Determining a list of the best five forwards in the World Cup preliminary squads was a much harder task than that of the goalkeepers. Names omitted include the likes of Didier Drogba, Carlos Tevez, Thierry Henry, Nicolas Anelka, showing the quality that will be on display in South Africa. Nevertheless see below my top-five.
Lionel Messi – The obvious first choice. The incredible little Argentine is the worlds best. If he can perform on the biggest world stage this summer than he could go down as the best ever. Messi is a player with the ability to beat a team on his own, literally. His 4-goal performance against Arsenal in the Champions League demonstrated the effect he can have on a team and the destruction he can cause to opposing defences. Argentina did not have the best qualification campaign and thus many have already written off their chances of progressing in South Africa and lifting the World Cup. With a player of Messi’s ability in the ranks however, they can surely not be written off completely.
Fernando Torres – Currently the best ‘striker’ in the world…..when fit? Fernando Torres is the complete number 9, pace, skill, great heading ability, able to score tap-ins and blast 30-yard stunners. The variety of his goals is what impresses, as well as his composure when bearing down on goal. Scorer of the winning goal in the last European Championships, Torres has got a taste for success and will be determined to achieve further glory. Since his move to Liverpool, Torres has performed on the biggest stages and become one of the worlds best. His goalscoring record at his club is simply phenomenal, add to that he does not take penalty duties and the statistics become even more impressive. If fit, once the World Cup begins, Torres is one of the players to watch.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Whilst it could be argued that Ronaldo is not your standard striker, his number 9 status at Real Madrid and the amount of goals he has managed to score in recent years means he can no longer realistically be classed as a winger.
A former World Player of the Year, Ronaldo has not yet quite managed to perform to his level on the international stage but such is his quality that he will surely have an impact this summer. His time to shine may just have come. As mentioned previously with all the great players, they all have many strings to their bow. Pace, skill, variety of goals, able to score goals from all areas of the pitch and assist the team in creating chances and goals for others. His free kick ability means even if kept quiet for the majority of a game, there is a chance he will still end as the match winner, producing that bit of class that stands him apart with the others as the best.
David Villa – As with the goalkeeper position, the inclusion of David Villa in this list along with Fernando Torres makes Spain a worthy favourite to lift the World Cup. From back to front their quality within the first eleven and in reserve is one difficult to match for the other nations. Fernando Torres is the perfect foil for David Villa, dragging defenders out of the penalty area for Villa to sneak in and grab the headlines. His international goal scoring record is fantastic, surpassing even that of Torres.
David Villa is simply a goal scorer, provide him with the chances and he will deliver, the type of player any team in search of trophies wishes to have in the ranks. With his likely arrival at Barcelona in the summer, one can only wonder how many goals he will score in a team that creates so many chances.
Wayne Rooney – To provide us all with a sense of optimism for the World Cup, it is important to include an Englishman in the list.
Wayne Rooney has just completed the best season of his professional career goalscoring wise and he is crucial to England’s chances of glory. He has been able to develop his goal scoring prowess, after never previously being classed as a natural goal scorer in the David Villa mould for example. Able to play in a variety of positions, Rooney brings the added passion and drive for success that all the best players retain.
Such is his status within the team, Rooney deals well with the pressure placed on his shoulders. Such is his importance to the team, Rooney gains a place in this list.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!