Best Argentinian Defenders of All Time

Mon 02 August 2021 | 7:30

We are going to list Some of the most prolific Argentinian footballers in our Best Argentinian Defenders of All Time.

The Argentine Football Association, Argentina's governing body for football, administers the Argentina national football team, which represents Argentina in men's international football. The Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti in Buenos Aires is Argentina's home stadium.

La Seleccion (national team), also known as La Albiceleste, has competed in five World Cup finals, the first of which they lost 4–2 to Uruguay in 1930. Argentina won the following final in 1978, defeating the Netherlands 3–1 in extra time.

Argentina won the tournament again in 1986, thanks to a 3–2 victory over West Germany and a tournament campaign led by Diego Maradona. In 1990, they reached the World Cup finals for the second time, losing 1–0 to West Germany after a controversial penalty call in the 87th minute.

The national team, led by Lionel Messi, reached their fifth World Cup final in 2014 but was defeated by Germany 1–0 in extra time. Cesar Luis Menotti won the 1978 World Cup and Carlos Bilardo won the 1986 World Cup for Argentina.

They has also had a great deal of success in the Copa America, having won it 14 times, second only to Uruguay. In addition, the team won the FIFA Confederations Cup in 1992 and the Artemio Franchi Trophy in 1993.

Argentina is known for its rivalries with Brazil, Uruguay, England, and Germany, which date back to specific events in football history.

Reviewing the Best Argentinian Defenders of All Time

Here are the top 11 Best Argentinian Defenders of All Time.

Alberto Tarantini

Alberto Cesar Tarantini (born December 3, 1955) is a retired Argentine footballer who played as a defender. With the

Argentina national football team

, he won the 1978 FIFA World Cup.

Early in his career, he was a defensive left-back who later switched to wing-back. He is one of the Highest Rated Argentina Defenders.

Tarantini, who was born in Ezeiza and rose through the Boca Juniors youth ranks in the early 1970s, was known for his afro hairdo and large front teeth, earning him the nickname conejo ("rabbit").

In 1977, he won his first international club football competition with Boca Juniors, the Copa Libertadores, one of the most reputable tournaments in the world and the most prestigious club competition in Latin American football, when Boca defeated Cruzeiro 5–4 on penalties after a goalless draw. On September 14, 1977, the match was held at the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo, Uruguay.

With Jorge Valdano, Americo Gallego, and others, Alberto was a member of Argentina's under-23 team that won the 1975 Toulon Tournament, coached by Cesar Menotti.

Patricia Pata Villanueva, a fashion model, was his wife. George Tarantini, his brother, is a former college soccer coach.

The defender was named to the Top Ten South American Players of the Year awards in 1982.

He also represented Argentina at the 1982 FIFA World Cup before retiring from the national team.

Juan Pablo Sorin

Juan Pablo Sorin (born May 5, 1976) is an Argentine footballer who played as a left-back or left midfielder and is now a sports broadcaster and is considered to be one of the Best Argentinian Defenders of All Time.

Sorin was a powerful, versatile, and hardworking left-back who, thanks to his left-foot passing and crossing ability, could also play as a center-back or anywhere on the left-wing.

He had a prosperous club career with River Plate in Argentina, Cruzeiro in Brazil, and various European clubs such as


, Lazio, Paris Saint-Germain, and Villarreal.

Juan played for Argentina in two FIFA World Cups, including the 2006 FIFA World Cup, where he was captain; he also played in two Copa America editions and the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup.

The current sports broadcaster was a member of the Argentine team that competed in the FIFA World Cup in Japan and South Korea in 2002.

The team faced Nigeria, England, and Sweden in three matches. The team, however, managed to fail miserably, failing to advance to the tournament's second round.

Jose Pekerman reconfigured the Argentine squad, and Sorin was named captain of his country for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Sorin was an important part of Argentina's World Cup team as an attacking full-back.

After defeating Ivory Coast (2–1) and crushing Serbia and Montenegro 6–0, Argentina advanced to the second round.

Walter Samuel

Walter Adrian Samuel (born Walter Adrian Lujan on March 23, 1978) is a former professional footballer from Argentina and one of the Best Argentinian Defenders of All Time.

Oscar Samuel is his father's name. Lujan is her mother's surname. He has two sisters. With his wife Cecilia, he has a daughter and two sons.

Samuel is regarded as one of the best center-backs of his generation and one of the toughest defenders in the game, with former international teammate and Inter captain

Javier Zanetti

describing him as the "hardest player" he has ever played with.

The former footballer started his club career in 1996 with Newell's Old Boys, then moved to Boca Juniors the following year. After that, he moved to Europe in 2000, where he played for Italian club Roma and Spanish club Real Madrid.

He returned to Italy in 2005, joining Inter, where he spent nine seasons and won five consecutive Serie A titles; he was a key figure in Inter's treble-winning season in 2009–10, partnering with Lucio in defense under Jose Mourinho.

