Soccer Players With The Number 5 (Defending Giants)

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Defenders and holding midfielders who are masters of their defensive trade frequently wear the number 5 shirt. Many of soccer’s finest backline and midfield anchors have worn the number 5, from marking strikers and reading the game to beginning attacks with their passing range. This page features some of the most famous players to wear the number 5 shirt during their careers, displaying the strategies, talents, and awards that earned them legendary status in the position.

The number 5 has been worn by some of the game’s most memorable defensive presences, from the robust yet ball-playing center back Franz Beckenbauer, who hoisted the World Cup as captain of West Germany, to the fiery but elegant defender Carlos Puyol, who was a cornerstone of Barcelona’s glory years. This group also includes beautiful tackling and accurate passing midfielders like Fernando Redondo, as well as metronomic deep-lying playmakers like Jorginho and Sergio Busquets, who effectively command tempo from the backline.

  • Club and International appearances
  • Individual Awards
  • Team Awards
  • Record-breaking careers

The Best Soccer Players With The Number 5

Alongside the number 4, the number 5 is normally the other central defender. This list has some of the best ever center backs, but there are a couple of amazing midfielders in the hall of fame to wear number 5.

Carles Puyol

Carles Puyol rose through the ranks of Barcelona’s famed La Masia youth academy. In 1999, he made his first team debut and went on to captain Barcelona for over a decade. Puyol was a tough-tackling defender famed for his fury and no-nonsense style of play during one of Barcelona’s most successful times.

Stats:

  • Date of birth: April 13, 1978
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Positions played: center-Back, Right-Back, Left-Back
  • Teams played for:
    • La Pobla de Segur (youth club, 1992-1995)
    • Barcelona (1995-2014)
  • Trophies won with Barcelona:
    • La Liga: 6 times (1998-99, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11)
    • Copa del Rey: 2 times (2008-09, 2011-12)
    • UEFA Champions League: 3 times (2005-06, 2008-09, 2010-11)
    • FIFA Club World Cup: 2 times (2009, 2011)
    • UEFA Super Cup: 2 times (2009, 2011)
    • Supercopa de España: 6 times (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013)
  • Other significant achievements:
    • FIFA World Cup: Winner with Spain in 2010
    • UEFA European Championship: Winner with Spain in 2008 and 2012
    • FIFA Confederations Cup: Runner-up with Spain in 2013
Carlos Puyol playing for Barcelona Vs. Rangers
Carles Puyol playing for Barcelona Vs. Rangers

He was a key member of Josep Guardiola’s famed teams, who won 14 titles between 2008 and 2012, including two Champions League crowns and three consecutive La Liga wins. Puyol added goals on occasion in addition to his defensive abilities. He is one of only a few players who have appeared in over 600 games for Barcelona. Puyol, regarded as one of the club’s best captains, retired in 2014 with an impressive trophy haul.

Puyol represented Spain 100 times between 2000 and 2014. He competed in three World Cups and three European Championships, and he captained the 2010 World Cup-winning team. During Spain’s time of international domination between 2008 and 2012, Puyol forged a powerful relationship with Gerard Pique at the heart of their defense, winning the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2008 and 2012.

While not the most naturally gifted player, Puyol compensated for his lack of natural talent with a tireless work ethic, dedication, and example as an on-field general. Puyol is widely regarded as one of Spain’s finest defenders due to his dedication to Barcelona and La Furia Roja. Carles Puyol Saforcada is a Barcelona legend and a one-club man. He is regarded as the best captain for Barcelona, having been the captain from 2004 to 2014 when he retired.

He was a central defender but could also fill in the right-back position. His defensive and leadership skills made him exceptional. He appeared 593 times for Barcelona and won 18 major club titles, including six La Liga titles and 3 Champions Leagues.

Carles Puyol - The Last of His Kind

Internationally, Puyol played for Spain and was capped 100 times. He played in the team that won the 2008 Euro and the 2010 World Cup.

Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer rose through the ranks of Bayern Munich’s youth system to become probably the club’s best-ever player. Beckenbauer, nicknamed “Der Kaiser” because of his exquisite playing style and leadership, revolutionized the libero position and helped pioneer the use of back-passing in soccer. As a talented midfielder and defender, he won three European Cups and four league crowns with Bayern over two decades.

