Goalkeepers are underrated commodities, and understandably, given the nature of their work, have their ability with their feet discounted.
However, the apparent lack of technical skill and composure has seen many an exception over the years, with some keepers known for goalscoring contributions as much as their defensive reliability.
Mind you, some keepers should be confined to their penalty box. Take David James for instance, and his colossal failure while going upfront in a match against Fulham:
Nevertheless, there are a select few who have racked in the goals on a regular basis, most from the penalty spot or from freekicks, with some keepers even renowned goalscorers from open play!
Here is a list of the top 5 greatest goalscoring goalkeepers, players who were as adept at finding the net as they were at keeping the ball out of it.
5) Jorge Campos (40 goals)
Mexican international Jorge Campos was signed as a goalkeeper for each of the 10 clubs he represented, with the player even making 130 appearances with the national team.
However, his ability as a striker was well-recognised over the years, with Campos known to exchange his keeping gloves for scoring boots on more occasions than one. Often, when his side needed a goal, a substitute goalkeeper would be brought in, with Campos going further up the field to become an additional striker.
This sometimes served to devastating effect, with the 5’6″ player netting 40 goals during his career.
One of those goals came in a 1996 meeting between Atlante and Cruz Azul, as substitute goalkeeper Felix Fernandez was brought on, with Campos going forward. With five minutes left to play, Campos did this:
4) Rene Higuita (41 goals)
Arguably the most eccentric goalkeeper of all-time, Higuita was aptly named ‘El Loco’ (The Madman). Known to have a penchant for the extraordinary, Higuita often strode upfield in an effort to help with his side’s forward play, finishing his career with an impressive tally of 42 goals.
However, despite his goalscoring exploits, he’s still best known for this piece of magic (not to mention madness) against England, now famously called the ‘Scorpion Kick’, only adding more credence to the name ‘El Loco’.
3) Dimitar Ivankov (42 goals)
The third-highest goalscoring goalkeeper of all-time, Dimitar Ivankov is known to have a brilliant conversion rate from the penalty spot, and has been the first-choice from 12 yards for a number of the clubs he has represented throughout his career.
The Bulgarian international was best known for his long stint with Levski Sofia, and was also an important member of the Bursaspor team in recent years, scoring 42 professional goals, each of them from the spot.
Ivankov had an odd run-up for his penalties, often closing his eyes while running in to take them, a technique that used to put off opposition goalkeepers.
2) Jose Luis Chilavert (62 goals)
Chilavert is probably the most famous goalscoring goalkeeper of all-time, having scored multiple times for his national side Paraguay as well as Argentine club Velez Sarsfield.
He was the Paraguayan captain for the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, scoring eight goals for the national team including a crucial winner in a 2-1 win over Argentina in a ’98 WC qualifier. That’s more goals that Emile Heskey (62 appearances) or John Terry (78 appearances) have scored for England.
Chilavert is also still the only goalkeeper to have scored a hattrick, having notched up three goals during a game in 1999.
1) Rogerio Ceni (112 goals)
A club legend in all essence of the term, Rogerio Ceni . At 40 years of age, Ceni has finished more than two decades at Sao Paulo, scoring a mind-boggling 112 goals, and counting.
Out of those goals, over 60 have been scored from freekicks, displaying an accuracy matched by only a few others. To put this number into perspective, David Beckham, known to be a master of the deadball, scored 65 freekick goals throughout his career.
While he made only 12 appearances for the Selecao, he is still a household name in his home country, and is one of the most celebrated goalkeepers in the world for his exploits outside his 18-yard box.