appearances for the Blues and alongside scoring 7 goals and providing 38 assists, played a significant role in achieving the mentioned trophies.
Ashley Cole was renowned for his incursive style of play and his goal-line clearances which saved his clubs many times. In the peak of his career he was said to be one of the best left backs in the world. Moreover, Ashley Cole was named England player of the year 2010, and with 107 international appearances for his homeland's national team, he is the full back to have played the most matches for England national team so far.
Cole has played in 3 World Cups as well as 2 EUROs. As a conclusion, he is deservedly one of the best Chelsea defenders of all time and it may take some time until England finds another left back which such out-standing performances.
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Marcel Desailly, born 7 September 1968, is a French former professional footballer who played as a center-back or defensive midfielder. During a successful career at club level, lasting from 1986 to 2006, Desailly won several titles, including UEFA Champions League medals with both Marseille and A.C. Milan, and also played for Nantes and Chelsea, among others teams.
Marcel Desailly is not only regarded as one of the best Chelsea defenders of all time, but also he is one of the greatest French footballers in history. The legendary center back, who could play as a defensive midfielder as well, joined arrived at Stamford Bridge in 1998 and went on to stay there for 6 years.
He won 1 UEFA Super Cup, 2 English Super Cups and 1 English FA Cup with the Blues, and captained the club as well. Even though Desailly has won most of his career achievements with AC Milan, Olympique Marseille and French national team, such as the 1998 FIFA World Cup and 2 consecutive Champions league titles with Marseille and AC Milan in 93 and 94, he has played for Chelsea more than any other club through his entire career by making 217 appearances for the Blues.
Furthermore, Desailly stood out for being a great leader on the pitch, organizing the team's defense system, superb tackling ability and having a good stamina as well as mental and physical power. In addition, he was known as a tenacious and consistent player who opponent attackers were horrified of facing.
With 116 appearances for France, he is the 8th most capped player in the history of his national team. The prominent defender is undoubtedly one of the all-time best Chelsea defenders with regard to his astounding career with the Blues, and the fans will never forget his name and his hard working attitude both on and off the pitch.
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Ronald Edward Harris, born 13 November 1944, known by the nickname "Chopper" for his tough style of defending, is an English former footballer who played for Chelsea in the 1960s and 1970s. His brother Allan Harris was also a professional footballer and they were teammates at Chelsea in the mid-1960s.
Harris is a unique player for Chelsea fans, and stands out alone in the list of the legends of the club, for he is the most capped player in the history of the club with playing in the astonishing number of 795 games during 18 years at the club.
Ronald "Chopper" Harris made his debut in 1962 at the age of 17, and went on to become the first captain in the history of the club to have ever lifted the FA Cup trophy (in 1970) and also the first to lift a European trophy (UEFA Cup winners' Cup in 1971).
Furthermore, he has claimed the English League Cup in 1965. His loyalty is what shines the most when looking at his career, with regard to the fact that he did not leave the club when many of the prominent players of the club did.
As one of the all-time best defenders at Chelsea, he earned the nickname 'Chopper' for his style of play, which includes violent tackles roughness on the pitch. The memorable captain will forever be recalled as one of the best Chelsea defenders of all time.
John George Terry, born 7 December 1980, is an English professional football coach and former player who played as a center-back. He was previously captain of Chelsea, the England national team and Aston Villa. He is undoubtedly among the best defenders in Chelsea history.
The eternal Captain of the Blues is among the best ever Chelsea defenders, maybe even the best at the pinnacle of his career. He is the most decorated Chelsea captain ever by winning 17 titles with the club.
Including 5 Premier League titles, which he became the first captain to lift the Premier League trophy 5 times in when he did it for the 5th time in 2017. Moreover, Terry has won 5 English FA Cups, 3 League Cups, 3 English Super Cups, and most importantly, he was the captain of the team which won the first ever champions league in 2012.
Furthermore, John Terry is the third most capped player in the history of club with 717 matches after Ron Harrison (795) and Peter Bonetti (729). The English brilliant defender has been named for FIFPro World XI for five seasons in a row from 2005 to 2009, In addition to being named as the UEFA Club defender of the year for three times, in 2005, 2008 and 2009.
Moreover, he was the only English player in the 2006 FIFA World Cup all-star squad. Terry was known to be a physically strong, tenacious, intelligent defender and due to his height (1.87 meters) he seemed unbeatable in the air. Thus as one of the best Chelsea defenders of all time, he will be voted to be in any Best Chelsea XI of all time.
Chelsea fans hope they will find players as well as the ones mentioned, but that does not seem to be an easy task. Yet, nothing is impossible in this sport.