Top five all-time Chelsea defenders 
(Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Chelsea fans have been lucky enough witness some of the greatest defenders of all time play at for their club. 

But who’s the best defender to have graced the Stamford Bridge turf?

Here we take a look at the top five defenders to have played for Chelsea, starting with number five.

5. Branislav Ivanovic

Branislav Ivanovic was one of the most consistent defenders the club has ever seen.

The big Serbian joined Chelsea in 2008 and played under 9 different managers during his spell at the club, being an integral part of the team under many of them.

He made over 350 appearances, mainly appearing at right-back although he was occasionally deployed at centre-back.

Despite struggling to get into the team when he first arrived at the club, Ivanovic made a name for himself during the Blues’ double winning 2009-10 campaign, when he was named in the PFA Team of the Year.

He went on to become a fixture in the team for many years before departing in 2017 to go to Zenit St Petersburg.

In total, Ivanovic won nine trophies with Chelsea, including three Premier League titles.

4. Ashley Cole

Brought in from rivals Arsenal, Ashley Cole will always go down in Chelsea folklore.

The Englishman had been an integral part of the Gunners team that went unbeaten during the 2003-04 season and won three FA Cup’s in his time there.

However, in July 2006, Cole swapped red for blue and joined Chelsea in a deal which saw William Gallas go the other way.

For much of his career, Cole was regarded as the best left-back in the world and he was a fixture in the Chelsea side until he left in 2014.

In his time at Chelsea, Cole played 338 times and won eight major trophies, including playing a pivotal role in the 2012 Champions League winning team.

3. Ricardo Carvalho

Like Branislav Ivanovic, Ricardo Carvalho was a flexible player who could be deployed at either centre-back or right-back, though he spent most of his Chelsea days alongside John Terry in the heart of the defence.

Having been one of Portugal’s best players at Euro 2004, Chelsea snapped up Carvalho for £20 million just after the tournament.

Carvalho followed his Porto manager Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge having won the Champions League together the season before.

The Portuguese international was part of the team that won back to back premier League titles in 2005 and 2006. 

During his time at the club, he won five major trophies before being bought by Real Madrid in 2010.

2. Marcel Desailly 

Marcel Desailly is one of the most decorated players to have ever played for Chelsea.

Having won the World Cup with France in 1998, Desailly moved to Chelsea in a £4.6 million move.

At the time, Desailly was in the prime of his career and walked straight into the Chelsea defence, forming a formidable partnership with Frank Labeouf.

The Frenchman was part of the Chelsea team that won the FA Cup in 2000 and captained the team between 2001 and 2004 before moving to Qatar to see out his playing days.

1. John Terry

With one captain departing, it was time for a new leader to step up.

And what a job he did.

John Terry took the armband in 2004 and went on to become the club’s most successful captain of all time.

When it comes to choosing the clubs greatest ever defender, there is no doubt who is number one.

Forming great partnerships with pretty much every centre-back that played alongside him, Terry totalled 717 appearances for the club and became the top-scoring defender in Chelsea history with 67 goals.

He captained Chelsea to 14 major honours and was was named in the FIFPro World XI for five consecutive seasons.

When he left in 2017 to finish his playing days at Aston Villa, where he is now assisstant manager, he left as a Chelsea legend.

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