Top 11 highest scoring defenders, including Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Barcelona legends

14 Jan

Real Madrid centre-back Sergio Ramos netted his 100th goal for Los Blancos in their cup match against Leganes last week.

The Spaniard joined a prestigious group of defenders to have achieved the feat – but where does he rank in the list?

Ramos bagged his 100th goal in midweek

talkSPORT.com has assessed where Ramos features in the highest-scoring defenders of all time.


11: Sergio Ramos – 100 goals

No defender in world football currently scores more than the Real Madrid captain, and what’s more impressive is he does it at crucial moments too.

Ramos scored vital goals for his side in both Champions League finals against bitter rivals Atletico Madrid.

He has scored 50 goals in LaLiga, with more of them coming against Malaga (5) than any other team.

This season he has scored seven so far after becoming the main penalty taker for his side since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ramos is prolific for Real Madrid

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 Piro in Italy’s top division.

Mihajlovic playing for Lazio

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.

Beckenbauer bagged his fair share of goals

8. Roberto Carlos (113)

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 2000’s 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.

Carlos had a lethal left foot

7: Paul Breitner – 113 goals

Just like Beckenbauer, Breitner contributed significantly to Bayern and West Germany’s unprecedented success in the 1970’s.

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.

Breitner was instrumental for west Germany and Bayern Munich

6: Steve Bruce (113)

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 the 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.

Bruce loved a goal from defence

5: Graham Alexander (130)

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 came from penalties, but he also had the impressive ability to pop up from goals in open play as a right-back.

Suprisingly, he never got on the scoresheet for Scotland.

Alexander was a prolific scorer

4: Laurent Blanc (153)

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.

Blanc was a sweeper and talented goalscorer

3: Fernando Hierro (163)

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 have never found a true replacement for their former captain.

He also scored in the Premier League for Bolton Wanderers.

Hierro was a goal machine

2: Daniel Passarella (175)

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 shout 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.

Passarella guided Argentina to World Cup glory

1: Ronald Koeman (253)

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.

Koeman scored a stunning 253 career goals

World Cup 2018: Fernando Hierro leaves post as Spain manager and will not return to previous role after disappointing Russia campaign

8 Jul

Fernando Hierro, who was Spain’s stand-in coach at the World Cup will leave the Spanish Football Federation after rejecting the chance to return as sporting director, his former role.

The RFEF said Hierro, who had a contract in force, has instead decided to “seek new horizons and undertake new professional challenges”.

Hierro’s first game as Spain manager came just two days after getting the job

The 50-year-old took charge of Spain in dramatic circumstances last month after Julen Lopetegui was sacked on the eve of the World Cup after agreeing to become Real Madrid coach following the tournament.

Under Hierro, La Roja finished top of Group B but were knocked out at the last-16 stage following a penalty shootout defeat to Russia.

The former Real Madrid defender was the Federation’s sporting director on two separate occasions, between 2007-11 – during which time the national team won the European Championships and World Cup – and then again from November 2017.

A RFEF statement said: “After travelling many kilometres together, the Spanish Football Federation and Fernando Hierro have put an end to their relationship once Spain’s participation at the World Cup in Russia finished.

“The last coach of the national team declined to return to his previous role as sporting director of the RFEF to seek new horizons and undertake new professional challenges.

“The RFEF want to thank Fernando Hierro for his commitment and sense of responsibility to take charge of the national team in some extraordinary situations, as well as in the performance of all his duties.”

Since hanging up his boots in 2005, Hierro, who won 89 caps for Spain, has coached Real Oviedo, been the assistant to Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid, and also the general manager at Malaga.

The RFEF has yet to announce who will be the permanent successor to Lopetegui as Spain coach, with Roberto Martinez, Michel, Quique Sanchez Flores and Luis Enrique among the names being linked with the role.

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea could lose Spain place to Kepa Arrizabalaga at World Cup

26 Jun

David de Gea could be dropped by Spain as manager Fernando Hierro looks to solve La Roja’s defensive issues.

The 2010 world champions booked their place in the last 16 by finishing top of Group B on goals scored, finishing level on points with runners-up Portugal.

Iago Aspas scored for Spain to secure top spot

Despite finishing first, Spain have found life hard in Russia, with just one win from their opening three matches; that came against Iran, via a very fortuitous Diego Costa goal.

The biggest issues Hierro – placed in charge following Julen Lopetegui’s sacking on the eve of the tournament – will have to solve are based in Spain’s half of the pitch.

La Roja’s attacking form has been good enough – six goals scored in three games – but they have looked woeful in the defensive phase of the game.

Portugal put three past Spain, before Morocco breached Hierro’s backline twice on Monday evening.

De Gea, the goalkeeper, has faced six shots in Russia, and has saved only a single one, in the 2-2 draw with Morocco.

De Gea has already conceded five goals at the World Cup

And, according to AS, Hierro is going to use training this week in an attempt to fix Spain’s problems, with his thoughts reportedly turning to Kepa Arrizabalaga of Athletic Club as a potential replacement for De Gea.

It is written that ‘the Manchester United goalkeeper’s credit is exhausted’, and Spain’s defence are said to have a lack of confidence in De Gea.

De Gea’s biggest error came in Portugal’s draw with Spain, when he failed to save Cristiano Ronaldo’s shot

Kepa, 23, has emerged as one of the finest glovesman in Europe since breaking into Athletic’s first-team, and Real Madrid were in talks to sign the youngster last season having deciding to buy him rather than De Gea.

However, Kepa extended his contract with Athletic rather than move to the Bernabeu.

And now, with De Gea struggling on the international stage, Kepa could be handed the chance to show off his talents at the World Cup.

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