The World’s Highest Scoring Defender 2023: James Tavernier

English right-back James Tavernier became the world’s highest scoring defender in 2023. He totaled 26 goals in all competitions (the annual record for XXI century) playing for Glasgow Rangers.
It’s already third calendar year for him to be crowned as the most prolific defender, after 2020 (17 goals) and 2022 (22).
In 2023, Tavernier (never invited to the national team) scored 14 goals from the penalty spot and 12 from open play.
Along with him, another two defenders have reached the mark of 20 goals: Benjamin Mata, a Cook Islands centre-back performing in the New Zealand league (21), and his Czech colleague Ladislav Krejčí (20).
Never before in the world football, so many defenders achieved 20+ top level goals in the same calendar year. 
In the table below, the position is mentioned, most often taken by a defender in the games of 2023.
Only players who performed as defenders in vast majority of games within 2023 are taken into account.
The right column indicates how many of total goals came from penalties.
Tie-breakers: 1) most international goals (ICC + NT), 2) most national team goals (NT), 3) most national league goals (NL), 4) fewer penalty goals.

1James TavernierRBEnglandRangers (Scotland)2033 2614
2Benjamin MataCBCook IslandsWellington Olympic (NZ) 1461 2117
3Ladislav Krejčí CBCzechiaSparta Prague15 32209
4Höskuldur Gunnlaugsson RBIcelandBreidablik 546 155
5Ramin Rezaeian RBIranSepahan7 43142
6Ali MaâloulLBTunisiaAl Ahly (Egypt)63311310
7Vladimer Mamuchashvili RBGeorgiaDinamo Batumi121  139
8Alexander ScholzCBDenmarkUrawa Reds (Japan)723 1211
9Stefano BrundoCBItalySri Pahang (Malaysia)102  127
10Maksim OsipenkoCBRussiaRostov102  128
11Giorgi GvelesianiCBGeorgiaPersepolis (Iran)84  1210
12Gonzalo PioviCBArgentinaRacing443 114
13Edvinas GirdvainisCBLithuaniaKauno Zalgiris 10  1112
14Carlos RamírezCBColombiaDeportivo Pereira911 118
15Vincent AtingahCBGhanaMedeama 11   118
16Kendall WastonCBCosta RicaSaprissa8 11100
17Daniel MuñozRBColombiaGenk (Belgium)  8 2 100