Stats:

  • Date of birth: September 11, 1945
  • Nationality: German
  • Positions played: Sweeper, center-Back, Defensive Midfield
  • Teams played for:
    • FC Bayern Munich (1964-1977)
    • New York Cosmos (1977-1983)
  • Trophies won:
    • World Cup: 1974 (with West Germany)
    • European Championship: 1972 (with West Germany)
    • Bundesliga: 1969-70, 1971-72, 1972-73, 1973-74, 1979-80 (with FC Bayern Munich)
    • DFB-Pokal: 1965-66, 1966-67, 1968-69, 1970-71, 1981-82 (with FC Bayern Munich)
    • European Cup: 1973-74, 1974-75, 1975-76 (with FC Bayern Munich)
  • Other significant achievements:
    • Ballon d’Or winner: 1972, 1976
    • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1966, 1970, 1974
    • UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament: 1972
    • FIFA World Cup Golden Ball: 1974
    • FIFA 100 (list of greatest living players selected by Pelé)
Franz Beckenbauer Levantando La Copa Del Mundo
Franz Beckenbauer lifting the La Copa Del Mundo

Beckenbauer also led West Germany to World Cup success in 1974, winning the tournament’s inaugural Ballon d’Or for the best player. Regarded as one of the all-time greats, he found further success as a manager, leading West Germany to a World Cup victory in 1990. Beckenbauer’s career performances earned him three times the title of European soccer player of the Year, and he remains regarded as one of Germany’s most legendary players.

Beckenbauer also had a successful international career that lasted a decade, from 1965 to 1977. He played 103 times for West Germany, captaining them to a World Cup victory in 1974 and finishing runner-up in 1966 and 1982. Beckenbauer is credited with popularizing sweeper positions and revolutionizing the libero position in modern soccer.

He has been chosen for both the FIFA World Cup Dream Team and the FIFA World Cup All-Time Team for his leadership, vision, and technical prowess on the ball. Beckenbauer, widely recognized as one of the best players of all time, had an unmistakable influence on German and international soccer. He is a well-decorated player and has bagged many titles and accolades in his career.

See also  Soccer Players With The Number 14 (Great Players)
Franz Beckenbauer - Top 5 Goals

Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane rose through the French youth academies of Cannes and Bordeaux before joining Italian powerhouse Juventus in 1996. The great playmaker began exhibiting his extraordinary skills with Juventus, where he won two Serie A titles. Zidane moved to Real Madrid for a then-world record sum in 2001, where he went on to become a superstar.

Stats:

  • Date of birth: June 23, 1972
  • Nationality: French
  • Positions played: Attacking Midfield, Left Midfield
  • Teams played for:
    • AS Cannes (1986-1992)
    • Girondins de Bordeaux (1992-1996)
    • Juventus (1996-2001)
    • Real Madrid (2001-2006)
  • Trophies won:
    • FIFA World Cup: 1 (1998)
    • UEFA European Championship: 1 (2000)
    • UEFA Champions League: 1 (2001-02)
    • Serie A: 2 (1996-97, 1997-98)
    • La Liga: 1 (2002-03)
    • Coppa Italia: 1 (1999-2000)
    • Intercontinental Cup: 1 (2002)
    • UEFA Super Cup: 1 (2002)
  • Other significant achievements:
    • FIFA World Player of the Year: 3 times (1998, 2000, 2003)
    • UEFA Best Player in Europe Award: 1 (2002)
    • FIFA World Cup Best Player: 1 (2006)
    • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 2 times (1998, 2006)
    • UEFA Team of the Year: 5 times (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005)
    • FIFA 100 list: Named as one of the greatest living soccer players by Pelé (2004)
Football against poverty 2014 Zidane et Nedved
Soccer against poverty 2014: Zidane et Nedved

He led Los Blancos to their long-awaited La Liga triumph in 2002 and produced one of the finest Champions League final goals in history to help Real Madrid win their ninth European title. Zidane’s career culminated with France winning the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000, and being named best player in both competitions. Zidane, regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, retired after leading France to the 2006 World Cup final.

Zidane represented France on the international stage from 1994 until 2006, accumulating 108 caps. He was named tournament MVP after scoring two goals in the final against Brazil during France’s 1998 World Cup win. Zidane also guided France to victory in Euro 2000, hitting the game-winning penalty against Italy.

