Football

Europe's Top Five: Deadliest strikers

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It seems football fans are a little spoilt for choice when it comes to goal scoring forwards these days.

After all, it’s not everyday that goal records are smashed now is it? Well, actually it is, judging by the exploits of some of the leading strikers from across Europe, who seem intent on re-writing the history books.

The leader of the pack is of course Lionel Messi, who shattered another landmark even though Barcelona tasted defeat against Real Sociedad last weekend – something of a record in itself.

The Argentinian superstar scored for the 10th consecutive La Liga game to beat Brazilian legend Ronaldo’s record of at least one goal in nine straight games while playing for Real Madrid. Messi beating a Real Madrid player called Ronaldo sounds quite familiar now, doesn’t it…

That’s not to say Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t done his share of record breaking, far from it. The Portuguese forward became the first player to score more than 40 goals in two consecutive major European league seasons, while he is also the quickest player to reach 100 La Liga goals.

Whilst they can’t quite keep pace with Messi and Ronado, Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie have emerged as two of the best outright forwards in the world, while over in France, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is scoring goals, and great ones at that, for fun.

So with all these sensational strikers operating at their peak this season it is interesting to see how their stats stack up against one another.

Take a look at the stats below to see not only the player who has the most league goals in 2012/13, but who is the most clinical and efficient finisher; you may be surprised by the findings. Numbers emboldened indicates the leading statistic in that particular category.

Lionel Messi, Barcelona

Goals: 29; Games: 20; Shots: 104; Goals/Game Ratio: 1.45; Goals/Shots %: 27.88

It comes as no surprise to find out that Lionel Messi is the leading goal scorer in Europe’s five major leagues, and that his 29 goals in 20 games means he has the best goals per game ratio.

It’s frightening to think that Messi already has more goals than most Premier League strikers will manage all season with 18 league games still to play.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paris Saint-Germain

Goals: 19; Games: 18; Shots: 93; Goals/Game Ratio: 1.06; Goals/Shots %: 20.43

While Zlatan doesn’t lead the way in any particular category, he is certainly having fun in Ligue 1 and is the second highest league goal scorer in any of Europe’s top five leagues.

It seems being a large fish in a small pond suits him down to the ground.

Radamel Falcao, Atletico Madrid

Goals: 18; Games: 18; Shots: 63; Goals/Game Ratio: 1.00; Goals/Shots %: 28.57

The statistics back up what those over at the Estadio Vicente Calderon have known for some time; Falcao is the deadliest striker in Europe.

The Colombian is remarkably efficient in front of goal, scoring 18 times in the league from just 63 shots, meaning he averages more than a goal from every four attempts on goal.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid

Goals: 18; Games: 19; Shots: 141; Goals/Game Ratio: 0.95; Goals/Shots %: 12.77

You could never accuse Cristiano Ronaldo of being shy now could you? His 19 goals have come from a gigantic 141 shots, more than double the amount Falcao has taken for the same amount of goals.

The Portuguese superstar does appear to be finding his radar more recently, scoring six in his last six La Liga outings.

Robin van Persie, Manchester United

Goals: 18; Games: 23; Shots: 84; Goals/Game Ratio: 0.78; Goals/Shots %: 21.43

The Dutchman has played the most games of all our European top scorers; Not exactly the most prestigious category to be heading up but there you go.

He is the Premier League's leading candidate for the Golden Boot at least, and could become the first player to be top scorer in English football’s top tier for two consecutive seasons since Thierry Henry in 2006.

Notable others:

Edinson Cavani, Napoli

Goals: 17; Games: 18; Shots: 77; Goals/Game Ratio: 0.94; Goals/Shots %: 22.08

Luis Suarez, Liverpool

Goals: 16; Games: 22; Shots: 129; Goals/Game Ratio: 0.73; Goals/Shots %: 12.40

Topics:
Robin Van Persie
European News
Football
Cristiano Ronaldo

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