The Center-back has over 50 caps for the Argentine national team, appearing in two FIFA World Cups, the 1999 Copa America, and the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup, where he won a runners-up medal.

In August 2019, Walter enrolled in the UEFA Pro Licence courses at Coverciano.

Silvio Marzolini

Silvio Marzolini (4 October 1940 – 17 July 2020) was an Argentine footballer who rose to prominence while playing for Boca Juniors from 1960 to 1972.

He is widely regarded as the greatest Argentine left-back of all time and one of the

Best Argentinian Defenders of All Time

, having represented Argentina in the 1962 FIFA World Cup and the 1966 FIFA World Cup, where he was named the best left-back of the tournament. Marzolini made 28 appearances for Argentina.

Marzolini began his football career with Deportivo Italiano, before moving to Ferro Carril Oeste's youth divisions in 1955. Marzolini was suspended for two years after a discussion with the club managers about his request to play in the Senior team.

Despite this, he made his first appearance in the Primera Division in May 1959, against Boca Juniors, who would hire him the following year.

The Boca Juniors favorite became manager of All Boys after retiring as a player, where he stayed from 1975 to 1976.

He returned to Boca Juniors in 1981, winning the Metropolitano with superstar

Diego Maradona

as the team's outstanding player. Miguel Brindisi, Hugo Gatti, and Oscar Ruggeri were among Boca's other notable players.

In 2019, the Argentine Left-back had a stroke and was later diagnosed with cancer. At the age of 79, he passed away on July 17, 2020.

Roberto Sensini

Roberto Nestor Sensini (born October 12, 1966) is an Argentine football manager and former center-back or defensive midfielder.

He was a member of the Argentina national team that won the Copa America in 1991 and 1993, as well as finishing third in the 1989 edition and he is one of the Best Argentinian Defenders of All Time.

The defensive midfielder also competed for his country in the FIFA World Cup finals in 1990, 1994, and 1998, finishing second in the 1990 World Cup. He also represented Argentina in the 1996 Olympics, winning a silver medal.

His professional career began in 1986 with

Newell's Old Boys

, where he won his first title, before moving to Italy in 1989 to join Udinese Calcio alongside fellow countryman Abel Balbo.

Roberto was one of the most consistent performers in Udinese's surprise UEFA Champions League qualification in 2005.

Sensini was one of the oldest players in the 2005–06 Serie A season, and at the age of 39 years, two months, and 26 days, he held the record for being the oldest foreign player to obtain a goal in the top flight.

Now Everton's manager, he was regarded as one of the most experienced defenders in the Italian league, with over 380 appearances at the highest level, and was often dubbed Nonno (grandfather) by Italian sports journalists. At the end of the season, he announced his retirement.

Roberto Perfumo

Roberto Alfredo Perfumo was an Argentine footballer and sports commentator who lived from 3 October 1942 to 10 March 2016. Perfumo, also known as El Mariscal, is regarded as one of the

Best Argentinian Defenders of All Time.

Perfumo has played for Racing, River Plate, and the Brazilian club Cruzeiro. He was a member of the national team for the 1966 and 1974 World Cups.

He was born in Sarand and began his football career by playing for his nearby team, "Pulqui." In 1960, he made his River Plate debut in the 5th division.

The great defender then joined Racing Club, where he made his debut in a friendly match against Flamengo in Santiago, Chile, in January 1964.

Perfumo's first position on the field was as a midfielder, but he soon moved to the Racing reserve team as a right back. During a match against Ferro Carril Oeste, he made his Primera Division debut, promoted by Nestor Rossi.

He was regarded as one of Argentina's best defenders while playing for

Racing Club

, having won the Primera, Copa Libertadores, and Intercontinental Cup.

The Sarandi-born was praised by the media and fans as Racing Club's most notable player in all of those tournaments.

He worked as a football commentator for ESPN and the TV Publica show Futbol para todos after retiring.

Oscar Ruggeri

Oscar Alfredo Ruggeri (born January 26, 1962) is a former Argentine professional footballer who played as a defender.

Ruggeri, known as El Cabezon ("The Big-Headed One"), was a member of the Argentina national team that won the 1986 FIFA World Cup, two Copa America editions, and the 1992 King Fahd Cup.

His most successful club career was with Argentine club

River Plate

, where he won the 1986 Copa Libertadores, 1986 Copa Interamericana, and 1986 Intercontinental Cup (also the club's first win in this tournament).

The former legend is regarded as one of the Best Argentinian Defenders of All Time, known for his rough style of play when marking opposing players and aerial ability. Ruggeri turned to management after retiring as a player, holding positions in Argentina, Mexico, and Spain.

In 2006, he worked as a manager for the Argentine club San Lorenzo. Ruggeri went on to have a career as a football commentator on Argentine television after that. He is currently a member of Fox Sports Latin America's 90 Minutos de Futbol.

