Being a defender is at times a thankless task. The best indication of the men at the back doing their job is when they pass blissfully unnoticed through the 90 minutes.
If they start to make headlines, unless it is for scoring, that is when alarm bells start going off. For precisely that reason, the best teams in the world possess defences that provide a stable anchor and make life easier for those further up the pitch.
Defenders can become known in their own right, of course. Here are 50 of the greatest back-line players ever to grace a football pitch.