At the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the 34-year-old was named man of the match in the final against Italy before receiving a contentious red card; France lost on penalties. Zidane’s easy skills, vision, and competitive abilities are unique and highly recognized. He was nicknamed Zizou. He was an attacking midfielder best known for his ball control, techniques, and passing skills. This elegance and vision in the field saw him appreciated with various titles and accolades.

As coach:

  • First Coach to win the Champions League three times consecutively
  • Best FIFA Men’s Coach, 2017
Zinedine Zidane ● Magisterial Skills HD

Fernando Redondo

Fernando Redondo made his professional debut in 1985 with Argentinos Juniors. He joined Tenerife in 1991 and quickly became known for his deft passing, tackling, and ball control as a deep-lying midfielder. Real Madrid signed Redondo in 1995, and he quickly became a fan favorite due to his beautiful playing style. He helped Real Madrid win La Liga in 1997 and 2001, as well as the Champions League in 1998.

Stats:

  • Date of birth: June 6, 1969
  • Nationality: Argentine
  • Positions played: Defensive Midfield, Central Midfield
  • Teams played for:
    1. Real Madrid (1994-2000)
    2. Milan AC (2000-2004)
  • Trophies won:
    • With Real Madrid:
      • La Liga: 1994-95, 1996-97, 2000-01
      • UEFA Champions League: 1997-98
      • Intercontinental Cup: 1998
      • UEFA Super Cup: 2002
      • Supercopa de España: 1997
    • With Milan AC:
      • Serie A: 2003-04
      • Coppa Italia: 2002-03
  • Other significant achievements:
    • FIFA World Cup Runner-up: 1990 (with Argentina)
    • Copa America Runner-up: 1991, 1995 (with Argentina)
    • UEFA Champions League Runner-up: 1999 (with Real Madrid)
    • FIFA World Player of the Year: 2000 (Silver Award)
    • In 2004, Pelé inducted the FIFA 100 (a list of the greatest active players).

Despite suffering from injuries, Redondo was regarded as one of the best passers of his period and played an important role in Madrid’s success. In 2000, he joined AC Milan and went on to assist them reach the Champions League final in 2003. Despite the fact that his career was cut short due to injuries, Redondo is renowned as one of the most accomplished defensive midfielders in history.

Between 1992 and 2001, Redondo represented Argentina 45 times on the international stage. He was a member of Argentina’s World Cup squad in 1994, when they were runners-up after losing the final on penalties to Brazil. Redondo also competed in the Copa América in 1995 and the Confederations Cup in 1999.

Redondo’s outstanding technical talent and relentless defending garnered him significant recognition, despite the fact that he never won a major international event with Argentina. He retired in 2004, having established himself as one of the game’s most sophisticated passers at his age. Redondo’s skill and intelligence on the ball had an everlasting effect on Spanish and Italian soccer.

Fernando Redondo ● Craziest Dribbling Skills Ever ●

Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand progressed through the West Ham United development system before making his professional debut in 1996. He rapidly established himself as one of England’s greatest young defenders, earning a high-profile move to Leeds United in 2000. Ferdinand, however, thrived at Manchester United, where he formed a powerful center-back pairing with Nemanja Vidic.

Stats:

  • Date of birth: November 7, 1978
  • Nationality: England
  • Positions played: Centre-Back
  • Teams played for:
    1. West Ham United (Youth career)
    2. West Ham United (1995-2000)
    3. Leeds United (2000-2002)
    4. Manchester United (2002-2014)
    5. Queens Park Rangers (2014-2015)
  • Trophies won:
    • Premier League: 6 times (with Manchester United)
    • FA Cup: 1 time (with Manchester United)
    • Football League Cup: 2 times (with Manchester United)
    • UEFA Champions League: 1 time (with Manchester United)
    • FIFA Club World Cup: 1 time (with Manchester United)
    • FA Community Shield: 6 times (with Manchester United)
  • Other significant achievements:
    • PFA Team of the Year: 6 times
    • FIFPro World XI: 1 time
    • Premier League Player of the Month: 1 time

Ferdinand helped United win six Premier League titles and one Champions League during his 12 seasons at Old Trafford. Ferdinand was selected PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2007 for his quickness, strength, and game reading. He won 81 caps for England, including appearances in the 2002 and 2010 World Cups. Ferdinand retired after leaving United in 2014. He had brief experiences with QPR and Samsunspor in Turkey before retiring. Ferdinand, widely regarded as one of the best English defenders of his period, had a trophy-laden career at the top level.

