Top 10 Modern Football Strikers That Have Retired
The Qualities of Best Strikers
Strikers are probably the most exciting players to watch in the game of football. So what makes a striker great?
For me, they usually exude the following qualities:
- Predatory instinct in front of goal
- Great dribbler
- Ability to convert chances to goals
- Big time match scorer
- Great technical skills
- Ability to inspire teammates
When a striker has the above abilities, they become extraordinary. Here are the top 10 modern forwards that have recently retired.
Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima
Ronaldo is also known as "The Phenomenon". He is a popular Brazilian footballer in the 1990s to 2000. He is well known for his dribbling skills and scoring spectacular goals. He is also one of the three men to have won FIFA Player of the World Award three times alongside Zinedine ZIdane and Lionel Messi.
He also holds the record of the highest goal scorer in the history of the World Cup with 15 goals. His most memorable time was his time at Barcelona, where he plundered in 47 goals in 49 games in all competitions. His performance lit up a lot of fans in the Spanish League as well as around the world.
The highlight of his career was when he won the 2002 World Cup with the Brazil national team.
Dennis Bergkamp is a Dutch forward that played most of his career at Arsenal FC. Bergkamp is well known for having superb technique. He has the silkiest touches and very elegant on the ball. He is quoted by Thierry Henry as being a "dream teammate" to have. As he has a fear of flying, he is limited to only traveling by land or sea. As a result, he could not play in matches that could only be played by flying.
He has been voted Dutch Footballer of the Year twice. He has scored a total of 87 goals in 315 matches for Arsenal. While it might not look at that impressive, he is actually a very good team player, and he also provides goals for his teammates. He is very good at creating opportunities for his teammates.
Gabriel Batistuta is an Argentine footballer well known for clinical finishing, heading and excellent free-kick skills. He is the most complete striker that every team could dream of. He holds the top scoring record for Argentine national team. He has plundered in 56 goals in 78 international matches. That is outstanding. He played his club football in Fiorentina and scored 168 goals in 269 matches and he is the club's all time top scorer.
He also had success with Argentina, where he won the Copa America twice in 1991 and 1993.
Brian Laudrup is a Danish footballer that played alongside Peter Schmeichel during the great Danish team that was assembled in the 1990s. He is well known for winning the Euro 1992 and 1995 Intercontinental Cup tournaments with the Danish national team. He also has an older brother Michael Laudrup. He is a big game player. This is highlighted during his time with Rangers on the 1996 Scottish Cup Final, where he scored two and setup three goals has since made Rangers fans call the game the "Laudrup Final".
He scored 21 goals in 81 games for the Danish national team. While his strike rate is not great, he scored goals when it mattered, which is an attribute for being a great player.
George Weah is a Liberian footballer. In 1995 he was named FIFA World Player of the World, African Footballer for the Year and European Footballer of the Year. That is a tremendous achievement for a soccer player.
His most memorable time was with Paris Saint-Germain, where he lead the team to French and Ligue Cup victories. He was also the Champions League top scorer that year (1994-1995). He plundered in 32 goals in 96 games for PSG. He is also Liberia national team's top scorer with 22 goals in 60 international games. A truly remarkable achievement for a country not known for football.
Hugo Sánchez is a Mexican footballer that is known as "pentapichichi". He has had tremendous success with Real Madrid, scoring 164 goals in 207 matches for them. He won 5 La Liga titles with Real Madrid, which is a big achievement. What is even better is that he is the La Liga's top scorer for 5 consecutive seasons. That is consistency at its finest. His trademark celebration is a somersault, which does provide some entertainment value.
He is also a regular scorer for the Mexican national team. He plundered in 29 goals in 58 games for El Tri.
Jürgen Klinsmann is a German footballer who had an illustrious career. He has played for a lot of clubs during his time. He scored a total of 232 goals in 513 competitive matches, which is a good ratio for a forward. He is well known for being a clinical finisher in front of goal.
He is also a regular German national team player during his time. He scored a total of 47 goals in 107 matches for Germany. He is only surpassed by Miroslav Klose and the great Gerd Muller. He has won the 1990 FIFA World Cup and the 1996 European Championships. That is a great achievement for any soccer player.
Christian Vieri is an Italian footballer well known for powerful strikes and great heading ability. Just like some of the footballers listed here, he is a football nomad, moving and playing for different clubs. He is Italy's highest scorer in the World Cup with 9 goals in 9 matches. Although he did not win anything with the national team, he is still a great player.
His most prolific season was with Atlético Madrid, which he scored 24 goals in 24 matches for them. That is impressive. His longest stay in a club was with Inter Milan. He scored a total of 103 goals in 143 matches for them. He has won the Italian Footballer of the Year twice in 1999 and 2002. He also holds the record for scoring the most headers in the Italian league.
Eric Cantona is a French footballer well known for his kung fu kick on a fan in a Manchester United soccer match. His nickname is "King Eric" among Manchester United fans and also a legendary icon. Not only is he an influential player, he had a knack for scoring in big matches as well. He has won four English Premier League titles with Manchester United, and scored 64 goals in 143 matches for them.
His record with the French national team was a love-hate affair. He was banned from the French national team after the assault of a fan and as a result missed a lot of chances to play for them. He, however, still manages to score 20 goals in 45 matches for them.
Romário is a Brazilian footballer that won a host of national honors with Brazil. He has scored over 1000 goals in his entire career, an achievement that only Puskas and Pele have. Although some argue that his goals included unofficial matches. He played most of his career in Brazil. He has won the 1994 World Cup, 2 Copa Americas, and was named FIFA World Player of the Year award in 1994.
His most memorable stint was with Vasco da Gama in 2000-2002, scoring 41 goals in 46 matches for them. His skills on and off the ball is excellent, comparable to his compatriot Ronaldo.
There you have it. These players are great inspiration for fellow footballers. Perhaps you might not agree with me on some of these selections, I do believe they are great footballers in my opinion. If you do not agree with me, comment below and let me know who should be included and why. Thanks for reading.
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