Defenders have an important job in a team – and that’s to stop their opponent from scoring. But some of them are very good in other aspects of the game – some defenders are great goalscorers.
These defenders scored crucial goals for their clubs… They were just special!
Check out these ten goalscoring defenders:
10. Sinisa Mihajlovic (105 goals)
The Yugoslavian defender was an expert from dead-ball situations.
He netted ten goals for his country and 61 goals in Serie A for his four different Italian sides, Roma, Inter, Sampdoria and Lazio.
Mihajlovic also holds the record for the most free-kicks scored, along with Andrea Pirlo in Italy’s top division.
9. Franz Beckenbauer (109 goals)
The West Germany captain revolutionised the sweeper role, and the fact that he was the furthest player from the opposition’s goal speaks volumes of his goalscoring prowess.
He was known for his creativity and passing as well as his elite defending skills.
Over 19 years, he scored 109 times.
He was most prolific for Bayern Munich where he netted 64 goals in 439 appearances.
8. Roberto Carlos (113 goals)
The scorer of, arguably, one of the greatest free-kicks of all time, Carlos has been lauded as one of the best-attacking full-backs to have played the game.
The Brazilian was part of the ‘Galacticos’ squad that grew to fame in the early 2000s and became known for his ability to get forward from the flanks into goalscoring positions.
He was also deadly at set-pieces for club and country with most of his strikes coming from dead-balls.
It’s hard to think of many footballers in history who have had a more lethal left foot.
7. Paul Breitner (113 goals)
Just like Beckenbauer, Breitner contributed significantly to Bayern and West Germany’s unprecedented success in the 1970s.
He is just one of four players to have scored in two World Cup finals, and he also contributed another three in the 1974 World Cup.
Although he moved to midfield in the latter stages of his career, he was predominantly a defender and got most of his goals from deep.
Breitner scored most of his goals for Bayern and ten of his goals were for his country.
6. Steve Bruce (113 goals)
The Englishman loved to get on the scoresheet, in particular for Manchester United, but also contributed a fair few with Gillingham, Norwich, Birmingham and Sheffield United.
His most famous goal came against Sheffield United in the 1992/93 when he scored twice to give Sir Alex Ferguson’s side their first title in 26 years.
His best season came in 1990/91 for the Red Devils, when he scored 19 goals in all competitions.
5. Graham Alexander (130 goals)
The Scotsman was a right-back for many clubs over the years including Burnley, Scunthorpe, Luton and Preston North End.
He was on spot-kick duties and many of his goals came from penalties, but he also had the impressive ability to pop up from goals in open play as a right-back.
Surprisingly, he never got on the scoresheet for Scotland.
4. Laurent Blanc (153 goals)
Remarkably, the former France boss still holds the goal scoring record at the club he began playing football with: Montpelier.
Blanc started his career as an attacking midfielder before dropping back to play as a sweeper, netting 80 goals in eight years with the club – with many coming from set-pieces.
The former Paris Saint-Germain manager also scored 16 goals for France, with his most famous being the Golden Goal winner against Paraguay in his nation’s last-16 tie of the 1998 World Cup.
3. Fernando Hierro (163 goals)
Hierro cemented his place as one of Spain and Real Madrid’s all-time greats with his goalscoring ability.
He captained both sides and took penalties and free-kicks contributing to his high tally.
But he also demonstrated an incredible aerial presence at corners and many have said that Real Madrid has never found a true replacement for their former captain.
He also scored in the Premier League for Bolton Wanderers.
2. Daniel Passarella (175 goals)
Arguably South America’s best-ever defender, the Argentine had an astounding goalscoring ability.
Many used to say short players shouldn’t be good at defending, but at 5ft 8in, Passarella well and truly silenced those who held the view.
If attacking players such as Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi did not exist, he would have a shot at being the best Argentinian to wear the famous blue and white shirt.
He captained his nation to World Cup glory in 1978 and was part of their winning squad in 1986 too.
1. Ronald Koeman (253 goals)
The Dutchman holds the title of the most prolific defender of all time.
Making his name as a sweeper, the former Barcelona player boasts a record that many strikers would dream of.
He once scored 26 goals in a single season for PSV and was also instrumental for Barcelona in his time with the Catalan giants, netting 19 goals twice in two different seasons for the Blaugrana.
It will come as no surprise that Koeman took free-kicks and penalties – and his most important strike was his extra-time free-kick against Sampdoria that handed Barcelona their first-ever European Cup in 1992 at Wembley.
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