Statistics have shown European football's most clinical forwards since 2012/13


A lot has happened in European football in the last six years.

Rewind to 2013 and Bayern Munich were the kings of the continent, collecting their fifth Champions League crown by defeating Borussia Dortmund to avenge their loss from the year before.

Barcelona reacted to Pep Guardiola's exit by wrestling back the La Liga crown, while Dortmund lost their grip on the Bundesliga and Paris Saint-Germain started their era of dominance in France.

It seems like an absolute century ago, but if there has been anything consistent since 2013 it's been the brilliance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The mercurial duo are widely accepted as the best two players in the world and Luka Modric is the only other player to have won the Ballon d'Or since 2008.

Ronaldo and Messi's brilliance

So, you would imagine that Messi and Ronaldo have been the most lethal forwards in that time period, but newly released data from Opta has suggested that isn't the case.

Opta employee David Wall uploaded statistics of the 20 strikers with the best conversion rates in Europe's top five leagues since the 2012-13 season.

The data was uploaded on August 13, so we've updated the numbers in accordance with the latest game-week, but the full results can be seen down below.


Europe's most clinical strikers

1. Wissam Ben Yedder - 19.6% (106 goals from 540 shots)

2. Edinson Cavani - 19.1% (169 goals from 886 shots)

3. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - 19.1% (165 goals from 867 shots)

4. Mauro Icardi - 18.9% (109 goals from 577 shots)

5. Diego Costa - 18.7% (102 goals from 545 shots)

6. Lionel Messi - 18.7% (275 goals from 1,473 shots)

7. Alexandre Lacazette - 18.7% (118 goals from 631 shots)

8. Karim Benzema - 18.3% (134 goals from 731 shots)

9. Luis Suarez - 18.1% (200 goals from 1,106 shots)

10. Robert Lewandowski - 17.3% (195 goals from 1,129 shots)

11. Antoine Griezmann - 17.0% (137 goals from 805 shots) 

12. Neymar - 16.7% (115 goals from 690 shots)

13. Romelu Lukaku - 16.6% (120 goals from 724 shots)

14. Mohamed Salah - 16.2% (109 goals from 670 shots)

15. Gonzalo Higuain - 16.0% (149 goals from 929 shots)

16. Harry Kane - 15.9% (129 goals from 810 shots)

17. Sergio Aguero - 15.7% (143 goals from 907 shots)

18. Zlatan Ibrahimovic - 15.3% (126 goals from 822 shots)

19. Gareth Bale - 13.8% (115 goals from 832 shots)

20. Cristiano Ronaldo - 13.5% (254 goals from 1,880 shots)

By the skin of his teeth, Ronaldo tags along to the end of the list.

You would think that his years of ridiculous goal-scoring at Real Madrid would drive him higher up the rankings, but it appears that Ronaldo isn't quite as clinical as you'd expect.

Messi will be far happier with his placement of sixth, while AS Monaco's new signing Ben Yedder is the surprise victor, even if he only qualifies for consideration by six goals. 


The statistics also raise two fingers to suggestions that Cavani is inefficient in front of goal, fending off the likes of Costa and Aubameyang to bag himself a silver medal.

However, even if Messi and Ronaldo aren't the most clinical forwards in the land, nobody has come close to matching their greatness or raw numbers in the last six years.

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