Coral’s top 10 goalscoring defenders in footballing history
Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic is known in the game as one the fiercest defenders, with his tough-tackling and no-nonsense approach, but he has now become somewhat of a goalscorer for the 1/4 odds-on Premier League favourites.
The Serb has been deployed at right back this season, and has netted four times in his last six games in all competitions.
His 19th Premier League goal against Burnley last time out, putting him one behind Fernando Torres’ top-flight total for the Blues, got Coral writers thinking, so we have come up with 10 other prolific scoring defenders in history…
English-born former Scotland international Alexander was perhaps one of the greatest penalty takers in the history of the game. During his long career playing for Scunthorpe United, Luton Town, Preston North End and Burnley, the usual right back smashed in a total of 77 from the spot. He retired in his 40s after getting over 100 career goals.
Set-piece specialist Baines quietly goes about his business, but he is deadly with the ball particularly when it is stationary. In each of the last four seasons, the left back has scored five goals or more for 16/1 Europa League chances Everton in all competitions.
From one left back to another, Brazil icon Carlos is one of the best to have played that position. The former Real Madrid star used to fly up and down the wing and got six or more goals in nine of his seasons as a player in Europe. Oh, and he was a pretty decent free-kick taker too…
It may be slightly cheating for us to put this Leeds United legend in our list, but he switched from playing at centre back to centre forward, where he was equally adept, throughout his career. Charles was arguably the greatest all-round footballer in history, and got over 300 career goals for the likes of the Whites and Juventus from the late 1940s to the 70s.
Inter Milan clubman Facchetti was said to be one of the first attacking full backs in the game, and is one of only two players for the club to have their old numbers retired – the other being Javier Zanetti. Facchetti used to fly up and down the left side of the pitch, and contributed with 75 goals from his 634 appearances for his only professional team.
Left-sided players seem to feature heavily, and a second former Leeds star features in this list. The Republic of Ireland great simply loves shooting form long-range, either in open play or from free-kicks, and has a few wonder goals to his name over the years. Harte once scored 18 times in one season, for Carlisle United, and has netted an impressive 12 for his nation in 64 caps. We could be seeing him back in the top flight with his current club Bournemouth (10/3 to win the Championship) if the high-flyers are promoted.
It is hard to believe that a defender once held the record for being the top ever scorer for the Spanish national side. But former Real Madrid and Bolton Wanderers hero Hierro did, managing to net 29 times for La Roja and getting over 130 at club level. He was later beaten by Raul, David Villa and Torres.
Dutch legend Koeman is the greatest scoring defender of all time, as he amassed over 200 strikes for club and country, failing to get to double figures in a season just four times in his career. Koeman is now working wonders as manager of Southampton, and stands a great chance of leading them to a top four finish this term.
Passarella is a former Word Cup-winning captain for Argentina in 1978, and also once held the record for being the highest scoring defender, as he managed to net 134 in 451 appearances throughout his career. Despite being diminutive in height, the sweeper netted many with his head.
Brazilian-born former Japan centre back Tanaka completes this list and, despite his advanced age, is still going strong in terms of scoring. In 2012, he got 15 goals for J-League outfit Nagoya Grampus, and managed a further 12 in 2014.