The Footballers With the Best Conversion Rate Since the 2012/13 Season

It’s hard to put into words just how important having a good striker is. A prolific marksman can be the difference between success and failure, and we have seen so many top teams fail because they were missing an elite striker.

?The best forwards are those who can score plenty of goals from minimal opportunities – those who can fire their team to glory with just one chance.

Now, ?Opta have compiled a list of the most reliable strikers from Europe’s top five leagues since the 2012/13 season, ranking their goalscoring pedigree in both league and European competition (but ignoring penalties), and new Monaco signing Wissam Ben Yedder sits atop the standings.

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During his time with both Toulouse and Sevilla, Ben Yedder racked up an impressive 106 goals from just 538 shots in that time period, so 19.7% of his efforts managed to find the back of the net.

That ratio sees him finish ahead of Paris Saint-Germain’s ?Edinson Cavani, whose record of 169 goals from 884 shots earns him a conversion rate of 19.1%. ?Arsenal’s ?Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang managed to finish on the same percentage, having scored 165 of his 866 shots.

?Inter’s ?Mauro Icardi came in fourth, having scored 109 goals from just 577 shots to finish with a rate of 18.9%. Players of that pedigree don’t hit the market too often, so it’s easy to see why so many sides are pursuing the Argentine this summer.

Mauro Icardi

Next up is ?Diego Costa of ?Atletico Madrid, who scored goals at a rate of 18.7%. The Spaniard finished level with ?Lionel Messi, who actually netted the most goals out of anyone on the list. His 275 goals is well ahead of the rest, but the fact it took him 1473 shots means he falls to sixth on the list.

?Alexandre Lacazette (18.6%), ?Karim Benzema (18.3%), ?Luis Suarez (18.1%) and Robert Lewandowski (17.2%) round out the top ten, meaning there is no place for ?Juventus star ?Cristiano Ronaldo.

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The Portuguese international actually finished 20th on the list. Ronaldo racked up 1880 shots – far more than anyone else – but his return of 254 goals means he finished with a conversion rate of 13.5%.

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90min’s Definitive European Power Rankings: Week 2

Following a week in which: 

JACK GALLAGHER

Borussia Dortmund won 5-1. 

RUST COHLE 

[Cutting in] I’d consider myself a realist, alright? But in philosophical terms I’m what’s called a pessimist.

JACK GALLAGHER

Liverpool won 2-1. 

RUST COHLE

[Cutting in] You’re trapped by that nightmare you keep waking up into.

JACK GALLAGHER 

Atletico Madrid won 1-0. 

RUST COHLE

[Cutting in] I think the honourable thing for our species to do is to deny our programming. Stop reproducing. Walk hand in hand into extinction. One last midnight, brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.

JACK GALLAGHER

Jesus Rust, please stop.

We at 90min rank the top 15 teams in Europe using quotes from the ever soul crushingly pessimistic Rust Cohle and the rest of the gang from the loveable family sitcom True Detective, season one.


15) Sheffield United (New Entry) 

George Baldock,Phil Jagielka

“I’m not racing to a red light.”

Every single person in the world predicted that Sheffield United would go straight back down to the Championship this season, finishing 20th with a record breaking five points tallied up after 38 games.

‘But…’

Don’t lie! We all did!  

That in mind, you can say that their weekend win over Crystal Palace, and four points from their first two games, has come as somewhat of a shock. Maybe, just maybe, everyone was wrong, and maybe, just maybe, Sheffield United are racing to safety rather than relegation. 


14) Olympiacos (New Entry) 

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Top-notch walk this morning. Top-notch constitutional. It’s been weeks since I left my mark…would that they had eyes to see.”

Top-notch stuff from Olympiacos this week as they turned on the style to beat Krasnodar in the first leg of their Champions League play-off. 

Top-notch performance from a top-notch football team; making their mark on the biggest stage of them all.

TOP-NOTCH.


13) VfL Wolfsburg (New Entry) 

Maximilian Arnold,John Anthony Brooks

“Just a regular type dude”

VfL Wolfsburg kick-started their 2019/20 Bundesliga campaign in a similar fashion to how they finished their 2018/19 Bundesliga campaign: by winning.

Sure, it wasn’t as emphatic as their 8-1 victory over Augsburg, but three points are three points, and the win over Koln was the perfect start to what promises to be a pretty exciting season for the VW lovers. 


