Milan legend Maldini names Madrid and PSG stars as the world's best defenders

Paolo Maldini
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An iconic figure from his playing days believes key men at Spanish and French heavyweights set the standard in modern football

Milan legend Paolo Maldini considers Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos and Paris Saint-Germain’s Thiago Silva to be the best defenders in world football.

The former Italy international knows a thing or two about the art of defending having earned status as an iconic figure during his illustrious playing career.

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Maldini spent his entire career with Milan, making over 900 club appearances and earning 126 caps for his country.

He was often held up as being one of the greatest of his day and the five-time European Cup winner has now made his choice regarding the finest defenders in the modern era.

Maldini told the Grant Wahl Planet Futbol podcast: "Sergio Ramos is very good, but sometimes he forgets about defending. He's a great player though, he has skill and he can score.

Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid

"I also like Thiago Silva, he plays for PSG so you don't see the French League too often in Italy, we don't see their league games very often but I remember him when he was at Milan."

Maldini was also pressed on the toughest opponents he faced during his own career, with there plenty of Ballon d’Or winners within a star-studded selection.

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He added: "As for best opponent, I have to say [Diego] Maradona. Because he was Maradona. And also on the pitch he was a very nice guy, very respectful.

"After him, maybe Ronaldo, the Brazilian, the two years he played for Inter before his injury he was very, very, very good.

"Also I played against [Zinedine] Zidane, [Michel] Platini... they were good.”