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Ferdinand has proven his brains and work ethic off the field. After his wife Rebecca died of illness, he debuted his documentary series, Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad, in 2017. Since retirement, Ferdinand has worked as a soccer broadcaster and pundit for BT Sport.

In 2015, he published his critically acclaimed autobiography and has been vocal about problems such as racism, mental health, and gambling. Ferdinand, who holds a UEFA B coaching license, continues to influence and inspire through his commercial activities and charity efforts.

Rio Ferdinand ► Tackles, Defensive Skills & Goals

Jorginho

Jorginho began his career in Italy with Hellas Verona before joining to Napoli in 2014. The deep-lying midfielder made his name at Napoli, where he was known for his beautiful ball skills, precision passing, and metronomic ability to command the tempo from midfield. Jorginho joined Chelsea in 2018 for £50 million, and he has since won the Europa League, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup.

Stats:

  • Date of birth: December 20, 1991
  • Nationality: Italy
  • Positions played: Defensive Midfield, Central Midfield
  • Teams played for:
    • Hellas Verona (2007-2010)
    • S.S.C. Napoli (2014-2018)
    • Chelsea FC (2018-2022)
    • Arsenal FC (2022-present)
  • Trophies won:
    • Serie A (1 time with Napoli)
    • Coppa Italia (1 time with Napoli)
    • UEFA Europa League (1 time with Chelsea)
    • UEFA Super Cup (1 time with Chelsea)
    • FIFA Club World Cup (1 time with Chelsea)
    • UEFA Champions League (1 time with Chelsea)
    • UEFA European Championship (1 time with Italy)
  • Other significant achievements:
    • 50 caps and 5 goals for the Italian national team
    • Named in the UEFA Europa League Squad of the Season (2018-2019)
    • Named in the UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season (2020-2021)
    • Nominated for the FIFA FIFPro World XI (2020)

He has made over 200 appearances for Chelsea and has established himself as an important member of Thomas Tuchel’s squad, anchoring their midfield with his technical ability. Jorginho represents Italy internationally and was named Player of the Tournament in their Euro 2020 triumph.

Jorginho was born in Brazil but chose to represent Italy, where his mother was born. He made his senior debut in 2016 and has since accumulated more than 50 caps. Jorginho was a key player in midfield for Italy as they won the tournament with five consecutive clean sheets. In the final shootout triumph over England, he scored one of the game-winning penalties.

Jorginho maintained his impressive international form by assisting Italy in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup. Jorginho, well regarded for his metronomic passing and defensive abilities, has become a club and country fixture in recent years, confirming his place as one of the world’s top holding midfielders.

5 Minutes of Jorginho Showing His Class in 2021

Sergio Busquets

Sergio Busquets rose through the ranks of Barcelona’s renowned La Masia youth system and made his first-team debut in 2008. Since then, he has established himself as one of the best holding midfielders of his time, and he has been a key figure in Barcelona’s golden era under Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique.

Stats:

  • Date of birth: July 16, 1988
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Positions played: Defensive Midfield
  • Teams played for:
    • Inter Miami CF (2023-present)
    • FC Barcelona (2008-2023)
  • Trophies won:
    • With FC Barcelona:
      • La Liga: 10 times (2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2012-2013, 2014-2015, 2015-2016, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2020-2021, 2021-2022)
      • Copa del Rey: 7 times (2008-2009, 2011-2012, 2014-2015, 2015-2016, 2016-2017, 2017-2018, 2020-2021)
      • UEFA Champions League: 4 times (2008-2009, 2010-2011, 2014-2015, 2017-2018)
      • FIFA Club World Cup: 3 times (2009, 2011, 2015)
      • UEFA Super Cup: 3 times (2009, 2011, 2015)
      • Spanish Super Cup: 8 times (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2021)
    • With the Spanish National Team:
      • FIFA World Cup: 1 time (2010)
      • UEFA European Championship: 1 time (2012)
  • Other significant achievements:
    • UEFA Best Player in Europe Award: 1 time (2011)
    • FIFA FIFPro World XI: Multiple times (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
    • UEFA Team of the Year: Multiple times (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
    • La Liga Best Midfielder: Multiple times (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015)
    • UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament: 1 time (2012)
    • FIFA World Cup Dream Team: 1 time (2010)
BERLIN GERMANY JUNE 6 2015 pictured during the 201415 UEFA Champions League Final between Juventus Torino and FC Barcelona at Olympiastadion ○ Soccer Blade
BERLIN, GERMANY – JUNE 6, 2015: pictured during the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League Final between Juventus Torino and FC Barcelona at Olympiastadion.

