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Monday, November 28, 2005

The top 5 strikers in the world

I’ve been thinking about this recently and decided to draw up a list of who I think are the top 5 strikers in the world. From Arsenal to Barcelona, Inter Milan and AC Milan to Manchester United, here is a list of whose tops at the moment.

Note: I’m going on a combination of what’s left in the tank and proven results, therefore I didn’t consider young hot-shots like Wayne Rooney and Fernando Torres or old timers like Ronaldo.

1. Thierry HenryHenry is the most complete striker in the world at the moment. If he had a bit more gumption he’s score even more goals than he does, but what he does do is always done with artistry and class. His goal celebrations are a bit on the arrogant side but you can’t anything away from his complete package. The Frenchman’s first touch is equal to anyone’s, his shot power is also top notch, and what makes him extra special is the way he integrates into the entire attack with sweeping movements and wonderful passing. Arsenal are keen to keep him at Highbury, but he’s going to need the salary to match his abilities.

2. AdrianoThe single named Brazilian has impressed me so much in the last 2 seasons that he’s on course for every personal accolade you can win. I originally saw Adriano in a youth tournament a number of years ago and was totally unimpressed. He was just a hulking lump of player with only a powerful shot and the ability to muscle anyone off the ball. No finesse, nothing. Has he come on! Adriano has the most powerful shot on the planet and he’s developed a deft touch on the ball, and believe it or not, has learned to pass as well. He raises the level of Inter Milan’s play significantly and attracts so much defensive attention that it opens up space for others around him. I’m so impressed with him that I think he’ll be the star of the show at the World Cup in Germany next year.

3. Samuel Eto’oEto’o has evolved into a deadly striker. He’s currently on top in Spain in goals scored this season and led La Liga last season as well, missing the European Golden Boot by just a single goal. At the time, Eto’o was the youngest player ever to appear in the World Cup finals at France ‘98. Eto’o’s finest qualities are his directness, shot accuracy, quickness and pace. Signed by Real Madrid at the age of 16 the Cameroonian was later to be loaned out to RCD Mallorca and eventually to Barcelona where he features today. He’s improved steadily throughout his entire career and, for my money will one day win the World Player of the Year award.

4. Andriy ShevchenkoShevchenko is the current European Player of the Year and is the model of efficiency. His play is never outlandish and full of tricks but boy does he get the job done. The Ukranian scored 4 goals in the Champions League last week against Fenerbahce that were showpieces for the sort of player he his: super smart runs, a bit of poaching and deadly accuracy, probably the most accurate shot on goal in the world. He’s outshined every strike partner he’s ever played with and, next to Kaka is AC Milan’s most important player. Another great in the line of Milan strikers like van Basten and George Weah, Shevchenko has earned his place.

5. Ruud van Nistelrooy – Begrudgingly I’ll give my last place to van Nistelrooy. To be honest I’ve never really liked him much because he’s a bit of a dirty player, but give him his due: he’s a prolific goal scorer and has behaved himself this season. The Dutchman has been having a great season so far, in fact, the best I have ever seen him play. I used to think of him as one-touch-Ruud but his footwork has improved remarkably. His timing is incredible, always seeming to be in the right place at the right time to slot home. In addition he’s got a top notch first touch that always gets him in position and he knows how to finish as good as any striker in the world. He’s on the tail end of his best years so savor him while he’s there, Manchester.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raul deserves mention but a decent listing all the same

11/28/2005 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One Peter Crouch, there's only one Peter Crouch...

11/28/2005 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Chris Cutugno said...

What about Ibra of Juve?

11/28/2005 8:29 PM  
Blogger Football Commentator said...

I thought about Ibrahimovic but he misses too many sitters.

Check out this Zlatan beauty though

11/28/2005 9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Milan Baros anyone :-)

11/28/2005 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HOW ABOUT THE EUROPEAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR? RONALDINHO ANYONE?

11/28/2005 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ronaldinho isn't a striker.

1. Henry
2. Shevchenko
3. Ronaldo
4. Adriano
5. Eto'o

11/28/2005 9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Van Persie next in line, he's gunna be huge....

