Building the World's Best Striker
Building the world's perfect striker involves taking aspects of different players' game and mixing them together.
This slideshow presents my ideal goalscoring concoction, taking into account finishing, speed, strength, touch, composure and more.
I've only used players who are currently still in the game, and most are still playing right at the top level.
Hopefully your opinion will differ, as in this case it is very much to each their own. Don't hesitate to share your perfect striker in the comments below.
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We kick off with what many people consider to be the most important part of a striker's game—finishing.
In truth, the most important part of a centre-forward's job is to stick the ball in the back of the net, and Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero finishes as proficiently as anyone.
His goal return has always been phenomenal, and he's developed a knack of scoring ridiculously important goals in clutch moments. QPR will testify.
Touch and Control
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If you're not an out-and-out poacher and channel-runner like Sergio Aguero, you need close control in order to use the ball well for your team.
No striker has a classier touch than Zlatan Ibrahimovic in world football, and the Paris Saint-Germain forward continues to astound us with his outrageous confidence and deft flicks.
The Swede is certainly not the fastest, so holding the ball and bringing teammates into play is one of his primary jobs. It's almost impossible to get the ball off him.
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Radamel Falcao could be selected for multiple facets of this "dream striker," but I've opted to take his heading ability over anything else he offers.
He's not the tallest—5'10'' to be exact—so it's remarkable, given his size, that he scores so many headed goals against defences housing six-foot-something monsters.
Here's one of his best and most important headers, the winner in the 2011 UEFA Europa League final against Braga.
Technique and Dribbling
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Is there anyone else?
Lionel Messi possesses some absolutely insane dribbling skills and is able to keep the ball on the end of his boot even at full speed.
When it comes to long-range shooting and threading ambitious through-balls to his wide forwards at Barcelona, there's almost no rival.
The technique Messi shows when wrapping his left foot around the ball is crazy.
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There are plenty of strikers out there who can hold their nerve both in possession and in front of goal, so there are several options here.
I've opted for Alessandro Del Piero, who could keep his cool in a furnace.
The composure he shows, either in the box or hovering over a set piece, goes to show just how confident he was of finding the net throughout his glittering career.
Top Speed and Acceleration
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Of any striker cultured at the top level, Theo Walcott has the most impressive top speed, burst and acceleration.
When the Arsenal forward sees the green grass ahead and sets off, there's absolutely nothing you can do to stop him.
While the former Southampton product struggles in confined or closed spaces, combining his speed with the aforementioned traits would surely bring out the whites in defenders' eyes.
Strength and Poise
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Strength is a commodity that's losing its value in a game moving toward accommodating smaller, niftier players.
But it still goes a long way toward breaking an all-important deadlock. For evidence of that, see Scotland's stout resistance to Belgium's mercurial football for 70 minutes on Tuesday, Oct. 16.
What won it? A good old-fashioned Christian Benteke far-post header, followed by a Vincent Kompany rocket.
Cristiano Ronaldo has strength that belies his frame. While he's far from skinny, it's surprising to see a player this size generate so much power so easily.
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To go up against a striker who's agile, who you just can't quite get a hold of, is a defender's nightmare.
Agility goes a long to making a brilliant striker, and we've seen many slippery customers come and go in our beautiful game.
In his prime (we're talking Real Madrid here), Robinho was just ridiculous. He was almost impossible to track, tough to tackle successfully and you couldn't even foul him without him slithering away.
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What use is all this skill if the player can't be bothered to move? There are several players throughout history who wasted their abundance of talent because they were not willing to fight for their team.
Among any elite forward, you have to say the desire and tenacity Carlos Tevez shows when off the ball is refreshing.
For a consistent number of years, the Argentinian striker has worked his socks off for his team, be it domestic or international level, and provides vital turnovers of possession in favour of his team.