Busquets, nicknamed “The Octopus” for his ability to intercept passes, has won eight La Liga crowns and three Champions League trophies with Barcelona, when he formed a dangerous midfield triangle with Xavi and Iniesta. Busquets has almost 600 appearances for Barcelona and has received widespread appreciation for his tactical knowledge, metronomic passing, and ball control. After more than 15 years with Barcelona, he joined MLS team Inter Miami in 2022 at the age of 34.

Busquets has been a regular for Spain on the international scene since 2009, garnering over 130 caps. He was a key figure in Spain’s supremacy from 2008 to 2012, when they won the World Cup in 2010 and the Euros in 2008 and 2012. During La Roja’s golden generation, Busquets’ positional understanding and ability to command the tempo from deep were invaluable qualities.

He has played in three World Cups for Spain and is still one of their most important players, having helped them reach the Euro 2020 semi-finals. Busquets is regarded as one of the best Spanish midfielders of his time due to his defensive abilities and soccer IQ.

Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire began his professional career at Sheffield United, making his debut in 2011. In 2014, he joined Hull City and helped them achieve promotion to the Premier League. Maguire joined Leicester City for a cost of £17 million in 2017 and quickly established himself as one of the top defenders in England.

Stats:

  • Date of birth: March 5, 1993
  • Nationality: England
  • Positions played: Centre-Back
  • Teams played for:
    • Sheffield United (2009-2014)
    • Wigan Athletic (loan, 2015-2016)
    • Hull City (2014-2017)
    • Leicester City (2017-2019)
    • Manchester United (2019-present)
  • Trophies won:
    • UEFA European Under-21 Championship: 2017 (with England U21)
    • Premier League: 2020-2021 (with Manchester United)
    • UEFA Europa League: 2019-2020 (with Manchester United)
    • FA Community Shield: 2020 (with Manchester United)
  • Other significant achievements:
    • UEFA Nations League third place: 2018-2019 (with England)
    • FIFA World Cup fourth place: 2018 (with England)
    • PFA Team of the Year: 2018-2019 (with Leicester City)
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His outstanding performances earned him a record-breaking £80 million transfer to Manchester United in 2019. Maguire was named captain of Manchester United immediately and has since helped the club win the FA Cup, League Cup, and Europa League. Maguire made his international debut for England in 2017 and has since gained over 50 caps, playing a major role in the team’s route to the Euro 2020 final.

Maguire has become one of the first names on the teamsheet for both United and England, thanks to his leadership, strength in the air, and on-the-ball playing style. Professionally, he has remained Manchester United’s captain and has helped establish the Harry Maguire Foundation to assist poor and vulnerable young people.

Maguire and England got tremendous accolades on the international scene for their togetherness, variety, and fair play in reaching the Euro 2020 final. He is still an important figure for both club and country.

Harry Maguire - Art of Defending

Marquinhos

Marquinhos rose through the ranks of Brazilian club Corinthians’ youth system before joining Roma in Italy at the age of 18. After two seasons in Serie A, he moved to Paris Saint-Germain for €31 million in 2013. Marquinhos has evolved into one of the world’s top defenders and PSG’s captain over the last decade, famous for his anticipation, tackling, and ability to play out from the back.

