High-scoring Center-Backs at the world cup have been rare, but Thiago Silva is set to join the list of High-Scoring Centre-Backs in World Cup.
A Centre-back generally does not score many goals in the game. Their role as the last figure at the backline is more dominant than wing-backs. Wing-backs often overlap. However, some defenders could contribute more than just making clearances, blocking the shots on the goal line, and tackling. They can be prolific goal scorers while providing assists, including on the global stage at FIFA World Cup.
The List of Top High-Scoring Centre-Backs Can Include Thiago Silva in 2022
The High-Scoring Center-Backs often rely on headers to score. Some are excellent at set pieces. A few failed to find the back of the net in open play. Brazilian international Thiago Silva happens to be one of them.
The 38-year-old has netted twice and given one assist in two world cup editions, 2014 and 2018 respectively. He registered one in each edition plus an assist in the former. He bagged three goals and provided three assists last season. Silva, who has scored seven goals for Selecao so far, is only a step away from joining the list of top high-scoring center-backs. These are the top five of those prolific defenders in world cup history.
5. Daniel Passarella (Argentina)
The former Argentina skipper notably won the title in 1978 and is the second high-scoring center-back of all time in all competitions after Ronald Koeman. However, unlike the former Barcelona boss, who only scored once in the world cup final round, Passarella registered three goals. He netted once in 1978 when Albiceleste thumped France 2-1. The other two were scored in Spain in 1982, through a penalty against El-Salvador and a free kick versus Italy.
4. Rafael Marquez (Mexico)
He is the current record holder of the player with the most tournament performances in the world cup, alongside Lothar Matthaeus and Antonio Carbajal. Marquez was El Tri captain from Japan-Korea 2002 to Russia in 2018. The current Barcelona B boss was also known for his contributions with three goals in three consecutive editions, 2006, 2010, and 2014 plus two assists in the last two.
3. Yerry Mina (Colombia)
The Everton man, unfortunately, has to miss out on World Cup 2022 since Colombia failed to qualify. He could have been on the top of the list if he could at the least replicate his form from the World Cup in Russia in 2018. Mina scored three goals four years ago, all through headers. So far, he is the only center-back who could bag more than two goals in one edition alongside the German legend Franz Beckenbauer. On a lighter note, he is still 28 years old. So, the chance to break the record is still open, should his country qualify for World Cup 2026 in North America.
2. Fernando Hierro (Spain)
Hierro was one of the two high-scoring center-backs on the top of the list. The former Real Madrid man netted five times and provided two assists in three world cups, USA 1994, France 1998, and Japan-Korea 2002. He scored his first goal in an open play in 1994 when Spain crushed Switzerland 3-0 in the round of 16 but bagged the remaining ones from set pieces, one free kick (versus Nigeria in 1998), and three penalties. His two assists were given in 1998 while losing to Super Eagles 2-3 and routing Bulgaria 6-1. Sadly, La Furia Roja headed to the exit at the group stage.
1. Franz Beckenbauer (Germany)
Der Kaizer was undeniably the most prolific one, especially in his early days. The legendary sweeper netted five times in the world cup, four of which came in England in 1966. At that time, he featured as a defensive midfielder as well. He helped Die Mannschaft reach the final. He bagged another one in Mexico in 1970. In 1974, Beckenbauer only registered one assist at the opener against Chile for Paul Breitner’s winning goal. The game ended in a narrow 1-0 win for Germany.