11/28/2005 9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean hes not just an out and out striker? He plays as a support striker in a 4-3-3 at Barca.

Hes not exactly a winger is he.

I would say his goal contribution would also suggest he was striker.

1.
S. Eto'o
Barcelona
12
2.
Ronaldinho
Barcelona
9
3.
D. Villa
Valencia
8

11/28/2005 10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Ronaldinho isnt a striker...then I guess you can't count Rooney as one either?

They both ARE strikers

11/28/2005 10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually neither Rooney nor Ronaldinho are Strikers, and are in fact Forwards who typically are the players just behind the strikers, although many can play the striker role when needs be. The main difference is that these players sit further back than strikers

11/29/2005 12:03 AM  
Blogger doy8oy said...

Well said champ.

HENRY IS KING!

doy

11/29/2005 12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would argue that Rooney is a striker / forward and Ronaldinho is a forward / attacking midfielder. Neither of them are Nistelrooy type of strikers, but then again, I would consider Henry also as a forward - he drops quite often.

All in all, None of these names will become the new Cantona! :)

11/29/2005 6:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

zlatan will never be on the top plaze in that list, but he will be best in the world player in my opp., he´s not a striker as much as a supplyer of assist, more a ronaldinho type of player with a unique combo of strength and outrageus skills, he used to train teakwondo u know, remember the high heel vs. Italy (euro04)

11/29/2005 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've gotta keep Ronaldo in there. His strike rate when fit has always been good. I'd sacrifice Van Nistelrooy for his Brazilian flair

11/29/2005 9:25 AM  
Anonymous Chuck said...

You're right to omit Zlatan from the list, but only due to his inconsistencies at the moment. In the next year or two, any list of the best forwards/strikers (whatever) will have him at the top. He is all that and a bag of chips: size, speed, dribbling skill, trickery, accuracy, can score with head or feet, plus he don't take no shit from defenders and can pack a world of hurt into a tackle. Defenders fear him, and rightly so.

11/29/2005 3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being a striker means scoring goals, not dribbling an entire team. No one in the world scores like Shevchenko. Period. He doesn't score 2 or 3 against mediocre opponents, he scores in the title decider, the Cup final, against the strongest opposition, when the rest of the side is struggling. In the game you think Milan might lose because they're off form, Sheva scores and Milan win. He scores on Juve, Roma, Inter, Fiorentina, Real, Barca, Bayern, etc... His legend is on par with Van Bastens at Milan, a player superior to everyone in this list (albeit a decent list). Cya!!

11/29/2005 4:43 PM  
Anonymous ierean said...

Nice list but actually though I like how henry plays by your definition he is not a striker. It is true he has been "converted" but he still plays to his strengths and bias as a winger. That is why Wenger continues to ask for a fox in the box aka a striker.

Raul is skillfull but badly out of form and one footed.

Ronaldinho plays as a wide midfielder for Barcelona. As an excercise consider whether Giuly or Messi is a Forward since they balance Ronaldinho ie he is a attacking Midfielder. Further check his positioning and the changes he makes in adition to his general game. he develops play carries the ball creates space and passes into the striker therefore he must be a Midfielder. About the goals he scores are Ballack and Lampard Forwards or even Strikers.


The list should be

1. Shevchenko
2. Eto'o
3. Ronaldo
4. Adriano
5. Van Nistlerooy

Each gets a nod because of their skill at scoring and ability in the final third.

Shevchenko is the best striker in the world bar none. He has no bias, is strong on the ball, has a strong shot with either foot and is a threat from any part of the attacking third. There is no part of his game that is weak. He can play as a striker, a forward, a wide attacker any position in the attacking third.

Eto'o is certainly the most in form and talented and he grows with each game. He is only bettered by Shevchenko because he has only now started to tap into his vast talent. He is weaker at attacking from the flanks but his coach is developing that aspect of his game.

Ronaldo still has a lot to show though fitness problems continue to dog him. If so many were not bamboozeled by his skill, so much so, that they destroyed what might have been. He is however still potent and dangerous from any angle. His weakness is his inability to run at full pace for more than ten yards but in general he doesn't have to as a striker .

