There’s a lot to dislike about strikers if you think about it. They always get the glory, most of them don’t seem to do much running and they can often be prima donnas on the pitch.
However, it’s probably fair that they get cut a fair amount of slack as it’s the most challenging position on the pitch. Centre-forwards spend most of their time isolated from their teammates, knowing that any missed chances will be greeted with a maelstrom of abuse from the crowd.
At the turn of the last decade it had seemed like strikers might be destined for the scrapheap with two-man strike partnerships seen as retrograde and false nines ruling the roost at the top level. More recently though, the role has enjoyed a resurgence with a host of top centre-forwards banging in goals all across Europe.
Here are five of the very best doing exactly that right now…
Kicking off our top five, it’s the man that everyone loves to hate – or just hate in some cases.
Signing for Liverpool on the same day as Andy Carroll, the two players’ careers have since taken very different routes.
While Carroll has becoming a punchline to a joke about injuries, Suarez has carved out a reputation as a lethal finisher who will do anything to win. We mean anything by the way, as Giorgio Chiellini and Branislav Ivanovic know only too well.
While his recent Barcelona career has been hampered by injury, it hasn’t stopped him hitting the back of the net enough times to see him rise to second place on the club’s all-time goalscorers list.
Despite being divisive figure, you cannot deny that Suarez is one of the best players of his generation.
From one diminutive South American forward to another, Manchester City hero Sergio Aguero is number four on our list.
No other human being has scored more goals for the Citizens than the Argentine. There’s magic in those bulging calves and he loves a memorable strike.
Often overlooked when discussing all-time Premier League greats in the past, public opinion is finally starting to sway on Aguero.
He recently overtook Thierry Henry as the Barclays™ highest ever overseas goalscorer, a stat which beautifully illustrates his brilliance and longevity.
In the past Karim Benzema has frequently been the bridesmaid and never the bride.
During Cristiano Ronaldo’s time at Real Madrid, the Frenchman mainly played the role of facilitator, making decoy runs to pull defenders away from CR7.
During the 2019/2020 season, Benzema stepped out on his own and become Los Blancos’ most valuable forward. 29 goal involvements in 37 La Liga appearances tells its own story as the 32-year-old continues to get better with age.
He is a self-sacrificing superstar who has nothing to prove to his doubters.
A Ligue 1, Coupe de France and World Cup winner all before his 21st birthday, Kylian Mbappe is set to dominate European football for the next decade.
Like a string of French strikers before him, Mbappe’s principal weapon is his frightening pace but there is so much more to the Paris Saint-Germain star’s game.
Blessed with freakish footballing intelligence, he is constantly popping up in the right place at the right time. He also possesses a fearsome box of tricks and feints that rival any other player in the world.
A forward of Mbappe’s quality coming along is truly a once in a lifetime event, so make sure you make the most of him while he’s still around.
Few people would have been as peeved off as Robert Lewandowski when it was announced that the 2020 Ballon d’Or would not be awarded.
The Polish hitman has been in the form of his life recently, scoring with a frequency to rival some of the best strikers of all time.
The Bayern Munich star – who 90min interviewed back in May – in the archetypal complete centre-forward scoring goals with his head, either foot and various other body parts. As long as the ball nestles in the back of the net, he doesn’t care.
Lewandowski is a born goalscorer in his prime years and could hold onto his title as 90min’s best centre-forward in the world for some time yet. That’s better than winning a Ballon d’Or anyway…