12) Atletico Madrid (New Entry) 

Joao Felix,Bruno

“Exact same thing they do now. Just out in the open.”

We’d heard he was the second coming. We’d seen the odd clip on Twitter. We’d read a few crazily impressive stats. But let’s face it, no one really watches the Primeira Liga, so no one had really seen Joao Felix play before this past weekend.

When we all did, we were shocked AT HOW GOOD THIS CHILD IS AT FOOTBALL.

At the age of four, Felix might already be the best footballer of all time. 


11) Wolves (Up 4) 

Ruben Neves

“You know, I’ve seen all the different types. We all fit a certain category – the bully, the charmer, the, uh, surrogate dad, the man possessed by ungovernable rage, the brain – and any of those types could be a good detective, and any of those types could be an incompetent sh*theel.”

You know, I’ve seen all the different types. They all fit a certain category – the ‘big six’ side, the hipster’s choice, the uh, team with the fugly kit, the team possessed by an ungovernable desire to win the Champions League (Juventus), the financially sound club. 

Wolves are currently the hipster’s choice, but after Ruben Neves (Football Manager Demi-God – hence the hipster’s choice categorisation) rifled the ball into the roof of David de Gea’s net on Monday night, it was abundantly clear that Santo’s team are on the brink of breaking the glass ceiling and becoming a ‘big six’ side.


10) Athletic Club (New Entry)

Aritz Aduriz

Get on out of here, you’re classin’ the place up.”

Aritz Aduriz get on out of here, you’re classin’ the place up with your incredible feats of athleticism, your incredible goalscoring ability, your incredible ability to defy time, roll back the years AND SCORE OVERHEAD KICKS AT THE AGE OF 38.


9) Olympique Lyonnais (Up 1) 

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-LYON-ANGERS

I was steady.”

Played: 2

Won: 2

Drew: 0

Lost: 0

Goals Scored: 9

Goals Conceded: 0

It’s fair to say that Lyon have enjoyed a pretty perfect start to their Ligue 1 campaign; made all the more perfect by Paris Saint-Germain’s insistence on dropping points at home to Rennes. 


8) Manchester United (Down 4) 

West Ham United v Fulham FC - Premier League

Is sh*tting on any moment of decency part of your job description?”

Yeah, Gary it probably wasn’t a good idea to lead a wholly unnecessary tirade against a footballer for missing a penalty which would then lead to racial abuse for said player online.

Yeah, that probably wasn’t a good idea.


7) Real Madrid (New Entry) 

Zinedine Zidane

“This is a world where nothing is solved. You know, someone once told me time is a flat circle. Everything we’ve ever done or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again.”

Time is a flat circle.

?Real Madrid were once great and they are seemingly great once again (maybe that’s an exaggeration, but a necessary one for the bit). 

They will be great over and over and over again. 


6) Rennes (New Entry) 

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“I’m not supposed to be here.”

Rennes aren’t supposed to be here. 

Someone born in 2002 isn’t supposed to be playing professional football in the French top flight. 

Paris Saint-Germain aren’t supposed to drop points.

And yet here we are.

Rennes are sixth in the Definitive European Power Rankings.

Eduardo Camavinga is making us all feel old.

And Paris Saint-Germain are dropping points.

It’s a weird world.


5) RB Leipzig (New Entry) 

Timo Werner

“I know who I am. And after all these years, there’s a victory in that.”

The rest of Germany may hate them – really, really, really hate them – but credit where it’s due: RB Leipzig know who they are.

Unlike a lot of other clubs, RB Leipzig have a plan, and with the probable retention of Timo Werner, the array of exciting young talent at the club and the appointment of boy-wonder Julian Nagelsmann, it looks as like they’re sticking to it. 

There’s a victory in that. 


4) Manchester City (Down 2) 

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN CITY-TOTTENHAM

“You figure it’s all a scam, huh? All them folks? They just wrong?”

1 like = 1 tear. 

Pour one out for ?Manchester City, the holders of the domestic treble who feel that, despite VAR helping the referee to make the right decision, the sky is falling in on them. 

Life isn’t fair…even if it is… 


3) Tottenham Hotspur (-) 

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN CITY-TOTTENHAM

“Once there was only dark. If you ask me, the light’s winning.”

Do you know what’s great? 

VAR. 

Do you know why? 

Because on Saturday evening Tottenham Hotspur were so nearly robbed of a point at the Etihad Stadium, but weren’t, because VAR came to the aid of the referee to disallow Gabriel Jesus’ last minute goal. 

