Ranked! The 10 best forwards in the world
Please note: Player slides taken from our overall list of the FFT100
10. Mauro Icardi (Inter)
Back in autumn 2016, Icardi’s days at San Siro appeared to be numbered after the striker criticised Inter’s ultras in his autobiography, even going as far as to write: “I will bring 100 criminals from Argentina who will kill them on the spot.”
There probably would have been no way back for a lesser player, but Icardi is the Nerazzurri’s talisman and a hastily issued apology got the fans back onside. Twenty-seven goals in 2017 – including hat-tricks against Atalanta, Fiorentina and rivals Milan – kept him in the supporters’ good books, as Icardi proved there are few sharper inside the 18-yard box.
9. Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Kane continued his remarkable rise in 2017, the year in which the Tottenham frontman took his place in the pantheon labelled ‘world’s best strikers’. Calendar year records may not mean a great deal, but Kane’s return of 39 Premier League goals – three more than Alan Shearer managed in 1995 – was still mightily impressive.
As well as being an elite scorer, the England international regularly drops deep and links play. More than anything, Kane will hope 2018 delivers the first silverware of his career.
8. Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus)
Higuain didn’t come cheap when Juventus poached him from domestic rivals Napoli in 2016, but the £75m man has proved to be worth every penny. Ever-present in Serie A, the Argentine found the net 24 times in 2016/17 as the Bianconeri finished atop the pile in Italy for a sixth successive season.
Higuain also contributed five goals in 12 Champions League appearances, including a brace in the first leg of the semi-final victory over Monaco – although he was unable to prevent Max Allegri’s men losing the final to Real Madrid.
7. Edinson Cavani (PSG)
Cavani has his critics, but the numbers speak for themselves. Having finally escaped Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s sizeable shadow in summer 2016, the Uruguayan sharp-shooter responded with 35 goals in 36 appearances. Unai Emery’s men may ultimately have lost out to Monaco in the Ligue 1 title race, but Cavani’s contributions couldn’t be faulted.
The flat-track bully accusations don’t really stand up either, given that the ex-Napoli man notched eight in eight Champions League matches. He ended the year in fine fashion too, scoring his 26th goal of the 2017/18 season in December's 3-1 defeat of Caen.