The Center-back has appeared in 21 Copa America games, which he shares with Jose Salomon as a national record, proving himself as one of the Argentina's greatest Defenders.

Stephan, Ruggeri's son, is a professional footballer. Ruggeri and his daughter, Candela, appeared in the 2016 edition of Bailando por un Sueno.

Roberto Ayala

Roberto Fabian Ayala (born 14 April 1973) is an Argentine former footballer who played as a center-back for the Argentina national team,


and Real Zaragoza in Spain, Milan and Napoli in Italy, and River Plate in Argentina.

All across his career, he was regarded as one of the best central defenders of his generation and one of the Highest Rated Argentina Defenders, standing out for his leadership and aerial ability. Ayala captained Argentina in a record 63 matches. 

He appeared in three FIFA World Cups and 115 times for his country, placing him behind only Javier Mascherano, Javier Zanetti, and Lionel Messi in terms of appearances.

"El Raton" obtained his 100th cap for Argentina on May 30, 2006, in a friendly match against Angola.

One of the Best Argentinian Defenders of All Time, Fabian became the national team's most capped player (mostly as captain) on 7 February 2007, defeating his friend Diego Simeone in a 1–0 friendly victory over France at the Stade de France in Paris.

He captained Argentina for the 58th time in a friendly against Algeria on 5 June 2007, having equaled Diego Maradona's record of 57 in the 1–1 draw against Switzerland in Basel.

The now 48 year old former professional announced his retirement from international football on July 17, 2007, two days after playing in the 2007 Copa America Final, which ended in a 3–0 defeat to Brazil and during which he scored an own goal "It has nothing to do with what happened in the Copa America final," Ayala said. He was succeeded as captain by Javier Zanetti.

Javier Mascherano

Javier Alejandro Mascherano (born June 8, 1984) is a former Argentine professional footballer who played as a defensive midfielder or center-back. He is one of the

Highest Rated Argentina Defenders.

Mascherano began his professional career with River Plate, where he won the Argentine Primera Division in 2003–04. In 2005, he joined Brazilian club Corinthians, where he won the Brazilian Serie A in his first season.

He then moved to Europe, signing with West Ham United in the

Premier League

, but his time there was cut short due to unusual contract terms with Global Soccer Agencies.

The young footballer joined Liverpool on loan in 2007, reaching the UEFA Champions League final before signing an £18.7 million contract with the club.

Javier joined Barcelona in 2010 after three years with Liverpool, where he switched from defensive midfielder to full central defender.

He won five La Liga titles, two UEFA Champions League titles, and two FIFA Club World Cups with Barcelona, among other honors.


, one of the Best Argentinian Defenders of All Time is the most capped player in Argentina's history, with 147 appearances for the national team.

Javier Zanetti

Javier Adelmar Zanetti (born 10 August 1973) is a former professional footballer from Argentina who played as a full-back or midfielder. He is without a doubt one of the

Best Argentinian Defenders of All Time.

In Argentina, he began his career with Talleres and then Banfield. From 1995 to 2014, he was a member of the Italian club

Inter Milan

, where he also served as captain.

He is ninth on the all-time list of players with the most official games played, with 1,114. He is also the foreign player with the most Serie A appearances (615) and ranks fourth in the league behind only Gianluigi Buffon, Paolo Maldini, and Francesco Totti.


made 858 appearances for Inter and won 16 trophies with the club, including five Scudetti, four Coppa Italia, four Supercoppa Italiana, one UEFA Cup, one Champions League, and the FIFA Club World Cup.

He's also the captain with the most appearances in the Champions League (82).

The Argentine defensive midfielder appeared in 143 games for the Argentina national team, making him the second player with the most appearances in the history of La Albiceleste, after holding the record from 2007 to 2018.

Adelmar represented Argentina in the Copa America finals in 2004 and 2007, as well as the Confederations Cup finals in 1995 and 2005.

Daniel Passarella

Daniel Alberto Passarella (born May 25, 1953) is an Argentine former professional footballer and former manager of the Argentina and Uruguay national football teams.

He was the captain of Argentina's World Cup-winning team in 1978 and one of

Argentina's greatest Defenders.

After winning elections by a razor-thin margin in December 2009, he served as president of the River Plate sports club for four years.

Passarella was regarded as the greatest South American defender of all time and one of Argentina's greatest Defenders, as well as a capable goalscorer; at one point, he held the record for most goals scored by a defender in a single season, with 134 in 451 games, a record later broken by Dutch defender Ronald Koeman.

At a FIFA Awards Ceremony in 2004, Daniel was named one of the 125 Greatest Living Footballers.

The legendary footballer was ranked 36th in The Times' list of the 50 hardest footballers in history in 2007.

He was ranked 56th on the FourFourTwo list of the 100 greatest players in the history of the game in 2017.

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