Ramos, Terry, Riise: Who are the highest-scoring defenders of the 21st century?

When it comes to headline grabbing moments in football, it is not often that a defender dominates.

In truth, standing in the rearguard, tasked with protecting your goal come hell or high water, is a rather thankless task.

You can spend 89 minutes absolutely smashing it, repelling every single attack with ease but, with one mistake, it can all come crumbling down.

In days gone by, a hard-nosed, no-nonsense 'Mr. Unflappable' was considered immensely valuable.

Nowadays, it's the defender that offers a threat going forward as well that modern-day coaches covet so dearly.

A passing game to make Kevin De Bruyne jealous and an ominous threat in the air from a set piece isn't too much to ask, is it?

While players of that ilk might be rare, there are still a fair number who are well known for their goal-scoring prowess.

So that got us thinking - who are the highest scoring defenders in the modern game?

Fortunately, thanks to mecca of knowledge that is TransferMarkt and of course, Reddit, we are able to answer that exact question.

The highest-scoring defenders of the 21st century 

10. Pontus Janssen - 59
9. Alexander Kolarov - 62
8. Sergei Ignashevich - 64
7. John Arne Riise - 64
6. Naldo - 65

5. Branislav Ivanovic - 66

Big Branislav was always sniffing around the goal mouth when it came to set piece time. Powerful in the air and with a booming shot on him, Ivanovic was always a threat.

Who could forget his incredible double at Anfield in a massive Champions League quarter-final? 

4. John Terry - 72

Chelea's talismanic captain was always going to be high on this list. Marking the high flying centre-back must've been an absolute nightmare.

He had a fantastic leap on him, a unrivalled determination to get on the end of a cross and a slippery sort of strength that made him impossible to pin down.

72 goals of the course of his glittering career is a more than healthy return.

3. Daniel van Buyten - 72

The towering Belgian is yet another example of someone who was just an absolute dream to aim for from a set piece.

Just swing it into Big Dan's general area and let him do the rest.

His glut of goals helped Bayern Munich win trophy after trophy. 

2. Rene Aufhauser - 79 

Aufhauser spent most of his career plying his defensive trade in Austria. As a result, it is difficult to truly compare him to some of the illustrious company he shares this list with.

However, regardless of the league, 79 goals in 455 appearances is a crazy return for any defender and Aufhauser deserves immense credit for his efforts.

1. Sergio Ramos - 126

There was only ever going to be one winner wasn't there? The defensive Don that is RealMadrid's Sergio Ramos.

Not only is Ramos one of the most lethal players in the air, but he also takes a sublime penalty and has been known to unleash some venomous shots.

He is miles ahead of anyone else on the list and, as someone who wouldn't look at of place in the front line, it really is no surprise. 

He's not bad at the back, either.

Paul Conolly

Interested in: Liverpool, UFC, Formula 1, Boxing, Golf, Tennis, Cricket

Here for all things Boxing, UFC, Tennis, F1, Cricket and Golf. Thanks to several zoom quizzes, can officially say I know more about sport than the average gran. Unified Table Tennis champion of my flat.