In the world of football, scoring a goal is the main task of a striker. However, it turns out that there are also some defenders who netted a lot of goals during their career. Most of them created their goals from set-pieces situation, such as free kicks, penalty-kicks, and corner-kicks. Here are the very best.
Ronald Koeman (239 goals)
With a total of 239 goals, Ronald Koeman deserves to be named as the best goalscoring defender in the history of football. He was known as a reliable penalty-taker, great free kick executor, and often scored goals from long-range shots.
Together with Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard, and Marco van Basten, the current Everton coach was a mainstay of Netherlands national team in the late 1980s.
2. Daniel Passarella (134 goals)
Daniel Passarella is a perfect example of a defender. He possessed remarkable tackling, heading and marking. Not only that, Passarella was also known as a great team captain.
He played a major role in helping Argentina national team win the 1978 World Cup and led River Plate claim three Argentine league titles. Although he is short, Passarella scored a lot of goals from headers.
3. Fernando Hierro (133 goals)
Real Madrid has produced a lot of goalscoring defenders. Besides Sergio Ramos and Roberto Carlos, there is also Fernando Hierro. Compared to the two previous names, was more productive in finding the net.
He is not only known as a penalty kick specialist, but also as a reliable free kick taker. Throughout his career, he won five La Liga titles, three Champions League trophies and one Copa del Rey.
4. Graham Alexander (129 goals)
Graham Alexander is one of the best penalty executors in the history of English football. The Scottish right-back spent his career playing for small clubs such as Scunthorpe United, Preston North End, Luton Town and Burnley.
In 2010, Alexander made a record as the oldest player to score a goal in the Premier League. Throughout his career, he played in 40 international matches with Scotland national football team.
5. Steve Bruce (113 goals)
Together with Gary Pallister, Steve Bruce was the mainstay of the Manchester United defence line in the early 1990s. Besides being known as a reliable penalty kick taker, Bruce also scored many goals through headers.
The best moment of his career occurred in the 1990-91 season, where he scored a total of 19 goals. Although he exhibited scintillating performances at club level, Bruce was never called up to play for England national team.
6. Roberto Carlos (112 goals)
Every time we talk about freemkicks, we will always mention the name of Roberto Carlos. This is because he had a reputation as one of the players with the highest shooting power in the history of football.
He scored a lot of free kicks and long-range shooting that helped Real Madrid and Brazil national team win many trophies. One of his best goals was made in 1997, in a match against France.
7. Franz Beckenbauer (108 goals)
Franz Beckenbauer is a retired defender who displayed extremely elegant football style. Playing as a sweeper, Beckenbauer also often served as a playmaker in the team.
He led West Germany national team and Bayern Munich dominate the world of football in the 1970s. Not just possessing great defending skills and good vision, Beckenbauer was also very prolific in scoring goals. In total, he managed to find the net as much as 108 times in his 19-year career as a professional footballer.
8. Sinisa Mihajlovic (104 goals)
In addition to Roberto Carlos, Sinisa Mihajlovic is known as one of the best free kick takers in the 1990’s. He possesses a very strong left foot which helped him score more than 100 goals in his career.
This Serbian footballer spent most of his career playing for Italian clubs. At Lazio and Inter Milan, Mihajlovic won two Serie A titles, four Coppa Italia trophies, and three Supercoppa Italiana.
9. Marcus Tulio Tanaka (102 goals)
Marcus Tulio Tanaka is a Japanese footballer who was born in Brazil. He is a central defender currently playing for Nagoya Grampus and is known as one of the most prolific defenders in scoring goals.
In contrast to most of the defenders on this list, the goals of Tanaka were not scored from free kicks or penalties. Although he plays as a central defender, he does not hesitate to go forward and take a role as a playmaker of the team.
10. Ian Harte (97 goals)
Ian Harte is a former Irish left back who was known as a free kick specialist. His left leg was very strong, often producing a lot of goals from outside the penalty box.
One of his best goals was made in a match against Arsenal in the 2002-03 season. At that time, his free kick goal from 25 yards successfully helped Leeds United beat Arsenal 3-2 and saved the club from relegation.