A look at 10 of the best strikers in the world.
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.
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.
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 & Monaco)
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 after moving to Atletico Madrid goals have flowed freely from the boots of Falcao. The Colombian propelled Porto and Atletico to Europa League titles and his form in Spain persuaded cash rich Monaco to shell out a reported US$80 million in May 2013.
His country's record goalscorer, Eto'o was one of the best marksmen in Spain 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 was reunited with Jose Mourinho at Chelsea in 2013 after a spell in Russia with 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 & Paris Saint-Germain)
The Danubio youth product enjoyed three phenomenal seasons at Napoli after joining from Palermo in 2010. Cavani scored 78 Serie A goals in three seasons and his consistent performances earned him a big-money move to cash rich Paris Saint-Germain in 2013, much to the frustration of Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis who was loath to see him leave. The most expensive signing in French history at a reported US$84 million, Cavani is a regular for his country with whom he won the 2011 Copa America.
9. Carlos Tevez (Argentina & Juventus)
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. His time in England came to an end in June 2013 when he made the switch to Italian Champions Juventus.
The Atletico Madrid 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 Barcelona for US$49 million in May 2010. Research conducted by World Soccer magazine in 2009 established him as statistically the best striker in the game. Since then, his movement has set him apart from most other strikers, that ability to shake off defenders and eke out space. The complete striker, who left Barca for Atletico in 2013.