Four defenders who stood head and shoulders above their Premier League rivals 

Defenders like John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Sol Campbell and Jamie Carragher are among those who stood against their Premier League rivals.

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Staff Reporter
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For any Premier League team to be successful, it's vital to have a reliable back four. A good team starts with a good defence, and having a strong foundation on which the more attacking aspects of a squad can be built is vitally important. 

Over the years, we've seen countless defenders who have become famed for either their leadership qualities at the back or their ability to get amongst it and break up play in a no-nonsense fashion. It doesn't matter whether a team is gunning for the title or battling against Premiership relegation odds — a solid defender is key.  

Here, we've put together a list of four defenders who have really stood out in the history of the Premier League. 

John Terry 

When you picture a hard-hitting centre-back, John Terry is probably one of the first that comes into your mind. Having had a glittering career for Chelsea, winning multiple Premier League titles, Terry was a constant presence at the heart of defence. As club captain, Terry boasted great leadership qualities and wasn't afraid to get in the faces of opponents. 

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Few defenders were as strong in the air as Terry, and that is evidenced by his hugely impressive goal tally in the Premier League. He has 41 top-flight strikes to his name, which is a pretty seismic figure for a defender.  

Rio Ferdinand 

While Terry is perhaps the most bullish defender to have graced the Premier League, Rio Ferdinand is arguably the silkiest. From a young age, Ferdinand's quality with the ball at his feet was plain to see, and he was a trailblazer for the kind of ball-playing defenders that are so common today.  

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Of course, Ferdinand was still a tough tackler too and was an expert at reading the play to make interceptions and cut out the danger. Having won several league titles with Manchester United, Ferdinand more than deserves his status as one of the Premier League's greatest defenders. 

Sol Campbell 

We couldn't have a list of top-class Premier League defenders without choosing a member of Arsenal's 'Invincibles' season, and Sol Campbell perfectly sums up that title-winning campaign in 2003-04.  

The Englishman was a colossus at the back for Arsenal, and was a large part of the reason Arsène Wenger's side conceded just 26 goals in that campaign. Campbell played for a number of Premier League clubs, but it was for Arsenal that he really stood out and earned wider recognition.  

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Jamie Carragher 

Perhaps in the shadow of defenders who got their hands on more silverware in their careers, Jamie Carragher possibly doesn't get the recognition he deserves as one of the Premier League's top centre-backs. 

Whilst Liverpool didn't get their hands on the Premier League title during Rafael Benítez's spell as manager, it was under the Spaniard's guidance that Carragher developed into a truly world-class defender. Forging a strong partnership with Sami Hyypiä at the heart of defence, Carragher helped Liverpool develop a reputation as one of the Premier League's best defensive sides, allowing the likes of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to run riot further forward.

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