Best ever Premier League centre-backs

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Jan 02, 2019 09:53 PM EST

As often as football is described as the beautiful game, it takes a bit of rough and tumble to make it what it truly is. The modern era of football has seen the game accumulate a bad reputation for the play acting that is so widely seen, but you'll never be able to shift a no-nonsense centre-half from doing his job.

In the heart of the defence, games can so often be won and lost and a centre-back who wears his heart on his sleeve can be priceless to a Premier League team's success.

Here, we take a look at some of the best central defenders to grace England's top flight, with the latest January transfer window markets available here also:

Sol Campbell

The current Macclesfield Town boss was once part of the Arsenal side who went a whole Premier League campaign unbeaten, and what a player Sol Campbell was. Strong, quick, athletic and with a passion to lead and dictate, Campbell became a cult hero at Tottenham Hotspur before his switch to their arch-rivals Arsenal in 2001.

Understandably, Spurs fans are still upset with Campbell to this day for the move, but the centre-back justified his switch after winning two league titles and two FA Cups. Campbell's Premier League career spanned nearly 20 seasons, and there's no denying how vital he was for both North London sides.

Tony Adams

A one-club legend and inspiring leader, Tony Adams maybe goes a little bit under the radar when it comes to the best ever centre-backs. The Gunners captain won a whole host of awards in his time at Highbury, including three Premier League Team of the Year awards, and was named in the PFA Team of the Century as well as lifting the title and FA Cup on two separate occasions.

Adams' off the field problems were well documented throughout his career and despite his struggles, he still remains one of the best ever defenders Arsenal have produced. In the 1998 title winning side, Adams was truly formidable alongside Lee Dixon, Steve Bould and Nigel Winterburn. Cementing his status as one of the Premier League's all-time greats.

Rio Ferdinand

The West Ham United graduate compares to Adams when it comes to England's finest defenders. At club level, Rio Ferdinand was a pioneer of his time with his cool and composed style of play. Leeds United got the best out of Ferdinand before a switch to Manchester United elevated Ferdinand to legend status.

Ferdinand landed six Premier League titles in his time at Old Trafford and played over 300 times for Sir Alex Ferguson's side. The Peckham-born defender is arguably one of United's greatest ever players, and he is certainly one of the finest the Premier League will ever witness.

Nemanja Vidic

The hard-hitting Serbian was a revelation when he joined the Red Devils in 2006. A snip at just £7m, Nemanja Vidic was a colossus at the heart of the United defence for eight years. He formed a strong understanding with Ferdinand as the Red Devils won three successive league titles, the only side to have ever achieved that.

Vidic was also part of Ferguson's side who kept 14 consecutive Premier League clean sheets throughout the 2008/09 campaign, another record the 37-year-old can proudly look back on. It's hard to pinpoint another world class centre-back pairing than that of Ferdinand and Vidic, and although the former wasn't expected to move mountains when he first joined, he has revolutionised the art of Premier League defending.

John Terry

Mr Chelsea himself, John Terry is undoubtedly a centre-half you would want on your side. Fearless, passionate, a commanding leader and all-action defender, Terry ruled the roost at Stamford Bridge all his career and was idolised by thousands.

Terry is the only player to captain a side to five Premier League titles, and is one of English football's most decorated players of all-time. A strong, fearless, powerful and tenacious centre-half, Terry had a brilliant blend of old school centre-back crossed with a new breed of modern day defender, making him the best the Premier League has ever seen.

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