Goal scoring is the be all and end all of football. It is why the game is played. In this grand panorama of green, only a mostly-white ball hitting the inside of a net is celebrated with vehemence. It is for this reason that forwards are valued more than players of other positions. After all, they are the ones that do the bulk of the scoring. However, there are some defenders synonymous to scoring goals – and here are the top 5 highest scoring defenders ever.
#5 Steve Bruce
The former Aston Villa manager might now be regarded as one of those managers who fail more than they succeed but back in his days as a player, he was more than a decent defender.
The former Manchester United defender is still among the top 5 highest scoring backline players. In his professional career, he scored 113 goals from 926 and was renowned for his accurate heading abilities.
#4 Graham Alexander
Widely regarded as one of the best spot-kick takers in the history of the game, Graham Alexander spent the bulk of his career in Preston North End, where he was also the caretaker manager for a while.
The Scot scored a whopping 130 goals from 981 club games but could never find the net for Scotland in his 40 appearances for them. That’s quite strange, isn’t it?
#3 Fernando Hierro
And now, we enter the elite zone with the top three. Fernando Hierro is a former Real Madrid and Spain captain. He is widely regarded as one of the best defenders the game ever had.
What set him apart was his ability to score. Hierro was a brilliant penalty and free-kick taker and found the net an astonishing 163 times. He still holds the distinction of Real Madrid and Spain’s highest-scoring defender.
#2 Daniel Passarella
The Argentine is the last defender captain to lead his country to a World Cup triumph. Arguably the greatest defender in the country’s history, Passarella had a brilliant knack of finding the net often.
Known for not only his set-piece abilities, he frequently made cheeky runs from defense to join and finish the attack for his team. The fact that he has 175 goals to his name proves how good a scorer he was.
#1 Ronald Koeman
The Dutchman is currently overseeing the resurgence of the Netherlands national team as its manager. As a player, he was one of the game’s finest exponents and undoubtedly its greatest ever goal-scoring defender.
Koeman had the heart of a forward and the mind of a defender. He combined these two to become one of the best Dutch players. His set-piece abilities combined with his shooting skill allowed him to score 253 goals for club and country – making him the highest-scoring defender of all time.