It is always fascinating for football fans to know the history of a team. Therefore, in this article, we want to introduce you to the best Aston Villa defenders of all time.
Football critics and analysts are constantly monitoring club and national teams. Their comments and criticisms can be helpful for the new generation of players and coaches. The basis of a critic's opinions about a team is not its current state, a professional critic always takes into account the past and the team's history and presents his own opinions accordingly. So before we take a look at the best defenders of Aston Villa, let's take a brief look at the history and honors of this professional English team.
Aston Villa has been playing in the EnglishPremier League
for 145 years and had spent 106 seasons in the top tier of English football. The only club to have spent longer in the top flight isEverton
, with 117 seasons. When a team has such a brilliant track record, it will be harder to pick the best. However, after reviewing the history of this club, we go to the introduction of the top 15
best Aston Villa Defenders of all time
In March 1874 members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel in Handsworth which is now the part of Birmingham, founded Aston Villa Football Club. The first match of Aston Villa wasn't a normal one. It was against the local Aston Brook St Mary's Rugby team and due to a condition of the match, the Villa side had to agree to play the first half under Rugby rules and the second half under Association rules.
The club's first ground was Wellington Road, they played there from 1876 until 1897, and later on, they moved to Villa Park- their current home ground. Aston Villa was one of the dozen teams that fought in the inaugural Football League in 1888 with one of the club's directors, William McGregor. Aston Villa appeared as the most successful English club of the Victorian era, winning no fewer than five League titles.
The club's traditional kit colors are claret shirts with sky blue sleeves, white shorts, and sky blue socks. Their traditional club badge is of a rampant lion. The club's nicknames are The Lions and The Claret & Blue Army.
First Division / Premier League: 7. Champions:[B] 1893–94, 1895–96, 1896–97, 1898–99, 1899–1900, 1909–10, 1980–81. Second Division / First Division / Championship: 2. Champions: [B] 1937–38, 1959–6. Play-off Winners: 2018–19. Third Division / Second Division / League One: 1. Champions: [B] 1971–72
FA Cup: 7. Winners: 1886–87, 1894–95, 1896–97, 1904–05, 1912–13, 1919–20, 1956–57. League Cup / EFL Cup: 5, Winners: 1960–61, 1974–75, 1976–77, 1993–94, 1995–96. FA Charity Shield / FA Community Shield: 1, Winners: 1981. Sheriff of London Charity Shield: 2, Winners: 1899, 1901
European Cup / UEFA Champions League: 1, Winners: 1981–82. European Super Cup / UEFA Super Cup: 1, Winners: 1982. Intertoto Cup: 1, Winners: 2001
Now let's move on to our list of Best ever Aston Villa Defenders
The first player on our list of the best Aston villa defenders of all time is Alan Geoffrey Wright who was born on 28 September 1971 in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, England. He began his career as a trainee atBlackpool
and there made 98 appearances between 1989 and 1991. His great performances attracted the newBlackburn Rovers
manager Kenny Dalglish and soon he joined Blackburn Rovers by a £500,000 contract which made him Blackpool's most expensive sale as well as the most expensive sale by any Fourth Division club.
After four years, Wright was signed from Blackburn Rovers for a fee of £1,000,000 in February 1995 and joined Aston Villa. He spent eight years with The Lions and later on joinedSheffield United
. Wright's position was left-back, and he is acknowledged as one of the shortest players in Premier League history, standing at only 5 feet 4 inches tall hence his popular nickname 'the mighty atom.
In his eight years with Aston Villa, he made 305 appearances and scored 5 goals. He had the following victories:
Football League Fourth Division play-offs: 1990–91
Football League Cup: 1995–96
The next footballer on our list of All-time Best Defenders at Aston Villa is Stephen Staunton who was born on 19 January 1969 in Drogheda, Ireland. He started his football in his home club ofDundalk
. Having spent a year in his hometown club, when he was only 17, he was spotted byLiverpool
and later on, signed his £20,000 contract with manager Kenny Dalglish on 2 September 1986.
