Back
  • Biography

About Alan:

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer is the Premier League's all-time top scorer with 260 goals and a leading TV pundit from the BBC's flagship football programme Match of the Day. Euro '96 Golden Boot winner Alan will be sharing his thoughts on all things football every week throughout the 2016/17 season.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google +
More postsBack

Alan Shearer names the five best centre-backs he played against

Alan Shearer’s 5 best centre-backs he played against

Coral football ambassador Alan Shearer spoke exclusively to us about the 5 best centre-backs he played against during his storied career.

As the Premier League’s all-time top goalscorer, Shearer came up against some legendary defenders, including many he mentions below.

Who are the 5 best centre-backs he played against? Read on as Alan reveals all…

“He kicked me, I kicked him but we’d always shake hands at the end of the game”

Tony Adams was one of the best I played against. I had some great battles with Tony. He kicked me, I kicked him but we’d always shake hands at the end of the game. He was a very good defender, a great organiser and leader.

Marcel Desailly, was a superb defender, such a good organiser. He was a battler, hard and quick. He could do it all, and was everything you’d want in a centre back. I had some great battles with him too.

Jaap Stam was another great centre back I played against. A tough player to play against, he was strong and hard as nails.

Alan Shearer rates Tony Adams number one of the best centre-backs he played against.

Alan Shearer rates Tony Adams number one of the best centre-backs he played against.

And then towards the end of my career there were two fantastic centre backs that I played against, Rio Ferdinand and John Terry, both very different types of defender. John Terry was very good with his feet, both left and right. He could spray the ball around, and if you were looking for someone to come and lead your team, you’d look no further than him. Rio Ferdinand was classy. He could read the game, he could pass, he could dribble out with the ball. He was quick and quite simply a very good centre-half.

“My tactic was always to park myself on whichever centre-back I thought was the worse player”

When I knew I was coming up against a tough centre-half I would just go and stand on the other central defender. So when I was playing against Chelsea, and Marcel Desailly was playing, I would go and stand on Frank Leboeuf, as I thought Marcel Desailly was better and Frank would be easier to play against. So my tactic was always to park myself on whichever centre-back I thought was the lesser player. Obviously you can’t do that for every minute of every game but that’s what I did when the situation allowed it.

Shearer (right) rated Desailly (left) ahead of Leboeuf, and his tactic would be to park himself on the latter.

Shearer (right) rated Desailly (left) ahead of Leboeuf, and his tactic would be to park himself on the latter.

There were days I’d walk off the pitch having played against these guys thinking I’d had the best of them, and then other days when I’d walk off knowing they’d had the upper-hand on me. But the good thing about all five guys was that we’d shake hands after the game and had a mutual respect for each other. They didn’t have a problem with a physical battle and nor did I.

All five players I’ve singled out were leaders, and really good organisers. They were vocal players, pulling their team mates around to get the right shape for the team. These were the five best centre-backs that I played against.

Related

If it’s more exclusive videos and interviews with Alan you’re after, then head on over to the Shearer says archive.