Sergio Ramos is the best goalscoring defender of the 21st Century.
The Real Madrid captain is the club’s seventh top scorer since the turn of the millennium, and has scored more goals than any other defender playing in Europe’s top five leagues since 2005. He is, as AS remark, a centre-back with the soul of a number nine.
It’s a title that must be assigned with caution, explains Mario de la Riva, given the difficulties found in scrutinising statistics of past eras, but there can be no arguing with the Andalusian’s goalscoring prowess.
Ramos has scored 126 goals in 879 appearances in elite football. At club level, he’s scored 103 from 704, while with Spain he’s scored 23 from 175 caps according to Transfermarkt.
He’s still some way behind Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman, who retains the title of the highest-scoring defender in history having amassed 253 goals in his career, largely thanks to his proficiency as a penalty taker.
Second in the list is Argentine Daniel Passarella, who registered 182, and third is former Spanish international Fernando Hierro, although he also operated as a midfielder. Ramos is three away from matching former Scottish international Graham Alexander and breaking into the top five.
In the 21st Century, however, the Sevillano reigns supreme. Since he signed for Madrid in 2005 – also the first year Opta began collecting data – he’s been unrivalled, with 72 league goals. In second place is the Brazilian Naldo with 56, while in third is the Serbian Aleksandar Kolarov with 34.
At the Santiago Bernabéu, Ramos is seventh in the list of all-time scorers. Ahead of him lie Ronaldo (O Fenômeno) on 104, Gareth Bale on 105, Gonzalo Higuaín on 121, Raúl on 222, Karim Benzema on 254 and, unlikely to be surpassed, a certain Cristiano Ronaldo on 450.
Featured image courtesy of Managing Madrid.