That’s great.


2) Borussia Dortmund (New Entry) 

Julian Brandt

Every time I think you’ve hit a ceiling, you, you keep raising the bar.” 

Last season on 90min’s Definitive European Power Rankings, Wilf Dutton and I declared that Borussia Dortmund were ‘must watch tv’. 

This season, with the signings of Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard, Borussia Dortmund are not just ‘must watch tv’, but ‘absolutely must watch, under no circumstances – not even the birth your first child – can you afford to miss tv’.

BVB are getting better, and better, and better.


1) Liverpool (-) 

Sadio Mane

Nothing changes.”

The win over Southampton wasn’t very impressive; as they just about beat them.

But a win’s a win, therefore nothing’s changed.

?Liverpool are top of the Premier League, the current Champions League holders and – most importantly – top of 90min’s Definitive European Power Rankings.


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FIFA 20 Career Mode Transfer Budgets for All Top European Leagues Revealed

The budgets for every club in the Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 and more on the upcoming FIFA 20 Career Mode have been revealed.

Courtesy of Twitter user FifaCMTips, the eagerly anticipated transfer window budgets for all the top sides across Europe and beyond have been revealed. FifaCMTips, who unveiled the news on Twitter, started with the Premier League, where it is Manchester United who best the rest with a whopping £167,488,480 at their disposal.


Closely behind them are crosstown rivals, and domestic treble-winners, Manchester City, who boast an admirable £167,020,320 in their accounts.

There is then a dramatic dip, with Champions League winners Liverpool boasting a modest £97m, followed by Europa League winners (and famed transfer absconders) Chelsea on £86m. 

North London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal are behind them on £72m and £69m respectively, while new boys Sheffield United bring up the rear with an oh-so modest sum of £17m, £3m less than the club-record fee they paid for Oli McBurnie IRL.


Over in Serie A, it is unsurprisingly the all-conquering Juventus who sit smugly atop the Italian financial field, with a treasury of £103m, with their Derby d’Italia rivals Inter the closest competition on £48m. Napoli sit behind them on £44m, with Roma right on their rear with £37m and the Nerazzurri’s Milanese rivals AC forced to contend with just £35m.

Over in Germany, it is, yes, Bayern Munich who lead the way, with their coffers capping out at £124m. Borussia Dortmund, meanwhile, can boast a decent £65m.


In Espana, El Careerico is narrowly won by Real Madrid, who have £169,610,000 to Barcelona’s £169,074,000, which makes all the difference. As for plucky Atletico Madrid, they will have to make do with just £61m.


In Ligue 1, well, need I say anything except Paris Saint-Germain? Okay, fine. £165,960,000. For the rest, you’ll have to go here. It’s a sorry sight. Oh, and if you’re hankering for the Colombian Liga Dimayor, or the Irish SSE Airtricity League, they have that too…except for fans of Derry City (you guys deserve some special treatment), your club’s transfer budget is £631,000.

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Real Madrid Send Club Official to Paris for Neymar Talks to Rival Barcelona Bid

?Real Madrid have suddenly emerged as major suitors for unsettled Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar, with reports from Spain claiming that an emissary from the club has travelled to the French capital in order to lay the groundwork for a possible transfer.

Real have long had a fascination with Neymar and have tried to sign him many times over the years, starting when he was first invited to visit Madrid at the age of just 13 in 2006.

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Barcelona eventually won the battle to bring the player to Europe from his native Brazil in 2013. The Catalans then lost him to PSG for a world record €222m two years ago, but have been locked in negotiations over a deal to take him back to Camp Nou for several weeks.

90min understands that Real could offer striker Karim Benzema as part of their attempt to sign Neymar. The 31-year-old Frenchman, who hasn’t played club football in his homeland since joining Real from Lyon in 2009, had one of his best individual seasons in 2018/19.

Primary PSG striker Edinson Cavani, now 32 years of age, has been linked with a move to the United States to join David Beckham’s new Inter Miami team, due to join MLS in 2020. Benzema could therefore be a welcome replacement as PSG look to move on from the Uruguayan.

Karim Benzema

It had been thought that Real had at last shelved any remaining interest in Neymar, instead favouring a move for his younger PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe next year. But that may not necessarily be the case as Marca alleges Los Blancos have sent someone to Paris.

