Coming across talented and determinated defensive duos are rare in world football and are sometimes not easy to recognize. Here GMS looks at five of the best defensive duos of the current age and what makes them such a great partnership both domestically and in Europe.
John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho
The two formed a strong partnership for Premier League club Chelsea dating back to Jose Mourinho's first spell at Stamford Bridge. Former England captain John Terry and former Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho, who know plays for French side Monaco, were ever-presents in the back four that claimed back-to-back titles in 2004/5 and 2005/6.
Now the two have been separated for over four years, after Carvalho switched to La Liga giants Real Madrid in 2010 after six successive years as a Blue. Both players are ageing and are close to retirement. Terry and Carvalho had great success in Chelsea's back four, helping Chelsea to win a number of trophies during their stint with the West London club.
Sergio Ramos and Pepe
The two current Real Madrid players have become an elite defensive duo over the years and have become the club's go-to players in the defensive department. Ramos joined Madrid in 2005 from Sevilla, two years before Pepe who joined in 2007 from Porto.
The pair have helped Real Madrid win two La Liga titles, two Copa Del Reys and two Spanish SuperCups. The partnership may slowly be fading away as youngster Raphael Varane is slowly emerging to becoming Real Madrid's main defender after a successful campaign last season.
Nevertheless, Pepe and Sergio Ramos' partnership will never be forgotten, although the two have faced critics for their discipline, accumulating numerous red cards for Madrid, but that is a minor blemish on their record with the club.
Jerome Boateng and Dante:
The two current Bayern Munich centre-halves have been magnificent for the German and Champions League champions in recent years. The partnership was an instant hit as Dante signed for Bayern Munich last summer, with the duo helping Bayern to win the treble of the Bundesliga, DFB-Ligapoka and most notably the Champions League with a win over Dortmund at Wembley.
Although they have been a partnership for only a year, their contribution to an incredible 2012/13 season cannot be underestimated.
Vidic and Ferdinand:
Arguably one of the best defensive duos of the current Premier League age, the combination of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand has been vital in Manchester United's recent success. The partnership formed in 2006 after Vidic signed for United, with Ferdinand initially signing for the Reds in 2002 from fierce rivals Leeds.
Ferdinand and Vidic have claimed five Premier League trophies over the last eight seasons, as well as three League Cups, a Champions League, three Community Shields and a FIFA Club World Cup. Sir Alex Ferguson can take a great deal of credit for the way in which the two players have complimented each other, and they are surely up there with the best defenders ever to have played for the club.
Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique:
Simply one of the best football partnerships in recent memory, Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique have been rock solid at the centre of Spanish giants Barcelona's defence. Following a short stint at Manchester United, Pique reverted back to his boyhood club back in 2008 and he hasn't looked back since.
The pair have helped guide Barcelona to four La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys, four Spanish SuperCups, two Champions Leagues, two UEFA SuperCups and two Fifa Club World Cup, which is quite some haul of trophies. Arguably one of the most prolific and high quality defensive duos in Barcelona's history and in the world, without a doubt.
Barcelona might not be known for having world-class defenders but these two are living proof that they do exist.
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