Nesta was a complete and dominant defender, who was influential both at club and international level, and who is regarded by pundits as being one of the greatest and most talented defenders both of his generation, and of all time. Despite being a strong and imposing defensive, athletic and physical presence, he was also an extremely agile and elegant player, with excellent balance, ball skills, vision and passing ability for a defender, which allowed him to bring the ball out of the defence and start plays from the back; these abilities led him to be compared to former Milan captain Franco Baresi. Although he was usually deployed as a centreback during his career, he initially started out as a right-sided fullback; his technical skills, athleticism and defensive ability made him a versatile player from a tactical standpoint, who was capable of playing anywhere along the backline, and also allowed him to be deployed on the left, or even as a sweeper on occasion. Nesta was also excellent in the air, and was unusually quick for a centreback; he often stood out throughout his career for his pace, acceleration, and stamina. In addition to his class, as well as his technical and physical abilities, Nesta also possessed an excellent positional and tactical sense, as well as an acute capacity to read the game, which enabled him to anticipate and close down opponents in one on one situations, and prevent attacking plays; due to his ability to lead from the back and organise his teammates, he excelled in a zonal marking system, but was also known for his tight marking of opposing players. An accurate and tenacious ball-winner, he was known for his artistic sliding tackles, acrobatic clearances, and ability to time his challenges. Despite his talent, Nesta’s career suffered from the many injuries he encountered, which hindered him from playing in the knockout stages at each of the three World Cups at which he participated.