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 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

The coolest footballers of all time, including Andrea Pirlo, Xabi Alonso, Dimitar Berbatov and Eric Cantona

25 Dec

No one really knows what cool is, but these footballers have got it. At least they do, according to

Andrea Pirlo definitely had it, judging by the meltdown some fans had when he announced his decision to retire from playing football in 2017.

Andrea Pirlo just reading about how great Andrea Pirlo is

Many players are criticised for being too bland, but it’s unfair to tar everyone with this brush.

This lot entertained us and did things their way while representing the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and West Ham.

And not one of them, to our knowledge, has ever been spotted donning socks with sandals or wearing Crocs on their feet.

16. Pep Guardiola – the son of Cruyff – scroll through the gallery to see the coolest footballers in the world
16. Pep Guardiola – the son of Cruyff – scroll through the gallery to see the coolest footballers in the world – There are not too many people who can make the defensive midfield role cool. David Batty didn't – he should have – but Pep did.
15. Mario Kempes – he loved short shorts
15. Mario Kempes – he loved short shorts – Socks rolled down, long-flowing locks and a World Cup winner: Kempes was the frontman of Argentina's rock star footballers.
14. Paul McGregor – the frontman who was actually a frontman
14. Paul McGregor – the frontman who was actually a frontman – McGregor was dubbed the first 'Britpop footballer' in the mid-1990s, when he was playing for Forest in the Premier League. Around the time his goal sent the Tricky Trees into a 1996 UEFA Cup quarter-final against Bayern Munich, he was also playing gigs as frontman of Britpop band Merc. He later quit football to form post-punk band Ulterior, whose approach to entertaining the audience at gigs has been described by McGregor as "we don't care, you're having this".
13. Slaven Bilic – Croatia's defensive rock
13. Slaven Bilic – Croatia's defensive rock – A law graduate and key part of a football hipster's wet dream – the magnificent 1998 Croatia side – when he wasn't pissing off the French at the 1998 World Cup, Bilic loved to rock. So much so, that he once refused to go and get his man of the match champagne at West Ham until he'd met Iron Maiden guitarist Steve Harris – a big Hammers fan – after hearing the metal legend was backstage at Upton Park.
12. Paul Breitner – rebel without a razor
12. Paul Breitner – rebel without a razor – Who leaves Real Madrid for Eintracht Braunschweig? Paul Breitner. Who can make lederhosen look cool? Paul Breitner. With his curly mop and sixth form politics, back in the '70s World Cup winner Breitner was like a much cooler Russell Brand. Much cooler. And his nickname was 'Der Afro'.
11. Craig Johnston – was very big Down Under but his wife disagreed
11. Craig Johnston – was very big Down Under but his wife disagreed – Why Johnston's life story has not been made into a film, we do not know. Nearly lost his leg as a kid, travelled across the world from Australia as a 15-year-old with a dream of playing football, became a pro through sheer will power, ended up winning the lot with Liverpool, wrote a number three single, before retiring from the game aged 28 to look after his seriously ill sister. Then he invented the Adidas Predator. What a guy.
10. Socrates – philosophy footballer
10. Socrates – philosophy footballer – Socrates stood out in an era of brilliant Brazilians and even delayed his international career to qualify as a doctor. His hero was John Lennon, not Pele, and he campaigned for democracy in his home country. Rocked up at non-league Garforth Town in 2004, aged 50, and showed Tadcaster Albion of the Northern Counties East Football League how it's done. And just look at that headband!
9. Johan Cruyff – total football, total legend
9. Johan Cruyff – total football, total legend – Bucked the trend for shirt numbers being 1-11 when he donned no.14. Cruyff's power also saw the Dutch FA allow him to play for the national side with just two stripes on his kit, rather than Adidas' three, due to his personal sponsorship with Puma. So cool he 'won' the World Cup in 1974, even though the Netherlands lost.
8. Robin Friday – the best footballer you never saw
8. Robin Friday – the best footballer you never saw – Cardiff City and Reading may sound unlikely locations for football greats, but Friday has become a cult figure. His iconic 'V' sign gesture towards Luton goalkeeper Milija Aleksic was used by the Super Furry Animals' for the cover of their single 'The Man Don't Give a F***' and his career and antics are the subject of a book, above, that's set to become a film. Friday died when he was just 38 in 1990, but the legend lives on.
7. Dimitar Berbatov – Andy Garcia WISHES he was him
7. Dimitar Berbatov – Andy Garcia WISHES he was him – Keep calm and pass him the ball because he is far too important to exert himself by running after it himself. Here is a player with true elegance. “When someone has great qualities sometimes they don't have to put much effort into things. Sometimes the things I do look effortless but it's not like that. It's very difficult, but because of my style of play I make it look easy." In other words, the things other footballers find hard to execute are no problem for him.
6. Xabi Alonso – Winning at life
6. Xabi Alonso – Winning at life – Listens to Pavement, watches The Big Lebowski, wins at everything, mostly life.
5. Gunter Netzer – friend to the Sinatras and a bloody good player
5. Gunter Netzer – friend to the Sinatras and a bloody good player – “I understand that I must run, but I do so reluctantly, at least, without the ball”. Netzer was a stylish and unconventional footballer, who lit up football in the 1960s and 70s. He could change the pace of a game with his passing and awareness, was twice a league winner with Borussia Monchengladbach and Real Madrid as well as a European and world champion with Germany. Away from football he ran a nightclub called Lovers’ Lane, but never drank alcohol, while he was also invited to Tina Sinatra’s Las Vegas wedding in 1976.
4. Andrea Pirlo – he thinks, therefore he is cool
4. Andrea Pirlo – he thinks, therefore he is cool – He was only capable of scoring beautiful goals and looked effortless when he did it. Based on his playing style, he was one of the coolest players in recent times. He even owns a vineyard.
3. Diego Maradona – you had to hand it to him
3. Diego Maradona – you had to hand it to him – Diego Armando Maradona is the most entertaining footballer ever; a genius who fulfilled his incredible potential, yet somehow managed to remain an outsider. His greatness has inspired a religion where, on 30 October – his birthday – fans worship at the Maradonian Church in Argentina. Amen.
2. George Best – the good, the bad and the bubbly!
2. George Best – the good, the bad and the bubbly! – "I used to go missing a lot: Miss Canada, Miss United Kingdom, Miss World…" Ladies and gents, Mr George Best. It was awful to see someone considered one of the world’s greatest ever players sink into alcoholism, but what a life this man led. Among his achievements – European Cup winner, league title winner, Ballon d’Or winner, Man United’s top scorer in four seasons – he also owned fashion boutiques, nightclubs and even had an airport named in his honour.
1. Eric Cantona – the collar... the king fu kick... the King
1. Eric Cantona – the collar… the king fu kick… the King – The only player who was ever in charge of Alex Ferguson, we'll leave it to his slightly less cool team-mate, Gary Neville, to explain why Cantona was the King. "Eric did things his way and no one interfered, not even the manager. When we all turned up at a civic event at Manchester Town Hall to celebrate the double, Eric wandered in wearing a denim jacket instead of a blazer. We looked him up and down and wondered how the boss would react when he arrived. Surely he’d go berserk. The press were there and all sorts of VIPs. But the manager just shook his head and smiled. ‘Eh, lads,’ he said. ‘Some man, that Cantona.’”