He spent 5 years in Liverpool and on 7 August 1991 he signed his £1.1 million contract with Aston Villa and quickly made a good impression on the Villa fans by marking his debut on 17 August with a goal in the 3–2 win over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
He stayed with The Liones for seven years and once again on 3 July 1998 He returned to Anfield and spent two years with Liverpool before joining the Villa Park all over again in 2000. he made 289 appearances and scored 16 goals for Aston Villa. He had the following victories:
FA Cup: 1989. Football League First Division: 1989–90. FA Charity Shield: 1988, 1990 (shared)
League Cup: 1994, 1996. UEFA Intertoto Cup: 2001
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Ugochuku Ehiogu was born on 3 November 1972 in Hackney, London, England. He began his career atWest Bromwich Albion
as a trainee and shortly, after few games for Albion in the Second Division, he could find his way into Premier League and sign his £40,000 contract with Aston Villa in August 1991.
He spent nine years with Aston Villa, he made 263 appearances and scored 13 goals until November 2000 when he joinedMiddlesbrough
from Villa for, at the time, a club record fee of £8 million.
Ehiogu was the coach of theTottenham Hotspur
U23 team until his death due to a heart attack in April 2017. This former player is the third in our list of
the best Aston villa defenders of all time.
He had the following victories:
Football League Cup: 1995–96. FA Cup runner-up: 2000
Football League Cup: 2003–04
Erik Olof Mellberg who was born on 3 September 1977 in Gullspång, Sweden is the next one on our list of the best Aston villa defenders of all time. He was a big fan of tennis and always had the dream of Wimbledon. But instead, destiny pushed him towards football.
He started his football in his hometown club-Gullspång and just after six years in 2001, he broke into Premier League and continue his career in Aston Villa. He soon became a consistent and vital part of the team and made the captain of the English giants for the rest of his reign. He spent 7 years and he was indeed one of the most respected Aston Villa players.
He left Aston Villa in 2008 and joinedJuventus
. before his departure, he said he would frame the Aston Villa kit which he used on his last ever Aston Villa game – the game againstWest Ham
. Mellberg also had the experience of playing in some other clubs including Olympiacos,Villarreal
with Aston Villa, he made 261 appearances, scored 8 goals, and had 2 assists. He had the following victories:
UEFA Intertoto Cup: 2001
Serie A runner-up: 2008–09
Superleague Greece: 2010–11, 2011–12. Greek Cup: 2011–12
Danish Superliga runner-up: 2013–14. Danish Cup runner-up: 2013–14
Brommapojkarna: Division 1 (Swedish Football): 2016. Superettan (Swedish football): 2017
Guldbollen: 2003. UEFA Euro All-Star Team: 2004
Gareth Southgate was born on 3 September 1970 in Watford, England. He started his football atCrystal Palace
. At first, he played as a right-back and then in central midfield. In Crystal Palace, he was nicknamed 'Nord' because his precise way of speaking reminded one of the coaches of Denis Norden's vocal delivery.
After seven years in Crystal Palace, he moved to Aston Villa by a £2.5 million contract and there he converted into a center-back and was part of a formidable defence. from 1995 till 2001, before joiningMiddlesbrough
, he made 219 appearances, scored 8 goals for Aston Villa. He is the fifth
best Aston villa defenders of all time
. He had the following victories:
Football League First Division: 1993–94
Football League Cup: 1995–96
Football League Cup: 2003–04. UEFA Cup runner-up: 2005–06
Premier League Player of the Month: January 2000
England: UEFA Nations League third place: 2019. England U21. Toulon Tournament: 2016
Premier League Manager of the Month: August 2008. BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award: 2018. FWA Tribute Award: 2019
Officer of the Order of the British Empire: 2019
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The number six on our list of the best Aston villa defenders of all time is Alan Hutton who was born on 30 November 1984 in Penilee, Glasgow, Scotland. On 4 September 2000, he joinedRangers
to start his football career. He spent 6 years in Glasgow and in 2008 he could find his way into Premier League. He joined Tottenham with a £5 million contract.
Having spent 3 years in Tottenham, on 31 August 2011 it was officiated that he would join Aston Villa with a four-year contract in a deal thought to be worth £40,000 a week. He stayed with The Lions until 2019, he made 202 appearances, scored 3goals, and had 8 assists for Aston Villa. He had the following victories:
Scottish Premier League: 2004–05
Football League Cup: 2007–08
Scottish FA International Roll of Honour (50 caps): 2016
Mark Anthony Delaney is the seventh best Aston villa defenders of all time. He was born on 13 May 1976. He started his football career in the youth system of Manchester United, but he couldn't manage to stay due to his shortness.
