Ranked! The 10 best strikers in the world
Disclaimer: This list only features centre-forwards, so the likes of Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Mohamed Salah and Neymar weren’t considered. We'll be featuring them in their own list...
10. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Despite often bearing the brunt of Real Madrid fans’ criticism during his time at the club, Benzema remains a regular starter at the Santiago Bernabeu. Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to Juventus has seen the former France international return to the spotlight at the start of 2018/19, and Benzema has duly responded with five goals in his first four games.
His strike rate was disappointing last term – 12 in 47 matches – but even then the former Lyon man was helping Ronaldo to shine. Benzema has always stood out for his intelligent movement and link-up play, qualities which are essential to any team but often result in other players taking the limelight.
9. Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)
Lukaku bettered last season’s tally of 16 Premier League goals twice with Everton and once with West Brom, but 2017/18 brought evidence that the Belgium international has added facets to his game which he had previously been accused of lacking.
Indeed, his touch and contributions outside the box have improved significantly, and it was notable that he was one of a very small group of players who escaped Jose Mourinho’s criticism for the entire campaign. Still only 25, Lukaku has plenty of time to develop further.
8. Mauro Icardi (Inter)
Icardi is still largely untested at the very highest level, having never appeared at a World Cup or in the Champions League. The Argentine will have the chance to end his absence from the latter competition this season following Inter’s qualification, which owed much to his contributions in front of goal.
Icardi made the net bulge 29 times in Serie A in 2017/18, having struck 24 league goals the season before. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the ex-Sampdoria sharp-shooter has carried the Nerazzurri at times in recent years, and he wouldn’t be short of offers if he ever called time on his employment at San Siro.
7. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
Firmino isn’t a striker in the mould of most players covered in this list, and would probably play a more withdrawn role under another manager, but he’s been used as the central attacker for the vast majority of Jurgen Klopp’s tenure at Anfield and therefore qualifies for selection.
Firmino’s goal record – 40 in his last 99 games for Liverpool – is good rather than great, but it’s his ability as a facilitator which really sets him apart. Intelligent, dynamic and technically gifted, the selfless Brazilian invariably brings out the best in those around him.
6. Edinson Cavani (PSG)
Cavani seems to have shaken off his unfortunate habit of missing clear-cut chances in high-profile matches, but his prior reputation as an unreliable striker was always a little unfair. The Uruguayan has proven his class since being shifted to his favoured centre-forward role in 2016, having previously spent large chunks of his PSG career out on the flank to accommodate Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Cavani’s willingness to fulfil such a role says plenty about his work ethic and attitude, but he’s also a genuine superstar on his day. Ninety-one goals in his last 99 outings for PSG is a record any marksman would be proud of, and the former Napoli man also outshone compatriot Luis Suarez at the 2018 World Cup.