GMS Academy member George Brand-MacFarlane lists his top 25 strikers in the world, do you agree?
An early disclaimer - you'll notice Cristiano Ronaldo is not on this list - that's because he plays almost exclusively from the left wing for his club, Real Madrid.
By and large, the players on this list are out and out strikers. There are a few exceptions, but they still primarly play through the middle, if a little withdrawn.
25 | Didier Drogba
This legendary striker makes the 25th spot on my list after his transfer to Turkish club Galatasaray, where he has scored 5 goals in 10 apearances.
24 | Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
The Schalke 04 star had a bit of an off season, but the former season's Bundesliga top scorer earns the 24th spot on my list. The 29-year-old's heading ability is phenomenal and his finishing is impeccable.
23 | Samuel Eto’o
This incredibly speedy striker would most likely be lower on the list if he played in a more difficult league, but his 25 goals in 50 appearances with Anzhi Makhachkala earns him the 23rd spot on my list.
22 | Mario Mandzukic
The Croatian striker proved his worth during Bayern Munich’s Champions League run, in which he scored a goal in the final. In the 2012-2013 season, he scored 15 goals in 24 appearances.
21 | Carlos Tevez
The 29-year-old isn’t afraid to use his body, and he also has incredible technical skills. Although managers have had a hard time controlling Tevez, he can be well worth the effort.
20 | Karim Benzema
This Frenchman may not have had the best season for his country, but he has continued to be consistent for his club. The 26-year-old is a strong and fast striker who can more often than not find the back of the net.
19 | Mario Balotelli
Mario may occasionally skip training, but it certainly doesn’t show on the pitch. Since joining AC Milan in January, the 22-year-old has scored 12 goals in only 13 appearances. That alone is enough to make the 19th spot on my list.
18 | Mario Gomez
Even though Gomez spent the majority of the past season on the bench, he makes the 18th spot as a result of his incredible performances for his country, Germany, during the 2012 European Championship. His heading skills are spectacular and he is very strong on the ball.
17 | Gonzalo Higuain
The reason why my number 20 pick spent much of this season on the bench is a result of Gonzalo Higuain’s spectacular performances. The Argentine has scored over 100 goals in La Liga, and it was announced at the end of the 2012-2013 season that he would be subject to a 34m move to Napoli.
16 | Roberto Soldado
Soldado scored 34 goals in 43 appearances for Valencia, which is an impressive feat and enough to put him on this list at number 16.
15 | Fernando Torres
Although Fernando Torres endured a bit of a cold streak this season, the Spanish international is still of the best strikers in the English Premier League, having scored 80 league goals since 2007.
14 | Lukas Podolski
This German striker is known for his incredible shooting talent. He has scored 11 goals in 33 appearances for Arsenal in the 2012-2013 season and has scored 46 goals in 110 appearances for his country since 2004 - one of his nation's best goalscoring records.
13 | Wayne Rooney
The only Englishman on my list has earned his spot, having scored 141 times for Manchester United and 36 times for his country. The 27-year-old is known for his unmatched strength on the ball and intense passion for the game.
12 | Marco Reus
This young German star is already one of the world's best attackers at only 22-years-old. He scored 14 goals for Borussia Dortmund in the 2012-2013 campaign, and helped them to the Champions League final against rivals Bayern Munich. Reus can only grow as a player, and will most likely be even better in the future.
11 | Antonio Di Natale
This Italian veteran is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated players on this list, and entirely deserves his spot in the top 25. The 36-year-old has scored a whopping 158 goals for Udinese and was 2nd on the Serie A scoring charts last season.
10 | Neymar
The youngest player on this list, Neymar is among the most talented. His impeccable ball control has many wondering if he may be the next Ronaldinho. His record breaking transfer to Barcelona at the end of the 2012-2013 season will show the world whether or not the young star can keep up his performances in a competition as esteemed as La Liga.
9 | Sergio Kun-Aguero
The second best Argentinian on my list, Aguero’s extreme dribbling skills and his ability to find his way to the net drops him at 9th on my list.
8 | Robert Lewandowski
Dortmund star Robert Lewandowski earned his spot on my list after his consistent performances throughout the 2012-2013 season and an incredible one during his team’s Champions League run, in which he scored four goals in one game against Real Madrid. Lewandowski is a speedy player who has a knack for being in the right place at the right time.
7 | Edinson Cavani
The 2012-2013 top scorer in the Italian Serie A is incredibly deserving of his number 7 spot on my list. Cavani has supreme finishing and a powerful heading ability. The Uruguayan superstar will be starting the 2013-2014 season in Ligue 1 with Paris-Saint Germain.
6 | Stevan Jovetic
The Montenegrin was the key man in Fiorentina's failed push for Champions League football last season and has duly earned a big-money move to Manchester City this summer.
Jovetic is technically able and can score plenty of goals - he is every inch a modern forward and is ready to move to the next level with the Citizens.
5 | Zlatan Ibrahimovic
This Swedish giant could be higher on this list if he played in a more skilled league, but his incredible technique easily earns him the number five spot. His outstanding bicycle kick goal last year is one that will be remembered for decades, and he was also crowned top scorer in the Ligue 1.
4 | Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez may have had disciplinary problems this season, notably his bite on Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic’s arm, but his incredible skill earns him the number four spot on my list. The Uruguayan striker has scored 38 goals in his last two seasons with Liverpool, and continues to impress with incredible footwork and mind-blowing finishes.
3 | Radamel Falcao
Colombian superstar Radamel Falcao is an aerial master who is unmatched by anyone currently playing, an impressive feat for a player who is only 5’10’’. The Atletico Madrid striker has scored 56 goals in 67 appearances over the last two seasons for his club, but an end of season transfer has him en-route to French club AS Monaco next season.
2 | Robin Van Persie
Dutchman Robin Van Persie has been the top scorer in the English Premier League for the past two seasons in a row, scoring 30 goals for Arsenal in the 2011-2012 campaign and 26 for Manchester United in 2012-2013. His exceptional shooting, dribbling and passing skills makes the 29-year-old currently the second best striker in the world.
1 | Lionel Messi
If you were hoping for a surprise here, I apologize. Messi broke the world record for the number of goals in a season during the 2011-2012 season, scoring 73, and he scored another 60 in the 2012-2013 season, stats that alone are enough to make him the best striker in the world. Messi is an expert dribbler and can place the ball perfectly even in the most pressured of situations.
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