First of all: I have to thank PDG1978 for giving me this insight. In another thread we discussed the various liberos and I remembered that Ronald Koeman came once very close to the topscorer title. Which made me curious if any other defender, stopper or libero, came close too. Perhaps no one came as close as he did because he is according to the IFFHS the all-time topscorer among the defenders. http://www.iffhs.de/?b4a390f03be4ac07cda14b45fdcdc3bfcdc0aec70aef05 But I'm curious about who came the closest. With this I mean the defenders who were among the best in the scorer-table for an reasonable amount of rounds and/or ended pretty high in the final ranking. To conclude, for the ones who are interested, I'll give some info about the case of Koeman. Ronald Koeman started his career as defensive mid-fielder, as shield in front of his defence, at FC Groningen. His father was born in the region of Groningen and played for the predecessor of Groningen. However, his lack of speed was quickly noticed. The trainers of Groningen started to experiment with Koeman in a defensive position. It convinced Ajax of his talents and Ajax dared to take the risk. However, Koeman played at Ajax still sometimes in mid-field. This was also the case in the Gullit-era at PSV. Koeman came already a few times close to the topscorer-title, was among the top three of the table at some stages, but it is difficult to classify him as a 'pure' defender in those years. It changed when Gullit departed to AC Milan in the summer of 1987. Koeman became in the 1987/1988 season the default libero and played on a consistent basis as a defender. Koeman scored 21 goals in the 1987/1988 season and ended third in the table behind center-forwards Kieft (29) and Bosman (25). Kieft was a former Golden Boot winner and Bosman played initially as starting striker at euro88 before Van Basten took over his place. However, Koeman did not score in the last 8 rounds of the season (he played in seven of them). As 'excuse' one can bring-up the incidents surrounding the Real Madrid game which caused a big row. The table was this after round 26, after his goal against Feyenoord (2:1 loss against Feyenoord): 1. Ronald Koeman (PSV) --- 21 2. John Bosman (Ajax) --- 18 3. Wim Kieft (PSV) --- 17 4. Hans Gillhaus (PSV) --- 13 5-7. Boere (The Hague), Ellerman (Sparta), Slagboom (DS79) --- 12 8. René Hofman (Feyenoord) --- 11 Round 29 (of 34 rounds; 02/04/1988) was the last time he was on top. 1. Koeman (PSV) --- 21 1. Bosman (Ajax) --- 21 1. Kieft (PSV) --- 21 4. Boere (The Hague) --- 15 5. Gillhaus (PSV) --- 13 5. Ellerman (Sparta) --- 13 The end ranking after 34 rounds was: 1. Kieft (PSV) --- 29 2. Bosman (Ajax) --- 25 3. Koeman (PSV) --- 21 4. Boere (The Hague) --- 18 5. Keur (FC Twente) --- 17 Koeman won the treble (league, domestic cup and European Cup) with his club PSV, and converted his penalty-kick in the shoot-out of the 1988 European Cup final. Of course, he also won euro88 with his country. He scored one goal in the tournament, from the penalty-spot. The 'footballer of the year' award was his personal reward. Main rivals Ajax reached the 1988 Cup Winners Cup final but lost to the Belgian club Mechelen. This is a lengthy piece but it illustrates what I mean with my request. Came some other defenders close to a goal-scoring title? Perhaps a few Italian defenders? Considering the level of difficulty to score in the Serie-A. Passarella is second in the aforementioned IFFHS list. In 1985/1986 he came quite close in the Serie-A: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serie_A_1985-1986 Topscorer Pruzzo had 19, Passarella had 11. Maradona had 11 goals, Platini 12 goals and Rummenigge 13 goals. Not a bad list But I don't know if Passarella was at some stages even higher on the table.