Carles Puyol vs Sergio Ramos 2023: Who is the Best Spanish Central Defender?

Carles Puyol vs Sergio Ramos: We are accustomed to seeing how the most creative forwards and midfielders are the soccer players who usually take the vast majority of the spotlight. Not in vain, as they say, ‘football is goals, and they are the ones who, in the vast majority of cases, score the goals in each game.

However, there are defenses that deserve a separate chapter. Either because of their ability to concentrate, elegance, or even scoring ability, they also deserve to stand out as the top scorer ‘9’.

Beckenbauer, Passarella, Baresi, Maldini, Hiero… there are many central defenders who have gone down in football history forever. In Spain, among all of them, we have the honor of highlighting two especially (with the permission of Gerard Piqué): Carles Puyol and Sergio Ramos.

Carles Puyol vs Sergio Ramos Comparison

Both the first already retired, and the second, still active, have gone down in history with letters of gold, both in their respective clubs and in the Spanish National Team. Champions of everything, there are many differences that they have with respect to the similarities that accompany them. Although both have won all (or almost) the titles they have, their way of acting on the field is relatively different.

Carles Puyol

Strong Catalan defender who began his football career as a winger. To remember, the incredible marking made to Luis Figo, who was already wearing the Real Madrid shirt, when he had just made his debut with the Barça first team.

Committed, with character, and, above all, an incomparable concentration during the 90 minutes of the game, which made the central defender who accompanied him seem better and, even, could have been mistaken. Gerard Piqué himself calls him his “guardian angel”.

Although he did not stand out for his scoring ability, he was a central defender with great aerial power, which he was able to show off on tremendously special occasions: the goal against Real Madrid in the 6-2 win at the Bernabéu, and, above all, the header in the semifinals of the World Cup in South Africa against Germany, which would take the Spanish team to the final, where we would win 0-1 in the final against the Netherlands, with Iniesta’s unforgettable goal.

And, despite the fact that he does not stand out for being an extremely elegant central defender, he also left us some plays to remember, such as the roulette against Ukraine in the World Cup in Germany (2006).

In total, these have been the great titles won by Carles:

  • 6 leagues
  • 2 King’s Cups
  • 6 Spanish Super Cups
  • 3 Champions League
  • 2 European Super Cups
  • 2 Club World Cups
  • 1 World
  • 1 Eurocup

In each and every one of them, Puyol was absolutely indisputable, both in his club, FC Barcelona​​ and in the Spanish National Team.

Sergio Ramos

The beginnings of his football career bear certain similarities with those of Puyol. Raised in Seville, after two great seasons in the Sevillian first team, he signed for Real Madrid, where he would act as a right-back for several seasons. Although (it seems) that he is already reaching the end of his active career, Sergio seems to be determined to be an eternal central defender.

He is also a seasoned central defender, with strength, and with a lot of technical quality. Against him, perhaps we can point out that, in some “minor” matches, he suffers certain lacks of concentration, inappropriate, for example, for central defenders like Puyol.

However, if Sergio Ramos stands out for something, it is because of his incredible scoring ability, especially at moments of crucial importance, such as the goal in the Lisbon final (Champions League) that would force extra time (and which Real Madrid would later win). or the goal in the final in Milan. He is the active defender with the most goals scored, totaling more than 100 between the National Team and Real Madrid. Likewise, he is also the Spanish player with the most international caps and threatens to be the player who has ever played the most matches for his country.

At the same time, we can highlight Sergio’s calm in the 11 meters and his aerial power, which leads him to score a good ‘sack’ of goals per season.

Thus, after more than 18 years of active, he adds the following titles:

  • 5 leagues
  • 2 King’s Cups
  • 4 Spanish Super Cups
  • 4 Champions League
  • 3 European Super Cups
  • 4 Club World Cups
  • 1 World
  • 2 European Cups

In this way, we can see how both have quite similar track records, being absolutely essential in their clubs and in the golden age of the National Team, which made it one of the best in history.

From their comparison, the only thing that seems to be clear is that, given their record and the clubs to which they have belonged, to find out which of the two is better, there will be opinions for all tastes. Both have won all the titles that have been and have been in their clubs of origin and were key players in the best period of the Spanish National Team. In fact, it was coinciding with the departure of Carles Puyol when Sergio Ramos moved to the center of defense in the national team, a position in which he would be proclaimed champion in the Eurocup in Ukraine and Poland in 2012.

What is clear is that the comparison in terms of scoring ability can slightly decline the balance in favor of the camera, who has an infinitely higher record of goals, and, as we have said before, he has done so at times when Real Madrid needed him the most. Carles Puyol scored a total of 25 goals in his sports career (22 with Fútbol Club Barcelona and 3 with the National Team), while Sergio Ramos has already passed 100 with Real Madrid and is among the team’s top scorers national.

Living legends of the two most important clubs in Spanish football, Carles and Sergio are the ‘holy sign’ of the rearguard of the most successful teams in our country. The former was born, grew up, and matured in La Masía, while the latter grew up on the banks of Nervión to probably be the most important defender in the history of Real Madrid.

There is no doubt that both are among the shortlist of the most important defenders in the history of Spain (probably, along with Gerard Piqué), and, surely, also among the best defenders in the history of football.

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