Our sixth and final installment in the Best football players in the World posts, finishing off with the top ten strikers currently playing.
Previous posts –Best Goalkeepers, Best Centre Backs, Best Full/Wing Backs, Best Midfielders, Best Wingers/Supporting Strikers.
Number 10 – Carlos Tevez, Manchester City & Argentina
Carlos Tevez in 2009-2010: 19 League matches, 12 goals, 5 assists. Tevez up till December – 2 league goals, both in the same game. Since December 5 – 10 League goals, including scoring a hat-trick against Blackburn earlier this week. Is it Adebayor’s absence? I dunno, i think Tevez just needed some time and maybe even a change of managers. Not the flashiest of forwards but a non-stop worker and his effort usually pays him and his team some dividends.
Number 9 – Gonzalo Higuain, Real Madrid & Argentina
Gonzalo Higuain, another Argentinian on our list, has only 3 caps for his national side, despite scoring 33 goals in his last 48 league matches for Real. For some reason, despite constantly producing and improving, Higuain’s name usually gets left out on Maradona’s team sheet. If he’s good enough for Real with all their Mega star, surely there’s a place for him in Argentina’s lineup? Or maybe it just his River Plate roots leaving him on the bench?
Number 8 – Emmanuel Adebayor, Manchester City & Togo
Despite enjoying a good start to his Manchester City career (4 goals in his first 4 league matches), he has been a tad dormant since his “revenge” match against Arsenal, where he scored a goal, leading City to a 4-2 victory but also deliberately tried to injure Van Persie and got into some altercations with the Arsenal fans. He is talented as the best of them but his consistency keeps him from becoming truly great. That’s what probably prevented his transfer to Barcelona two years ago.
Number 7 – Sergio Aguero, Atletico Madrid & Argentina
After a horrible start to this season, it seems things are looking a bit better for Atletico in recent weeks, with Aguero scoring six goals in his last six league matches and two goals tonight in Atletico’s 5-1 win over Recreativo in the Copa del Rey. It seems every season is his last with A.Madrid, but the rumors are getting stronger, putting the speedy striker en route to Chelsea, maybe even by the end of January. If Atletico do end up out of the Champions League come May, which seems like a very viable future, Aguero won’t be scoring goals in Red & White anymore (50 goals in 126 matches for Atletico).
Number 6 – Samuel Eto’o, Inter Milan & Cameroon
Maybe not scoring in the pace we’re used to see him scoring so far for Inter (8 goals in 16 league matches), but Eto’o is still one of the more dangerous strikers out there (right now out in Angola with his national team) with his fantastic speed and quick instincts. Among his achievements – All time leading scorer in the Africa Cup of Nations (16 goals) and one of only two players to score in two different UEFA Champions League Finals (2006, 2009).
Number 5 – Didier Drogba, Chelsea & The Ivory Coast
After two tough seasons, Drogba is back, looking better than ever. His raw power, shooting, passing and general presence around the goal seem to be the driving force in Chelsea’s run for the title this season, with 14 goals and 5 assists in 18 league games. Will his (and Essien’s) absence be that meaningful in Stamford Bridge? Can he finally lead the Elephants to a ACN trophy this month? Will he make an historic run with his national side in South Africa 2010? So many options in the near future for Drogba to make this a year to remember, but a lot rides on how he returns from Angola.
Number 4 – Wayne Rooney, Manchester United & England
There were quite a few questions mark regarding Rooney’s ability to play as the main front man for United now that Ronaldo was gone. Yes, United are weaker than in previous seasons, but it’s not Rooney’s fault, who is becoming a more complete forward and player with every passing season. So what if everybody knows he’s going to switch from the left towards the middle looking for a shot with his right? Everybody knows it and he still pulls it off because he’s that good, and if it wasn’t for Van der Sar’s tragic absence and the entire defense getting injured, Rooney’s fantastic form this season (14 league goals) would have been enough to put United on top of the Premiership. With Chelsea looking a tad vulnerable lately, it just might be enough for a fourth straight league title for Sir Alex.
Number 3 – David Villa, Valencia & Spain
Remember what you read about Aguero? Same here, with every year looking like it’s the last season Villa spends with his current club Valencia. The Spanish international enjoyed his best individual season in 2008-2009, continuing his fantastic Euro 2008 form, scoring 28 league goals. He was on the verge of signing with Real this summer but Valencia suddenly raised his price and the deal fell out. He’s not stopping this season as well (12 goals in 16 matches), being one of the hardest attackers to stop and predict in football today due to his ability to dribble and shoot with both feet from pretty much anywhere. A move to a higher-profiled club might be enough to put Villa at number one on this list.
Number 2 – Fernando Torres, Liverpool & Spain
Not exactly a season to remember for Liverpool and Torres, but despite the impression that he’s injured for most of the time, he still has 12 goals in 15 league games. He’s that good – on about 60% of fitness for a long stretch Torres can still be among the best scorers out there – fantastic in the air, strong, fast, can shoot from long range, and most importantly – clutch. He shows up for big games, like he did for Spain in the Euro 2008 final, scoring the only goal against Germany, claiming the trophy. He’ll be out for another six weeks according to the latest reports, and despite his fantastic scoring record since arriving at Anfield (50 goals in 72 matches), Liverpool might be forced to sell him when this season ends due to their horrible financial state.
Number 1 – Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Barcelona & Sweden
Why is Zlatan Number 1? Because he probably has more talent in his two feet than any other player in the world. Because he’s 1.95 meters and still has the dribbling and passing skills of a 1.70 play-maker. Because he can release amazing shots from 20-30 meters out seemingly out of nothing. Because when he’s good, and he has been fantastic for Inter and Barcelona in the last two seasons, when his game is really on, it looks so effortless and beautiful, almost art like in the contradiction between his huge frame and the elegance he plays. Leading Barca to a title this year, in the league and in the Champions League might cement his position as the best striker and potentially the best player in many fans’ mind.