Stats:

  • Date of birth: May 14, 1994
  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Positions played: Centre-back, Defensive midfielder, Right-back
  • Teams played for and years:
    • Corinthians (Youth, 2002-2012)
    • Roma (2012-2013)
    • Paris Saint-Germain (2013-present)
  • Trophies won:
    • Ligue 1 (8 times with Paris Saint-Germain)
    • Coupe de France (7 times with Paris Saint-Germain)
    • Coupe de la Ligue (7 times with Paris Saint-Germain)
    • Trophee des Champions (9 times with Paris Saint-Germain)
  • Other significant achievements:
    • FIFA Club World Cup runner-up (2020)
    • UEFA Champions League runner-up (2019-2020)
    • Copa America winner with Brazil (2019)

With PSG, he has won nine Ligue 1 titles and six French Cups, as well as reaching the Champions League final in 2020. Marquinhos has almost 70 caps for Brazil since 2013, helping them win the Copa América in 2019. At the age of 28, he is already regarded as one of PSG’s top defenders and a leader for Brazil.

Marquinhos will captain Brazil to their sixth World Cup triumph in Qatar in 2022. He has regularly performed admirably on the largest international stage, scoring goals in the 2021 Copa América and 2022 World Cup qualification semifinals. Marquinhos, along with Alisson, Thiago Silva, and Casemiro, forms the spine of a seasoned Brazil group looking for their first World Cup championship in 20 years.

His poise on the ball and anticipation make him a powerful defender capable of repelling opponents and launching counter-attacks. Marquinhos, widely regarded as one of the world’s top center-backs, is an important player for both PSG and Brazil.

Marquinhos 2022 - Defensive Skills & Goals - HD

Fabio Cannavaro

Fabio Cannavaro began his professional career with Napoli in 1993 and would go on to play over 500 times for the club. The legendary defender also had spells with Parma, Inter Milan, and Real Madrid, winning numerous trophies, including two Scudetto titles and the Champions League. However, it was at the 2006 World Cup that Cannavaro cemented his status as one of the greatest defenders of all time.

Stats:

  • Date of birth: September 13, 1973
  • Nationality: Italian
  • Positions played: Centre-Back
  • Teams played for:
    • Bagnoli (Youth)
    • Napoli (Youth)
    • Napoli (1992-1995)
    • Parma (1995-2002)
    • Inter Milan (2002-2004)
    • Juventus (2004-2006)
    • Real Madrid (2006-2009)
    • Al-Ahli (2009-2010)
    • Guangzhou Evergrande (2010-2011)
    • Bengal Tuskers Siliguri (2011-2012)
  • Trophies won:
    • FIFA World Cup: 2006 (with Italy)
    • UEFA European Championship: Runner-up in 2000 (with Italy)
    • Serie A: 2001-02 (with Parma)
    • La Liga: 2006-07, 2007-08 (with Real Madrid)
    • Coppa Italia: 1998-99 (with Parma)
    • Supercoppa Italiana: 1999 (with Parma)
    • UEFA Champions League: Runner-up in 2002-03 (with Juventus)
    • UEFA Cup: 1998-99 (with Parma)
    • Intercontinental Cup: 2002 (with Real Madrid)
  • Other significant achievements:
    • FIFA World Player of the Year: 2006
    • Ballon d’Or: 2006
    • UEFA Best Defender: 2006
    • Serie A Footballer of the Year: 2006
    • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 2006
    • UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament: 2000

As captain, he led Italy to victory in Germany and was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player. With exceptional anticipation, tackling, and leadership, Cannavaro neutralized the likes of Zidane and Ronaldinho en route to the title. He ended his international career in 2010 as Italy’s most-capped player ever with 136 appearances.

Since retiring in 2010, Cannavaro has held coaching roles with clubs in Italy, China, and the United Arab Emirates. He was also briefly manager of China’s national team in 2014. In 2023, Cannavaro was appointed head coach of Serie B side Benevento.

Widely regarded as one of the finest center backs in history, Cannavaro proved instrumental in Italy’s World Cup triumph through his immense defensive skills and ability to read the game. His trophy-laden career and iconic World Cup performance cement his status as a true Italian great.

Fabio Cannavaro | Defensive Brilliance | The Film

From pioneering liberos to modern defensive midfielders, the number 5 represents positional mastery, major game contributions, and club and international triumphs. This legacy will inspire future defenders and holding players to choose their squad number. These players are among soccer’s best that have worn the 5 jersey.

Soccer Analyst and Publisher at Soccer Blade | Soccer Blade | + posts

Joel is a seasoned soccer journalist and analyst with many years of experience in the field. Joel specializes in game analysis, player profiles, transfer news, and has a keen eye for the tactical nuances of the game. He played at various levels in the game and coached teams - he is happy to share his insight with you.

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