The world’s top 5 strikers
Since the construction of the first ever football, we have been spoilt with an array of fine goal-scoring machine like strikers. From Pele to Maradona, the role of striker is arguably the most important on the pitch.
Although tactics, defending your goal, the midfield engine and of course your goalkeeper are all of fundamental importance, it is rare for a team to prosper and to gain any kind of success without a goal scoring front man.
Perhaps controversially I have decided to leave Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Ronaldo out of the list, as I believe they both often operate the ‘floater’ position and can't be considered as ‘strikers’.
Granted, their combined total of 96 goals may suggest otherwise but Messi’s centre forward role for the majority of this season has been down to the long-term absence of David Villa through injury. Predominately he plays just behind the striker.
Here are the world’s current top 5 strikers.
1) Mario Gomez
Club: Bayern Munich
Although not the most agile of centre forwards, the German international certainly knows where the goal is, contributing an astounding 40 goals in 44 games last season for Bayern Munich.
Many questioned Bayern when they signed the 2007 German Footballer of the Year for a reported £30m fee from VfB Stuttgart, due to his previous injury track record but the 6ft plus man has since delivered on all fronts.
The 26-year-old also has an impressive international record of 21 goals in 51 games. Gomez’s ability to head or shoot with either foot makes him one of the most feared strikers in the world.
Bayern’s sporting director Christian Nerlinger said: “Mario Gomez has developed into one of the best strikers around in Europe over the past few years.”
2) Robin Van Persie
The chant “he scores when he wants” can be heard echoing around the Emirates stadium whenever the Arsenal man hits the back of the net, which is most of the time.
If it wasn’t for an unfortunate catalogue of injuries, the former Feyenoord winger may have made a far bigger impression on the game by now, although he has certainly made up for lost time this season. Grabbing an impressive 36 goals in 44 games, it is no wonder Arsene Wenger faces a fight on his hands to keep hold of his prized possession from the grasp of Europe’s elite.
The 28-year-old links the play beautifully, is a set piece genius and possesses a deadly left-foot, largely contributing to his PFA Players’ Player of the Year and Football Writers Footballer of the Year awards given to him after this recent campaign.
3) Sergio Aguero
Club: Manchester City
For what the Argentinian lacks in height, he certainly makes up for in goals. ‘Kun’ as he’s known was a key ingredient to the recipe for Manchester City’s Premier League triumph after consistently delivering a series of dazzling performances.
The 23-year-old’s predatory like nature netted him a remarkable 30 goals in 41 games and he arguably could have had more if Mancini didn’t have three other world class strikers to keep happy. Aguero’s incredible low sense of gravity means he can hold on to the ball expertly, making him a pain for the opposition to tackle.
In addition to his capability of scoring from most angles inside and outside of the box, the City striker also assisted 8 goals for his blue teammates this season.
At just 23 years of age, with pace and agility to die for, I predict a huge future for Maradona’s son-in-law.
4) Wayne Rooney
Club: Manchester United
Manchester United’s number 10 has been a revolution since joining from Everton in 2004 and has now firmly cemented himself as The Red Devil’s main man.
Often criticized for his temperament or lack of, you could argue that it is merely only passion that stems from the 26-year-old that sometimes causes his on the pitch bad behaviour. That very behaviour has more recently dealt him an international two-match ban, meaning he’ll miss the first two group games at Euro 2012.
Despite the before mentioned, no one can doubt Rooney’s qualities. His off the ball work ethic must be praised, as should his awareness, vision, determination and most importantly, goals.
The England front man scored an extraordinary 34 goals in 41 games this past season for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men, a goal scoring pedigree that will be sorely missed for the Three Lions come the Euros.
5) Radamel Falcao
Club: Atletico Madrid
Possibly for many the surprise inclusion in the list but his 33 goals in 44 games suggest it is no fluke.
Voted the best player of the UEFA Europa League two seasons running, the Colombian hit man has finally made his claim to be one of the top strikers in the world. Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola once described the 26-year-old as ‘sensational’ and as ‘one of the most talented players in the world’.
A natural goal scorer, the former Porto forward is known best for his lighting burst of pace, powerful headers and ability to bag a goal from nothing.
Expect to see his talents at one of Europe’s top clubs next season.
Narrowly missed out: Klaas-Jan-Huntelaar, Edinson Cavani, Didier Drogba, Olivier Giroud, Fernando Llorente, Luis Suarez.
By Lee Stobbs - Follow me on Twitter LeeStobbs06
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