A look at 10 of the best strikers in the world.
If there were question marks over Rooney's goalscoring abilities, they were well and truly answered in the 2009/10 season. Now that he has added more goals to his game, Rooney is the all-round player. Superb awareness, long-range passing, hold-up play and a never-say-die sprit combine to make a precious asset for club and country.
Sir Alex Ferguson swooped to sign the Dutch striker after his best ever club season. Van Persie scored 30 league goals with the Gunners before announcing that he would not be renewing a contract that was due to expire in 2014. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was loath to let his star striker leave. And no wonder; Van Persie possesses a howitzer of a left foot, can link play beautifully and learned to hold the ball up more effectively under the tutelage of the Gunners manager.
The Manchester City man gives away plenty in height and weight to most other strikers, but deserves to be recognized for his many other qualities, not least his predatory Romario-like finishing. The latest in a string of Argentineans to be dubbed the 'new Maradona,' El Kun’s claim is more substantial than most, given that he is married to the great man's daughter. Earned his nickname because of a Japanese anime character with the same name and similar hair. Outgrew Atletico Madrid and moved to City in the summer of 2011.
5. Radamel Falcao (Colombia & Atletico Madrid)
Replacing Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan in the summer of 2011 would have felt like an unenviable task for any number of the game’s top strikers but since moving to Atletico Madrid goals have flowed freely from the boots of Falcao. The Colombian has propelled Porto and Atletico to Europa League titles and he netted 24 goals in his debut season in La Liga. A supreme finisher.
His country's record goalscorer, Eto'o has been one of the best marksmen in Spain over the last few years after successful spells with Mallorca and Barcelona. He has a reputation for being outspoken but no one questions his commitment to the cause. He helped Inter Milan to a Serie A, Champions League and Coppa Italia treble in 2010, and is Cameroon’s outstanding player. Became the best paid player in soccer history in 2011 when joining Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala.
The controversial Liverpool striker is one of world soccer’s most technically gifted strikers. Blessed with a fine first touch and tremendous all-round technique, the Uruguayan could add a few more goals to his game but is consistently Liverpool’s most dangerous attacking player and one of the first names on the team sheet for club and country. Was banned for eight matches in 2012 after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
8. Edinson Cavani (Uruguay & Napoli)
The Danubio youth product enjoyed a phenomenal first season at Napoli, who made his transfer permanent in the summer of 2011. The 24-year-old scored 26 times in the 2010-11 Serie A season after joining from Palermo, as Napoli finished third and qualified for the Champions League. His habit of popping up with goals late in matches made him a fans’ favorite at the Stadio San Paolo, and he is now a regular for his country.
9. Carlos Tevez (Argentina & Manchester City)
When he played for Manchester United, Tevez was a terrier, snapping at defenders’ heels. At neighbors Manchester City, who he joined in 2009, the Argentinean turned into a pitbull. Tevez deserves his place among the great strikers of the modern game because he is arguably the hardest working player on this list. He is also a guaranteed source of 25 plus goals a season.
The Barcelona star has an exceptional goalscoring record for La Furia Roja. An effective dribbler, with an intuitive finish, the frontman was long linked with a move away from Valencia before joining Barca for $49 million in May 2010. Research conducted by World Soccer magazine in 2009 established him as statistically the best striker in the game. His movement sets him apart from many others, that ability to shake off defenders and eke out space. The complete striker.