Adriano is brilliant but he is too left footed to finish higher on the list. The others have as much talent, skill, scoring ability but they have two-footedness. He falls down badly in this criteria as teams have learned to force him off his favorite and his goals have slowed down since then. He is however, good enough to overcome this liability hence his still being considered fourth on this list.

Van Nistlerooy is the lest skilled, least talented of this bunch but he shows what shear hard work can do for you. Think about it Patrick Kluivert is the same age as him and has achieved more than he ever could he has more talent than Ruud in his little finger but who would you expect to score in the last minute of a game with a Championship on the line or to score 40 goals in a season. When you say he plays dirty I agree but he has to since nothing he scores is so done through natural ability but rather what he has carved for himself through effort and persistence.

11/29/2005 6:40 PM  
Blogger tbh said...

How about Roy Makaay? He's not, of course, the most prolific of forwards, and a little unusually underrated. He's got a bit of everything. He'd probably top – or come close – this list if it put into account overall technical ability.

Shevchenko's more van Basten than Beckham – Seedorf, Kaka, Pirlo and even SuperPippo have a better shot accuracy from 25 yds than he does.

11/29/2005 6:50 PM  
Blogger Football Commentator said...

ierean-

Thanks for the comment. Well presented although I disagree about Ronaldo; if he hadnt had the knee injuries though, he'd have been World Player of the Year 5 times by now.

11/29/2005 7:19 PM  
Blogger Football Commentator said...

tbh-

Makkay is woefully underrated. He doesn't even get consideration from the national team.

While I dont rate him top 5, he's much better than people give him credit for, he scores some clinical goals.

11/29/2005 7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shevchenko is definitely the most complete striker in the world today!!

1. Shevchenko
2. Henry
3. Eto'o
4. Ronaldo
5. V Nistelrooy

I think Adriano, Henrik Larsson, Crespo and Owen (though not complete strikers) deserve a mention too, for their excellent finishing ability.

11/30/2005 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Ierean (milan fanatic) said...

Thb

About Shevchenko's range just remember a strikers working area is in or about the box.

In addition to make a statement like that is not only insulting but ignorant. You have obviously never seen him in Serie A since you would know that he has not only scored free kicks but has scored goals from on or about 25 yards. However that is not his job as a striker he is supposed to be in and about the defence which most likely against Milan will be playing on the 18 yard box he therefore in general will be closer to the 18 yard line than 25 yards out. Unless he was a moron he would run forward to score and not run backwards. The only variation is unless the opposing team is playing on the half line which teams rarely do against milan because the speed of the attacking players Shevchenko, Inzaghi and Kaka would kill them.

You also forget that Milan has Pirlo one of the top five free kick specialists in the world and certainly number one in Italy. They also have Kaka and since Shevchenko is brilliant on or off the ball he does the running to create space for Kaka's driving runs or Pirlo's free kicks. Inzaghi is better off the ball than on so as a variation they carry the ball for him when he plays this means that Shevchenko often finds himself wide creating space or wide stretching the defence for his pass. Basically, this means that his opportunities for the 30 and 25 yard blast are limited because more than anything he is a team player and selfless; a rarity in a striker.

So watch Milan play then make your statements about their players.

12/01/2005 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I have to say is RUUD. Tell me that he isnt the best striker. He scored 150 goals for United in 200 app. For PSV he scored 62 goals in 67 app. Yeah he doesn't beat 3-4 players to score because he's a true striker, he sits and waits and finishs.

8/08/2006 5:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Benitez lets him play, Fowler will rule. Oh, and Didier Drogba is better than Adriano.

12/03/2006 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1.henry
2.adriano
3.etoo
4.rooney
5.ibrahimovich

7/24/2007 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1.Eto
2.David Villa
3.Roony
4.Robinho
5.Henry
I would have put Carlos Eduardo but ill wait and see

2/20/2008 8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1.Eto
2.David Villa
3.Rooney
4.Robinho
5.Henry
I would have put Carlos Eduardo but ill wait and see

2/20/2008 8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

henry is the best!!!!!!!!!!!

7/02/2009 5:38 AM  
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