The identity of the figure is not revealed, but they are said to be someone who holds a meaningful position at the Bernabeu. No fee is mentioned, but Marca claims that Real are optimistic in the early stages, without having yet discussed exact details and numbers with PSG.

Apparently the 13-time European champions believe PSG will do business with them because contact via telephone so far has been positive.

There is also the opportunity to capitalise on Barcelona’s struggles to reach a satisfactory agreement of their own. Earlier this week it was reported that Barcelona and PSG had rejected each other’s proposals – that included PSG asking for Ousmane Dembele and Nelson Semedo plus €100m. The reigning Spanish champions do not wish to see Dembele leave the club.

Ousmane Dembele

The latest gossip suggests Barcelona are considering a two-year loan deal with an obligation to buy. This is after a one-year loan with a non-binding €150m purchase option was rebuffed.

Juventus have also been linked with Neymar, meaning this one could drag on and on until the European transfer deadline strikes on 2 September. The Italian deadline has been put back in line with the rest of the continent after originally being thought to be 23 August.

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Real Madrid: The XI That Should Start Against Real Valladolid

?Real Madrid play their first home match of the 2019/20 season on Saturday as they play host to Real Valladolid.

Zinedine Zidane will demand nothing less than a win against a side that finished two places above the relegation zone last term, while the Bernabeu crowd won’t be satisfied unless the visitors are put to the sword by a revamped Los Blancos outfit.

Zinedine Zidane

Heavy investments were made during the summer to breathe new life into a weary squad that fell way short of expectations. No silverware was added to the cabinet, though painful memories were etched into the minds of supporters and players alike; the latter must ensure those ghosts are laid to rest.

Here’s how ?Madrid should line up to continue their encouraging start to the campaign.


Goalkeeper & Defenders

FBL-ESP-LIGA-VALENCIA-REAL MADRID

Thibaut Courtois (GK) – Though he lost his place in the starting lineup midway through last season, the Belgian has once again been handed the gloves as Zidane aims to make 2018/19 a distant memory. The coach has made his decision and it is only logical that he sticks with it.

Alvaro Odriozola (RB) – The definition of a modern full-back, Odriozola provides the searing pace and crossing accuracy that allows Madrid’s forwards to push inside and pressurise opponents. The 23-year-old is reliable, highly-capable and has the steady mind-set needed to cope with heavy scrutiny from the fans.

Raphael Varane (CB) – When people debate who is the best centre-back in the world, Varane is regularly mentioned. It’s extremely difficult to find a fault in his game.

Eder Militao (CB) – It is no disrespect to Valladolid to say the hosts should take victory at a canter. That makes it the ideal time to blood the £40m signing, who is yet to be given his competitive debut by Zidane.

Ferland Mendy (LB) – Just like Militao, new left-back Mendy must be eased into the team. Selecting him for Saturday’s game is low risk for two reasons: the opposition are very beatable and there is plenty of time to recover should Los Blancos stumble to a shock defeat.


Midfielders

Isco - Soccer Player

Casemiro (CM) – The Brazilian has a tireless engine and a mean tackle, yet can also spray the ball about like his nationality would suggest. With Casemiro guarding the backline, any Valladolid counters should be shut down before they truly begin.

Toni Kroos (CM) – Regardless of who you’re playing against, you always know what you’ll get from Kroos: incisive passing and control in the centre of the pitch. That combination should both keep the visitors’ possession to a minimum and aid in carving out opportunities.

Isco (CAM) – Luka Modric was evidently flagging for much of last year, with all three of Real’s managers placing a heavy workload on the Croat’s shoulders. To keep him fresh for heavyweight match-ups, playmaking duties should be handed to Isco for games such as this.


Forwards

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Gareth Bale (RW) – The wideman has spent his whole career proving his doubters wrong. Given Zidane’s repeated insistence that Bale was surplus to requirements in the Spanish capital, it would be no surprise to see him producing sparkling displays on a regular basis this campaign. Even the gaffer would be glad to see his own predictions proved wrong.

Vinicius Junior (LW) – Wing trio Brahim Diaz, Eden Hazard and Rodrygo are all sidelined by injuries. On the one hand, that is a troublesome set of circumstances. However, it can be played to Los Blancos’ advantage if they help Vinicius’ development and offer him more time on the field.

Luka Jovic (ST) – This is clearly the match for new faces to be introduced to supporters at the Bernabeu. Let Jovic loose from the off and he could become an instant hero in Madrid; Valladolid are there for the taking and the Serb is lethal.


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