10 Hottest Scorers in World Football Right Now
Scorers are the glamor boys of world football. Goalkeepers and defenders are just as valuable to any team's success, but forwards, strikers, false nines, wingers and attacking midfielders tend to grab most of the attention because of their exploits in front of goal.
These 10 guys rank among the most prolific of the bunch. Some of them you know well, and some you've probably never heard of.
All of them, however, have shown red-hot scoring form lately.
Photo: Vaidotas Januška
Arturas Rimkevicius is a 29-year-old Lithuanian striker who plays for FK Siauliai in the Lithuanian A Lyga.
Haven't heard of him? He's scored 32 of Siauliai's 71 goals so far this season (which ends in November) and currently leads the race for the 2012-13 European Golden Shoe.
He even scored once in Siauliai's two-legged loss to Levadia Tallinn this season in UEFA Europa League qualifying.
Photo: Press Association
Waris Majeed is a 21-year-old Ghanaian striker who currently plays for BK Häcken and leads the Swedish Allsvenskan with 22 goals. The Swedish season, which ends in November, has four matches left, and Häcken are second in the table.
Majeed scored five goals in a league match against IFK Norrköping in May. This year he also made his full international debut with Ghana.
Majeed's goalscoring total has him second in the UEFA Golden Shoe race. His strong play has also led to speculation over a move to English powerhouse Chelsea (via talkSPORT).
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Tarmo Neemelo, seen here in a 2006 match against Northern Ireland, is a 30-year-old Estonian international striker who currently plays for JK Nomme Kalju. He is the top scorer for the Estonian champions-elect with 21 goals through 33 matches.
The season ends in November. His total currently places him third in the race for the European Golden Shoe.
By contrast, Neemelo has scored only once in 21 senior appearances for Estonia.
Henrik Mkhitaryan and Shakhtar Donetsk have started the season in great form. Mkhitaryan, a 23-year-old Armenian attacking midfielder, has scored 14 goals during Shakhtar's amazing run to 11 straight wins to start the season.
Shakhtar thus top the Ukrainian Premier League table with 33 points—already nine ahead of Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk—and Mkhitaryan is already fourth in the race for the European Golden Shoe.
Mkhitaryan also scored twice in Shakhtar's 2-0 victory over Nordsjaelland on Champions League Matchday 1.
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Chris Wondolowski, a 29-year-old American international forward, leads Major League Soccer with 25 goals this season for the San Jose Earthquakes. The next best total belongs to Real Salt Lake's Alvaro Saborio with 17.
Wondolowski has also registered seven assists this season.
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In addition to (sort of) sharing a name with one of the greatest rock-and-roll frontmen of all time, 23-year-old Ivorian striker Bonno Wilfried is currently enjoying the most impressive scoring run in Holland.
Wilfried has scored eight goals this season for Vitesse Arnhem. That total is tied for most in the Eredivisie with AZ Alkmaar's American international Jozy Altidore, but Wilfried has been hotter of late.
Wilfried (alternately known as Wilfried Bony) has scored in five straight league games, including a hat trick against Heerenveen his last time out (Oct. 6).
Not coincidentally, Vitesse Arnhem have climbed to third in the table, three points behind leaders FC Twente.
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OK, enough with the obscure names. It's time for the superstars to get their due.
Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 31, transferred from AC Milan to nouveau riche French club Paris Saint-Germain over the summer. The transfer did nothing to slow down Ibra's scoring habits.
One season after scoring 35 goals in all competitions for Milan, Ibrahimovic has already scored nine Ligue 1 goals in seven matches this campaign. He has also scored once in the Champions League.
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Colombian striker Radamel Falcao is quickly becoming the hottest name in the world football transfer market. It's easy to see why.
Falcao, 26, scored twice in the UEFA Europa League final last May. He followed that with a hat trick against Athletic Bilbao in the league early this season—and then another hat trick in a rout of Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup.
Through six league matches, Falcao has led Atletico Madrid to a tie atop the La Liga table with eight goals. He has scored 11 goals in all competitions.
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What? You thought we'd leave out Lionel Messi? No chance.
Messi, who is still only 25, set a world record with 73 goals in all competitions last season. He's back at it this time with eight goals in seven league matches and 12 strikes in all competitions (a run of 11 games).
The Argentine international recently scored both of Barcelona's goals in an exciting 2-2 draw with Real Madrid. That match featured another in-form goalscorer, as we'll see…
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Portuguese international Cristiano Ronaldo, 27, also scored twice in the 2-2 draw between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Ronaldo registered back-to-back hat tricks immediately before that El Clasico, scoring thrice each against Deportivo La Coruña (in La Liga) and Ajax (in the Champions League).
Ronaldo's brace in El Clasico marked the final game in a five-match personal scoring stretch. The streak was snapped in Portugal's loss to Russia last week in World Cup qualifying.
Through seven league matches this season for Real Madrid, Ronaldo has scored eight times. He has 14 goals in all competitions (11 matches).
Sad or not, Ronaldo just can't seem to stop scoring.