Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi both feature in Marca's 'perfect striker'

  • Kobe Tong

Who do you think is the greatest striker in the history of football?

A lot of supporters would instantly choose Cristiano Ronaldo, citing him as the ultimate footballing machine with barely a fault to his name - a jack of all trades and master of all them, if you will.

But then there's Lionel Messi, arguably the most talented forward the beautiful game has ever seen, seemingly playing in slow motion and boasting a goal-per-game ratio superior to Ronaldo's.

Lest we forget that there's more than one Ronaldo, though, with the 'original' making a bigger impact on the sport than any goalscorer before him during his Barcelona and PSV Eindhoven days.

For those thinking a little more old school, there's the Real Madrid greats of Alfredo di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas, three-time World Cup winner Pele and former world-record holder Gerd Muller.

Building the ultimate striker

We could go on and on and on, but the fact of the matter is that football has seen some incredible strikers across every era and picking out a number one is virtually impossible.

And bearing that in mind, Spanish newspaper Marca have decided to solve this problem by building the 'perfect striker' using 10 forwards who shine in one particular area.

For example, would this striker have the heading of Ronaldo, the left foot of Messi and so on? Well, before you get debating that yourselves, check out Julio 'Maldini' Maldonado's choices and his justifications for each:


Power - Ronaldo Nazario

Verdict: "The Brazilian Ronaldo was a unique player, with an almost unstoppable acceleration. I've not seen a player with such devastating runs and such composure inside the penalty area."


Pace - Jamie Vardy

Verdict: "Jamie Vardy was key to Leicester's Premier League title win under Claudio Ranieri. With the ball in space, Vardy is a pure greyhound."


Elegance - Marco van Basten

Verdict: "He was like a ballerina in the penalty area and, despite his size, he had a great ability to make us enjoy his football."


Left foot - Lionel Messi

Verdict: "Messi's left foot would be the one for the perfect striker: in freekicks, of which he's scored many, cutbacks, close dribbling, goalscoring... His left foot is undisputed."


Right foot - Kylian Mbappe

Verdict: "The French striker could run Ronaldo Nazario's power and speed close, but his right foot especially stands out for me when he stops and let's fly."


Heading - Carlos Santillana

Verdict: "Real Madrid's Carlos Santillana is one of the best to ever head a football. Those photos of him leaping and hanging in mid-air to head the ball are truly memorable."


Opportunism - Gerd Muller

Verdict: "It's said that Muller never scored a beautiful goal, that they were all ugly. But that is the instinct of the centre-forward and he scored goals in all the biggest games in that way."


Goalscoring instinct - Gary Lineker

Verdict: "I'm sure that he would've killed everyone in the Wild West because he draws quicker than anybody. The top scorer at the 1986 World Cup was a sensational striker in the penalty area."


Personality - Cristiano Ronaldo

Verdict: "Cristiano Ronaldo always knows how to lift his team, has the ability to overcome things, stands out for his guts and making those around him better."


A truly incredible striker

Now that, ladies and gentlemen, really is the perfect striker. Aside for one thing.

We're inclined to think that Mbappe should have been chosen for the pace section - he's near enough the fastest footballer we've ever seen - and is he really the best shout for right foot?

It's slightly head-scratching that Pele hasn't been chosen anywhere here, so we're going to call upon his right boot seeing as he boasts over 1,000 goals across his illustrious career.


But other than that minor tweak, it's hard to look past Marca and Maldonado's choices as anything short of brilliant and there's no denying that this imaginary player would be simply unstoppable.

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