After his disappointment with Man united, he decided to continue his football in Welsh Premier League. Since 1995 till 1999 he played inCarmarthen Town
and Cardiff City. once again, on 9 March 1999, he returned to the Premier League. He joined Aston Villa with a £500,000 contract. he stayed with The Lions until 15 August 2007, that he announced his retirement from football due to the injury problems. He is now the coach of the Aston Villa youth team.
he made 188 appearances, scored 2 goals, and had 1 assist for Aston Villa. He had the following victories:
UEFA Intertoto Cup: 2001
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The next name on our list of the
best Aston villa defenders of all time
is Paul McGrath who was born on 4 December 1959 in Greenford, England. He started football as a schoolboy with Pearse Rovers and played junior football for Dalkey United and soon given the nickname of "The Black Pearl of Inchicore". Shortly after he attracted the attention of Manchester United and in 1982 he joined Man united and stayed with "Red Devils" for seven years.
In August 1989, he got an offer from Aston Villa and with The Lions played some of the best football of his career, despite recurrent problems in his knees. McGrath-who is widely considered to be one of the greatest Irish players of all time- until 1996 made 187 appearances, scored 8 goals with Aston Villa. He had the following victories:
FA Cup: 1984–85
Football League Cup: 1993–94, 1995–96
PFAI Players' Player of the Year: 1981–82. Football League First Division/Premier League PFA Team of the Year: 1985–86, 1992–93. FAI Senior International Player of the Year: 1990, 1991. PFA Players' Player of the Year: 1992–93. Football League 100 Legends: 1998 (inducted). English Football Hall of Fame: 2015 (inducted)
Ciaran Clark is ninth on our list of the best Aston villa defenders of all time. He was born on 26 September 1989 in Harrow, London, England. At the age of eleven, He joined Aston Villa youth academy to start his football and after nine years he broke into the main team. On 30 August 2009, he made his debut in a 2–0 win againstFulham
and since Curtis Davies was unavailable due to his serious injury, the 19-year-old was named in Villa's starting line-up, partnering Carlos Cuéllar in defence.
This prolific defender, for seven years, stayed with Aston Villa and then joinedNewcastle United
. Until the end of 2016, he made 159 appearances, scored 10 goals, and had 6 assists with Aston Villa.
He had the following victories:
EFL Championship: 2016–17
The number ten on the list of the best Aston villa defenders of all time is Shaun Teale. He was born on 10 March 1964 in Southport, England. He started his football in 1983 atSouthport
. Having spent 5 years there, he joined Weymouth- a non-league side.
In July 1991 he joined Aston Villa and helped them finish runners-up in the Premier League in 1993 and win the Football League Cup a year later, before losing his situation in the first team to Ugo Ehiogu. After 5 years he left Aston villa and continue his football in some other clubs includingTranmere Rovers
,Preston North End
, Sing Tao,Burscough
, andNorthwich Victoria
He made 127 appearances, scored 3 goals with Aston Villa. He had the following victories:
English League Cup winner: 1994
James Grant Chester was born on 23 January 1989 in Warrington, England. He is our eleventh
best defenders in Aston Villa history
. He began his football career with his local club, Winwick Athletic, and later on, at the age of 8, he joined the Manchester United Academy and signed a trainee contract at the age of 16 in July 2005 and played in the team for both the FA Youth Cup and Manchester Senior Cup finals, however, Man United lost both final matches.
It took two years for him to sign a professional contract with Manchester United and for four years played there. He then joinedHull City
in 2011 and West Bromwich Albion in 2015. Later on in the summer of 2016, it was officiated that Chester would join Aston Villa with an £8 million contract and soon found his right position in the team. Chester was an ever-present in 2017–18 playing in 50 matches as Villa reached the 2018 EFL Championship play-off Final but unfortunately lost 1–0 to Fulham.
Before his departure from Aston Villa and joining Stock city, he made 126 appearances, scored 11 goals, and had one assist with Aston Villa. He had the following victories:
Football League Championship runner-up: 2012–13
English Champion: 2009. English League Cup winner: 2009
Denzil Haroun Reserve Team Player of the Year: 2007–08
Nathan Luke Baker is the 12th
best ever Aston villa defenders
who was born on 23 April 1991 in Worcester, England. when he was 13 years old- 2004- he joined Aston Villa youth academy to start his football career professionally. He soon became a pivotal figure in the center of defense alongside Ciaran Clark in the 2007–08 season.
