(Photo by Jan Solo)

Two of the best central defenders in the game are Sergio Ramos and Rio Ferdinand. Sergio Ramos plays in the center of defense for Real Madrid when the situation arises, otherwise he is mostly deployed as a right back where he excels also.

Rio Ferdinand plays for Manchester United and has been playing for them for, I don’t know how many years exactly but it must be close to a decade now.

Rio Ferdinand has spent all his life training for the central defensive role and that is why he has what it takes to be a central defender. The downside of that is obviously that he cannot really play anywhere except at central defense or a defensive midfielder, unlike Ramos who can play at the right, in the middle defensive position or the Xabi Alonso role.

First lets just quickly go through the defensive skills and then we will come to the part where both of these players offer more than just their specific roles.

For a defender there are many things that make him (or her)a great defender or even a complete defender. These are basically, heading, reading, passing, speed,tackling,strength,stamina.

These are the general categories which obviously can be sub divided into further categories such as acceleration, mental toughness and maturity for the most part.

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When it comes to sliding tackles I think Ramos edges it. Ramos is younger than Ferdinand but even a Ferdinand at his best I think he would struggle to match Ramos’s accomplishments in the area of sliding tackles. Ramos is just a naturalatitbecauseofhisextremeathleticability.

Thatisalso the reason why Ramos beats Ferdinand in things like stamina, speed, acceleration. But Ferdinand is the one with the better sliding tackle. Not many attackers can get past Ferdinand’s long legs which he uses to great effect when defending on his feet.

Ferdinand has got the better head. He has got more maturity and far outshines Ramos is the area of game reading. Ramos is poor at reading plays of opposition, he is poor at keeping his head calm in tough situations whereas Ferdinand is just pure world class in these areas.

Ramos I think is the most red carded player for Real Madrid in the club’s illustrious history. He is only 26. Ferdinand on the other hand is very calm and is extremely disciplined given that he playsinapositionwhereusuallyyouarepresentedwithgoornogosituations.

Heading,IthinkFerdinandedgesitoutbecauseofhissuperiorballflightreadingability,hisheightandhiscalmness.