Although it’s not the job of defenders to score goals for the team, ever so often we see a center-back make his way onto the scoresheet.
Defenders who can score, really add value to their CV, although be it a minor asset to have, being a goal scorer on the football pitch is always in high demand.
And the thing with football is that you never know what you’ll have to do on the pitch, depending on the situation. Regardless of your regular positions, you may be required to perform completely different roles near the fag end of the match.
Attackers can become defenders when the team is protecting a slender 1-0 advantage, or defenders have to commit high up the field when it’s the 90th min and the side is trailing by a goal.
Just ask Sergio Ramos!
Most goals that are scored by defenders are from set-pieces, so it’s safe to say they really do shine on a dead ball.
So, let’s use our microscope and determine which defenders shine the most when it comes to putting the ball in the opposition’s net, dead ball or otherwise!
Here is the list of highest-scoring defenders of all time!
Sergio Ramos (128 goals)
While all of the other footballers on this list have retired, current PSG star Sergio Ramos is still active as a goal-scoring defender. Ramos is one of the best players to ever play for the Spanish giants, having scored a total of 128 goals for club and country.
He is also recognized for scoring important goals. For example, it was Ramos who helped Real Madrid win the Champions League in 2014 and 2016, scoring against local rivals Atletico Madrid in both games.
Graham Alexander (130 goals)
The Scottish journeyman has played right-back for a number of clubs, including Burnley, Scunthorpe, Luton Town, and Preston North End.
Many of his goals came from set-pieces; he was frequently the first choice for penalty kicks and spot-kicks, but he also had a flair for scoring from open play, chipping in with numerous goals from right-back over the years.
Laurent Blanc (153 goals)
Have you ever heard of a defender leading a European club’s all-time scoring charts? Laurent Blanc still holds the title for former Ligue 1 champions Montpellier (84).
The former Barcelona, Inter Milan, and Manchester United star began his career as an attacking midfielder, but he quickly transitioned to a sweeper role. He was also a regular set-piece taker for both club and country, and he was instrumental in France’s 1998 FIFA World Cup victory.
Fernando Hierro (163 goals)
Throughout his career, Hierro captained both Spain and Real Madrid, gaining a reputation as one of Spanish football’s all-time greats due to his prodigious goal-scoring ability.
Hierro’s goal total came primarily from set-pieces, but he proved to be a continuous threat to his opponent every time he entered their final third, owing to an outstanding aerial threat at corners and a presence that Madrid was never truly able to replace.
Daniel Passarella (175 goals)
The Argentine was recognized for his incredible goal-scoring ability rather than his defending abilities, as evidenced by the 162 goals he scored during his career.
At 5ft 8in, Passarella was a little short for a defender, but that didn’t stop him from playing for La Albiceleste or clubs like River Plate, Inter Milan, and Fiorentina. He also captained his country to World Cup victory in 1978 and was a member of their winning squad in 1986.
Ronaldo Koeman (253 goals)
The prolific Dutchman has the title of the highest-scoring defender and is set to keep it for a long, long time, boasting a goalscoring record that any center forward would be jealous of.
He once scored 26 goals in a single season for PSV and was also a key player for Barcelona during his tenure with the Catalan giants, scoring 19 goals twice in two seasons.
It should come as no surprise that Koeman took a lot of free-kicks and penalties, but you don’t build a record like that only on set-pieces. Ronald Koeman was a one-man show.
His most memorable goal came in 1992 when he scored an extra-time free-kick against Sampdoria to give Barcelona their first European Cup.