Who is the greatest defender of all time?
It's a question with no definitive right answer, but a large number of football fans will always side with Paolo Maldini in response.
The Italian legend was a superstar during his 25 seasons as an AC Milan player, thriving as a left-back and then at centre-back later on his career.
Maldini won 25 major trophies during his 901 appearances for the Rossoneri, including five European Cups and seven Serie A titles.
He also finished in third place for the Ballon d'Or in both 1994 and 2003, a pretty sizeable achievement given that the award regularly favours attackers.
Maldini was everything you could wish for in a defender. He was composed on the ball, contributed going forward, was rarely caught out of position and turned tackling into an art form.
The last point there is of vital importance, as it's extremely uncommon for a pragmatic player to make the game look beautiful.
But the now 52-year-old was no ordinary player and that's why he's one of the few centre-backs to have had a video compilation created in his honour.
"Not many defenders get compilation videos. Paolo Maldini gets a compilation video," James Dart's Twitter caption reads and it's very appropriate.
The Italian's tackles were always so clean and precise, although the great man himself famously wasn't happy when he had to perform them, as it meant he had made a mistake.
But due to his supreme footballing intelligence, most notably his ability to read the game, Maldini wasn't often forced to dive in to win the ball.
Not bad, Paolo.
Of course, the Italian's passing range was probably slightly inferior to Van Dijk's and he certainly didn't score as many goals as Ramos.
However, when we're focusing solely on defensive attributes, Maldini is the clear winner, a leader of men that made world-class forwards look decidedly average for over 20 years.News Now - Sport News