James Tavernier Among the Top-Scoring Full-Backs of All Time

At 130 career goals and counting, James Tavernier is among the top-scoring full-backs ever. He is a special breed of defenders who help their team with their defensive and attacking capabilities. 

However, Tavernier is not alone in his role as a high-scoring full-back. Attacking full-backs is common, and many have racked up goals that rival even those of forward players. 

Below is a detailed list of some of the highest-scoring full-backs of all time and some exciting facts about their successful football careers. 

1. Nelinho – 170 Goals

Nelinho is the number one top-scoring full-back with a total tally of 170 goals
Nelinho is the number one top-scoring full-back with a total tally of 170 goals. Image: X/@tphoto2005

Nelinho, real name Manoel Rezende de Mattos Cabral, is a former Brazilian footballer who played right-back position between 1965 and 1987. 

He is credited as one of the highest-scoring defenders of all time, with a career total of 170 goals. 

Nelinho played for several clubs, including Olaria, América (RJ), Barreirense, Anzoátegui, Bonsucesso, Remo, Cruzeiro, Grêmio, and Atlético Mineiro. 

He also represented the Brazilian national team at the 1974 and 1978 World Cup games. He was capped 21 times by the Brazil national team and scored 6 goals.

Nelinho’s prolific goal-scoring is mostly attributed to his powerful shots and ability to swerve the ball. 

He is famous for scoring one of the best goals in World Cup history in this manner during the 1978 World Cup match against Italy. 

CHECK OUT:  Meet Reece James parents, Nigel and Emma James

2. Graham Alexander – 131 Goals

The right-back player scored 78 goals from the 12-yard spot
The right-back player scored 78 goals from the 12-yard spot. Image: X/@MKDonsFC

Graham Alexander is a former Scottish footballer active between 1988 and 2012. He played as a right-back and occasionally a defensive midfielder. He is famous for scoring an impressive career total of 131 goals. 

The ex-footballer played for several clubs, including Scunthorpe United, Luton Town, Preston North End, and Burnley. 

Alexander was eligible to play for Scotland, England, and Ireland at the international level but chose to represent Scotland, earning 40 caps with the national team. 

He was only shown one yellow card during his international career, making him one of the most disciplined defenders. 

Alexander’s goal-scoring abilities came from his skills as a penalty specialist. He scored 78 goals from the 12-yard spot in his career across all competitions. 

3. James Tavernier – 131 Goals 

James Tavernier holds the record for scoring the most goals in one season as a full-back
At only 32 years of age, James Tavernier holds the record for the most goals scored by a full-back in one season. Image: Instagram/jamestavernier2

James Tavernier is an English footballer who plays for the Scottish club Rangers. 

The English right-back is one of the most successful active full-backs in football, with a career total of 131 goals and counting.

Tavernier also holds the record for most goals scored by a full-back in one season. The English footballer scored 22 goals across all competitions in the 2023/24 season.

He has also played for Wigan Athletic, Rotherham United, Shrewsbury Town, Milton Keyes Dons, Newcastle United, and Sheffield Wednesday. 

However, despite his prolific goal-scoring abilities, James Tavernier has yet to be called to the England national team. 

CHECK OUT:  Raphaël Varane's ethnicity, parents, wife, and children

4. Roberto Carlos – 128 Goals 

The former Brazilian footballer has a grand total of 128 goals
The former Brazilian footballer has a grand total of 128 goals. Image: Instagram/RobertoCarlos

Robert Carlos (Roberto Carlos da Silva Rocha) is a former Brazilian professional who played between 1988 and 2012. 

He played left back and is famous for being one of the top-scoring full-backs, with a career total of 128 goals. 

The Brazilian national has played for several clubs, including União São João, Atlético Mineiro, Palmeiras, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Fenerbahçe, Corinthians, and Anzhi Makhachkala. 

He was also a regular in the Brazilian national team roster, earning 125 caps at the 1998, 2002, and 2006 World Cups. 

Roberto Carlos’ goal-scoring abilities were mostly due to his skills as a free-kick specialist. 

He is famous for his powerful, curving shots, which led to several impressive goals that stunned football fans and pundits. 

5. Paul Breitner – 113 Goals

Paul Breitner has a career tally of 113 goals
Paul Breitner has a career tally of 113 goals. Image: fcbayern.com

Paul Breitner is a former German professional footballer who played between 1970 and 1983. 

He played in the left-back position (and occasionally as a midfielder) and is regarded as one of the highest-scoring full-backs, with a career total of 113 goals

The former left-back spent most of his career at Bayern Munich, playing for the club during two spells separated by appearances at Real Madrid and Eintracht Braunschweig. 

Breitner represented West Germany at the international level, playing for both youth and senior teams. 

He earned 48 caps for the senior team, scoring 10 goals. He represented his country in the 1974 and 1982 World Cup tournaments. 

CHECK OUT:  10 highest-paid players at Mamelodi Sundowns in 2024

Paul Breitner’s goal-scoring abilities were because of his attack-minded style of play. He started playing as a striker before switching to a left-back. 

6. Manfred Kaltz – 110 Goals  

The right-back footballer has a career tally of 110 goals
The right-back German footballer has a career total of 110 goals. Image: hsv.de

Manfred “Manny” Kaltz is also among the top-scoring full-backs of all time. The right-back footballer from Germany played between 1971 and 1991 and scored 110 goals in his career. 

Kaltz spent most of his career at the Bundesliga side Hamburger SV, playing for the club in two spells, totalling 581 appearances. 

He also had a brief spell in France, where he played for Mulhouse and Girondins Bordeaux. Kaltz played for West Germany youth and senior national teams internationally. 

He earned 69 cups with the senior team (including in 1976, 1980, and 1982 World Cup competitions) and scored eight international goals. 

Most of Manfred Kaltz’s goals came from his impressive penalty-kick skills. At Hamburger SV, he scored 53 goals from 60 penalty attempts, a Bundesliga record that still stands. 

7. Stuart Pearce – 105 Goals 

The powerful left-footer has a career tally of 105 goals
The powerful English left-footer has a career tally of 105 goals. Image: whufc.com

Stuart Pearce is a former English professional footballer who has since become a manager, coaching teams like Nottingham Forest and West Ham United. 

He is another one of the best full-backs with the most goals scored over their career tally of 105 goals. Pearce spent most of his club career at Nottingham Forest, with 401 appearances and 63 goals. 

He also played for clubs such as Wealdstone, Coventry City, Newcastle United, West Ham United, and Manchester City

Pearce represented England’s national team at the international level, earning 78 caps and scoring five times. He also made one appearance for England’s Under-21 side. 

Stuart Pearce’s prolific goal-scoring was due to his impressive skills as a dead-ball specialist. He was famous for his powerful left foot, which saw him score several goals from free kicks and penalties.  

Tags

Leave a Comment