It took four years for him to join the main team of Aston Villa and stayed with them until 2017. After Aston Villa, he had loan spells atLincoln City
. He made 123 appearances, scored 1 goal, and had 2 assists with Aston Villa.
all-time best Aston villa defenders
is Carlos Javier Cuéllar Jiménez. He was born on 23 August 1981 in Madrid, Spain. He started his football in his hometown football academies such as Internacional de Argibay, DAV Santa Ana, CD Pegaso, and AD San Federico.
Having gone through different football clubs as an amateur, he started his professional career in 2000 atCD Numancia
and made his professional debut on 23 September 2001, starting and being booked in a 1–2 away loss against Xerez CD for the Segunda División championship.
After his three-year experience in Segunda División, on 29 August 2003, he joinedCA Osasuna
with a three-year contract. Given the chance to play in La Liga was his breakthrough. He soon proved to be one of the key members of Osasuna, he became an important part of the Javier Aguirre side that reached the Copa del Rey final in 2005.
Despite his success in Osasuna, he decided to leave the club and join Rangers. In 2007 He signed a four-year contract worth a reported £15,000 per week. His contract with Rangers didn't expand and just after a year on 12 August, 2008 Aston Villa signed Cuéllar in a deal worth £7.8 million on a four-year contract. Until 2012 he stayed with The Lions and later on continued his football in several other soccer clubs includingSunderland
, Norwich City, Almería Maccabi Petah Tikva, Ironi Kiryat Shmona Beitar Jerusalem, Bnei Yehuda.
He made 121 appearances, scored 5 goals, and had 5 assists with Aston Villa. He had the following victories:
Copa del Rey: Runner-up 2005
Scottish League Cup: 2007–08. Scottish Cup: 2007–08. UEFA Cup : Runner-up: 2007–08
Football League Cup: Runner-up 2009–10
Israel State Cup: 2018-19
Scottish Premier League Player of the Year: 2007–08. SFWA Footballer of the Year: 2007–08
Earl Delisser Barrett is the 14th all-time best Aston Villa defenders. He was born on 28 April 1967 in Rochdale, England. He started his football in Manchester city in 1985, but just a year later he joinedChester City
and helped the club to promotion from Division Four in 1985–86 while on loan.
Then, he joinedOldham Athletic
and again he helped them to the Division 2 title in 1991 and promotion to Division 1. His great performance as a central defender attracted Aston Villa and consequently, they paid £1.7m for him in February 1992, which was Oldham Athletic's record transfer receipt as of 2019. Since 1992 until 1995 he played for The Lions and then joined some other clubs including Everton, Sheffield United, andSheffield Wednesday
He made 118 appearances and scored1 goals. He had the following victories:
Football League Fourth Division runner-up: 1985–86
Football League Second Division: 1990–91
Football League Cup: 1993–94
FA Charity Shield: 1995
Second Division PFA Team of the Year: 1989–90, 1990–91
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The last name on our list of the best defenders in Aston villa history is an Asian footballer. Ahmed Eissa Elmohamady Abdel Fattah was born on 9 September 1987 in El Mahalla El Kubra, Egypt. In 2003 he started his youth career at Ghazl El-Mahalla, and just after a year, he found his way into the main team as he was 17.
Two years passed and he joinedENPPI
, but not as a defender as a striker. After a while, he was moved to play as a right-sided defender. His great talents and skills for a long time caught the eyes of several European clubs but ENPPI didn't want to lose such a great defender.
But in the end, after a long struggle between ENPPI and other clubs, on 1 July 2010, Ahmed joined Sunderland with a £500,000 contract and an option of a permanent deal for £2 million next summer. Eventually, Elmohamady moved to Premier League and played in Hull city before joining Aston Villa on 19 July 2017 with an undisclosed fee contract.
Elmohamady is still playing for The Lions and so far made 117 appearances, scored 4 goals, and had 18 assists. He had the following victories:
Football League Championship runner-up: 2012–13. FA Cup runner-up: 2013–14. Football League Championship play-offs: 2016
EFL Championship play-offs: 2019. EFL Cup runner-up: 2019–20
Africa Cup of Nations: 2008, 2010; runner-up: 2017
Hull City Player of the Year: 2012–13
The list of the best Aston Villa defenders ever ended here. The important point is that this list of 15 soccer players is based on our opinion and the number of games played by each footballer. Aston Villa is one of the oldest and most well-known teams in the English Premier League at the moment. Having a strong defensive line is one of the most fundamental issues for such a popular team. Undoubtedly, with the enthusiastic presence of the new generation of players, the list of best Aston Villa defender of all time would change in the near future.
Which player do you think is empty on our list?