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Top 10 strikers of the past 10 years in world soccer


It’s always a curious debate as to who the best striker in the world is right now and who has been over the past decade? Below is a list of the best strikers of the past 10 years. To get this list I have looked at games played compared to goals scored and also what the individual player has achieved and won in this time.

Just to make things clear this list does not contain Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. We know without doing any research that these two players would fill the top two spots and that they have scored an incredible amount of goals in the last decade. What these two have done has been extraordinary. However, they are not classic center forwards, they are attacking midfielders, who can change the game in a second. True, Messi has sometimes been pushed further up the field, but his most comfortable position has been drifting in from the wing and playing just behind the striker.

The same can be said of Ronaldo, especially at his days with Manchester United where he was a winger.

So let’s proceed with the list.

10. Mario Mandzukic

Mandzukic’s career kicked off in Croatia and he started to find goals early with his second club Dinamo Zagreb. A move to Wolfsburg yielded 20 goals in 56 league appearances and then he got his big move to Bayern Munich.

In two seasons he won eight trophies, including the Champions League and the Bundesliga and scored 48 goals in 88 appearances. He then made a big summer move in 2014 to Spanish champions Atletico Madrid.

9. Radamel Falcao

Although the Colombian is struggling to regain a place at Manchester United, Falcao has easily been one of the best center forwards in the past decade.

He started his career at River Plate and has played for Porto, Atletico Madrid and Monaco, winning many titles which included two Europa League titles.

He will forever be remembered in the 2010/11 season where he scored 18 goals in 16 appearances in Europe. For Porto and Atletico Madrid he played 178 times scoring 142 goals.

8. Carlos Tevez

Unless you’re a West Ham United fan, Tevez probably won’t be remembered too fondly in England.

The Argentinian played for both Manchester United and Manchester City before cutting his ties with both and joining Italians Juventus.

In the last decade he has played 299 times and scored 143 goals and won the Champions League and league championships with both Manchester clubs and Juventus. At Juventus he has scored 46 goals in 84 appearances and has reinvented himself.

7. Fernando Torres

It’s easy to look at Torres especially after his £50m move to Chelsea from Liverpool and wonder what he is doing in a top 10 list, especially when he failed so miserably at Chelsea.

However, at both Atletico Madrid and Liverpool, Torres was a goalscoring machine. His debut season at Liverpool where he scored 33 goals in 46 matches is one of the best ever by a foreign player. He went on to score 65 goals in 102 league matches for them.

Honors wise Torres has won almost everything. A World Cup, two European Championships, the Champions League and the FA Cup.

6. Wayne Rooney

Apart from his early move from boyhood club Everton, Rooney has been a constant in the Manchester United side for over a decade. And what a player he has been.

He has won 12 trophies with United, including five league titles and a Champions League. Rooney has scored 158 goals in 303 league appearances in the last decade.

He is also on course to break the England national record of 49 goals, being just three goals short.

5. Thomas Muller

The young German has taken the mantle from the likes of Jurgen Klinsmann and Oliver Bierhoff before him and is one of the most intelligent strikers in world football.

He has scored 136 goals in 262 league appearances in the past decade and his goals have usually been the important ones.

He’s a Bayern Munich player through and through and has won 11 trophies, including three doubles and a Champions League at just 25 years old. We shouldn’t forget he is a World Cup winner too.

4. Luis Suarez

Often controversial but supremely gifted, Suarez is a goal machine and has proven in his first season at Barcelona that he has another part to his game, able to hold up play and let in other players.

Suarez scored many goals for Ajax, but it was in the Premier League where Suarez made a name for himself with Liverpool. In four seasons he netted 82 goals in 133 matches.

He certainly needs to fill up that trophy cabinet, but who can bet against him correcting that at Barcelona? Though he did win the Copa America in 2011 with Uruguay and jointly shared the European Golden shoe for the most goals with Cristiano Ronaldo in 2014.

3. David Villa

Simply an outstanding player, perhaps overshadowed by the greatness of Messi at Barcelona, but when Villa scored the heavens would applaud. His goals were usually a thing of beauty.

At Valencia he scored 128 goals in 217 appearances but it was his last two seasons where he scored 58 goals in 85 games that convinced Barcelona to buy him.

At Barcelona he scored 48 goals in 116 appearances, including a peach of a goal in the 2011 Champions League final.

Villa has won it all, including the Champions League, league titles with Barca and Atletico Madrid, three Copa del Rey’s and for the national team a World Cup and a European Championship.

2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

If Ibrahimovic plays for you then you usually win the league. The deadly Swede has won 11 league titles, though two of these were revoked when at Juventus, following the Calciopoli scandal.

Ibrahimovic likes to score goals though and in the last decade he has banged in 195 goals in 300 games. He has scored consistently for the likes of Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan and PSG.

The towering striker helped PSG win their first title in 19 years and has scored an incredible 99 goals in 121 games for them.

1. Samuel Eto’o

The Cameroonian striker was offloaded by Real Madrid at one point but has proved to be the best striker of the past 10 years.

Scoring 153 league goals in 261 games for a range of some of the biggest clubs on the European stage.

Eto’o was part of perhaps the greatest Barcelona side the 2008/09 team, who won six out of six trophies, scoring 30 goals that season in the league from 36 games.

After winning the Champions League with Barcelona he joined Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan and in stunning form went on to win the Champions League again the following year.


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  1. Hans Peter

    April 23, 2020 at 10:47 am

    No Messi or Ronaldo!?!?

  2. frankline

    March 11, 2016 at 5:09 am

    mandzukic and falcoa!!!! seriously???

  3. vincent juma

    December 28, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    I strongly support the list and highly appreciate you for your time and thinking while making that list.

  4. Arsh Arora

    July 10, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    It is not easy to find intelligent articles or lists out there these days but this was certainly well-written and backed with evidence. It’s hard to disagree with your list.

    Now that Suarez has won the treble at Barcelona, and will continue to shine there for another 3-4 years alongside Messi and Neymar, I have positive expectations for him.

  5. keraj

    July 9, 2015 at 9:00 am

    This list is utter garbage.

  6. March

    March 27, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Is Hulk the best striker of the past ten years not to play in England, Spain, Italy, France, or Germany?

  7. David Bronstein

    March 27, 2015 at 5:09 am

    Hi, thanks for your comment. I based the top 10 on games to goals ratios for the last 10 years and also trophies won. Mandzukic’s goals ratio is better than Aguero and Drogba’s. Indeed when accounting for Aguero he barely made the top 15. Of course he is a fantastic player and perhaps his best years are still ahead of him.

    As for Drogba, when you look at his stats for Chelsea he only had 2 very good seasons goal wise, in 2006/07 and 2009/10. Still an incredibly important player for Chelsea of course and was arguably the main reason that Chelsea won the Champions League. It was a tough list to make, there’s a lot of great strikers out there.

  8. dan

    March 27, 2015 at 12:02 am

    mandzukic over drogba and aguero?

    • Tayo

      March 27, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      Alas, no Drogba or Aguero but you included Mandzukic? Common!

      • David Bronstein

        March 28, 2015 at 3:38 pm

        I’ve replied to this below.
        Thank you.

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