Who are the defenders with most goals? As footballers, defenders are traditionally known for their job of defending the goal instead of scoring.
Despite this, Daniel Passarella, Ronald Koeman and even goalkeepers like Jorge Campos and René Higuita have managed to take part in goalscoring throughout their careers.
10 Highest Scoring Defenders Of All Time
So who are the world’s most successful defenders when it comes to goals?
10. Franz Beckenbauer – 109 goals
Franz Beckenbauer is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in football history.
In addition to revolutionizing the sweeper position and playing for both club and country over an impressive 13-year career, he also scored a remarkable 109 goals.
The legendary defender racked up 64 of those goals for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga during his time with them and contributed 14 more for Germany.
With this impressive tally, Beckenbauer is undoubtedly one of the top scoring defenders of all time.
9. Paul Breitner – 113 goals
Famous German footballer, Paul Breitner, was a defender in the 1970s and made an invaluable contribution to the successes of both his country and club.
Breitner is most remembered for being a goal-scoring defender, which is a unique quality as most defenders are known for their defensive abilities instead.
During his career, he amazed fans with his skill and scored 113 goals, eventually switching to midfielder in later years.
8. Steve Bruce – 113 goals
Steve Bruce, a former Manchester United defender and player, is the highest-scoring defender in Premier League history.
Across all clubs including Gillingham, Norwich City, Birmingham and Sheffield United, the 59-year-old has bagged himself an impressive 113 goals.
His most remembered goals came during the 1992–93 season when his double against Sheffield Wednesday helped United capture their first title in 26 years.
He even holds the record for most goals scored by a defender in a season with 19 across all competitions two seasons prior.
7. Roberto Carlos – 113 goals
The Brazilian, who played mostly as a defender during his career, scored an impressive total of 113 goals across both club and international teams—an amazing feat that cements him as one of the top-scoring full-backs of all time.
During his time with Real Madrid’s iconic “Galacticos” squad, he netted more than 70 goals in over 500 matches.
Unsurprisingly, Roberto Carlos’ national team relied on him to take set pieces such as free kicks where he often found success with the net.
6. Sergio Ramos – 129 goals
With 129 goals to his name in club and international football, Sergio Ramos is one of the highest scoring defenders in football history.
Currently a player for PSG, Ramos first made a name for himself when he scored two decisive goals against Atletico Madrid in consecutive Champions League finals, winning it both times.
Since then, he has become renowned for delivering spectacular performances when it matters most, as well as taking on the role of Real Madrid’s main penalty taker following Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure.
5. Graham Alexander – 130 goals
Graham Alexander is a Scottish legend and one of the top ten highest-scoring defenders in world football history.
He achieved the feat by scoring an impressive 130 goals throughout his career at right-back for clubs such as Burnley, Scunthorpe, Luton Town, and Preston North End.
Alexander was known for his ability to score both from open play and penalties with most of his goals coming via counters. Surprisingly, he was never able to add a goal for Scotland to his long tally.
4. Laurent Blanc – 153 goals
Former French footballer Laurent Blanc is widely regarded as one of the top defenders of all time.
In addition to winning the 1984 Ligue 1 title with Montpellier, he tallied an impressive 153 goals in his career, which makes him the fourth-highest goal-scoring defender in history.
After beginning his playing career as a sweeper, Blanc transitioned to an attacking midfielder role and was instrumental in France’s success at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
His excellent ability to take free kicks for both his club and country also made him a formidable presence on the pitch.
3. Fernando Hierro – 163 goals
Considered one of the best defenders to have ever played in Spain, Fernando Hierro has made an indelible mark on European football with 163 goals over the years.
A Real Madrid legend, Hierro was also well known for his set-pieces and aerial ability.
He is the 3-time Champions League winner, 5-time La Liga champion and EPL highest-scoring defender of all time while playing at Bolton Wanderers in England.
One of the most decorated players in Spanish football history, Hierro will always be remembered as a great goal scorer and an incredible defender.
2. Daniel Passarella – 175 goals
Daniel Passarella from Argentina is the only South American on this list, yet he managed to be known for his incredible goal-scoring prowess which earned him 175 goals during his career.
Despite standing at 5 feet 8 inches tall, Passarella was an effective defender and operated back lines of teams such as River Plate, Inter Milan and Fiorentina.
He also captained La Albiceleste to World Cup victory in 1978 and had a part in their triumph in 1986.
1. Ronald Koeman – 253 goals
Ronald Koeman is the highest scoring defender in football history, having scored an impressive 253 goals.
He began his career playing sweeper, then adapted to playing as more of a midfielder later on.
His most productive season was with PSV Eindhoven when he scored 26 goals in one campaign.
Over at Barcelona, Koeman was trusted to take set pieces and penalties and found the net 19 times in two seasons.
Most notably, it was Koeman’s goal in 1992 against Sampdoria that sealed Barcelona’s first-ever UEFA Cup title.
Overall, Ronald Koeman proved himself to be one of the most unstoppable defenders when it came to scoring goals.
This article was updated 1 month ago