Super Strikers: The 20 Leading Men Grabbing Goals in La Liga

Tim StannardContributor IAugust 23, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 03:  Karim Benzema #9 of Real Madrid  during the 2013 Guinness International Champions Cup soccer match against Everton at Dodger Stadium on August 3, 2013 in Los Angeles, California  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

There is a pleasing equation to goal-scoring records in La Primera. Fifty league strikes from a forward signifies that it was probably enough to win the title for his team. Twenty to 25 should be sufficiently impressive for a Champions League finish, while 15 to 20 will sneak a club into the Europa League.

Fifteen can help a small outfit stay up, while anything less than 10 from a forward ultimately leads to a long, struggling season.

Here is the list of La Liga’s poachers along with a target for a tally that they should reach. It is also an indication of the prospects of their respective clubs in the campaign to come. 


Almeria: Rodri

If the Primera newcomers are to have any chance of staying up after winning promotion to La Primera, then Rodri will need to be a crucial part of that success. Last season’s top scorer, Charles, was sold to Celta Vigo to leave survival largely in the shooting boots of the 23-year-old former Sevilla player. 

Rodri made a solid start last weekend in Almeria’s first game back by scoring the opener against Villarreal. Unfortunately, the defence let the Soria-born striker down by conceding three. That could happen a lot this year. 

Goal target: 10


Athletic Bilbao: Aritz Aduriz

With Fernando Llorente officially gone—the lofty forward was pretty much exiled to the bench last season, anyway—Ariz Aduriz will continue to lead the line for Athletic. The former Valencia forward may be getting a bit long in the tooth at 33 years old, but the Basque battler still scored 14 league goals last season. 

Goal target: 15


Atletico Madrid: David Villa

The Asturian’s wonderful effort against Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup showed that this formidable forward is still one of the best in the business. A broken leg and age gnawing away at bones and muscle may have slowed Villa, but the arrival of the Spanish international at Atletico has led to Radamel Falcao becoming a forgotten figure in the Vicente Calderon. 

Goal target: 20


Barcelona: Neymar

Technically speaking, Barcelona don’t have any proper, old-fashioned forwards in the squad. That idea is so 2007. Of course, Leo Messi is the footballer that the club are really looking to for goals, but Neymar is going to have to chip in a few to partly justify a hefty transfer fee. 

Goal target: 15


Betis: Ruben Castro

An utterly brilliant campaign from the Betis man saw Ruben Castro bang in 18 goals last year. Sadly, nobody seemed to notice too much, which is a shame considering it was a fine achievement for the 32-year-old. The Canary Islander is struggling with a back injury at the moment, so he may be slow off the blocks to repeat this feat for Betis in the new campaign. 

Goal target: 12


Celta Vigo: Charles

The incoming Charles is going to have to match the work done by the outgoing Iago Aspas, who left for Liverpool. That task is managing to score a heck of a lot of goals in the second division and keep the run up into La Primera. The former Almeria man knocked in 32 last season for the southern club. Celta have already seen a small part of the €1 million investment in the Brazilian being paid back with Charles scoring in last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Espanyol. 

Goal target: 11


Elche: Manu del Moral

Elche are another team who face a difficult challenge in staying up this season after storming to the second-division trophy last year. The club have brought in Manu del Moral, a footballer who looked so tasty up front for Getafe back in the day but promptly sank without a trace during two seasons at Sevilla. 

Goal target: 8


Espanyol: Thievy 

Whilst Euro 2008 winner Sergio Garcia is very much the big shot in the Espanyol forward line, Thievy is the one to watch. The 21-year-old Frenchman ticks the boxes of being raw and unpredictable, and has a lot to learn. However, a solid year on loan to Las Palmas in the second division last season sees the youth-team product returning for another shot in La Primera. 

Goal target: 9


Getafe: Miku

The club had enormous problems trying to find a functioning forward last season. That was partly because Miku had been loaned out to Celtic. Getafe boss Luis Garcia will be hoping that the Venezuelan striker can make it past double figures this season, an achievement that none of his other strikers look capable of coming vaguely close to managing. 

Goal target: 11


Granada: Piti

The Andalusian side have managed to end up with three fine forwards, but Piti looks like the best of the bunch. The 32-year-old had the season of his life last year, knocking in 18 goals for Rayo Vallecano. The forward’s contract ran out with the Madrid club, Granada came knocking and Piti gets another chance to have a superlative Primera campaign. 

Goal target: 12


Levante: David Barral

A tough year awaits Levante. Previous incarnations have included a formidable front man looking to turn around a stalling career. Felipe Caicedo, Kone and Obafemi Martins have all benefited from a season with the Valencia club before moving on.

This year, it is a Spaniard, David Barral, who is looking for redemption after a troubling time in the Turkish league with Orduspor. However, the Sporting striker simply does not have the finishing prowess of his predecessors. 

Goal target: 10 


Malaga: Roque Santa Cruz 

Malaga boss Bernd Schuster is still looking for another striker to help out Roque Santa Cruz, as the former Manchester City man is not capable of the sort of numbers required to put the southern side back into European contention. Whilst ever-willing and enthusiastic, the Paraguayan poacher falls into the category of being a scorer of great goals, rather than a great goalscorer.

Goal target: 9 


Osasuna: Oriol Riera

The Pamplona club have not had a decent striker for years. Last season’s top scorer, Kike Sola, left for Athletic Bilbao. Osasuna have dug around in the second division for inspiration and picked up Oriol Riera from Alcorcon, who knocked in 18 for the Madrid club last year. Even a half of that total for Osasuna in La Primera would be a decent return. 

Goal target: 9 


Rayo Vallecano: Alberto Bueno

The Vallecas club have lost an extraordinary amount of striking talent over the past two seasons. Michu, Diego Costa, Leo Baptistao and Piti have all been banging in the goals for Rayo but have been forced to move on.

Manager Paco Jemez has delved into La Liga’s archives again to dig out former Real Madrid youth-teamer Alberto Bueno. The hope that a brace against Elche in the footballer’s league debut will be followed by many more efforts, keeping up a fine striking tradition at the club. 

Goal target: 13


Real Madrid: Karim Benzema

A very big year awaits the French forward. With no Gonzalo Higuain about, a lot of pressure is riding on Benzema to finally deliver a huge, consistent, nonlazy, nonmooching-about campaign for Real Madrid. Unless the forward is sold and replaced by Gareth Bale, that is. 

Goal target: 25


Real Sociedad: Carlos Vela 

New arrival Haris Seferovic is the current talk of the town in San Sebastian, but Carlos Vela has been outstanding in two seasons at Real Sociedad. The classy second striker has knocked in 26 league goals in those campaigns and is on the brink of having a second crack at Champions League football after a spell with Arsenal. Arsene Wenger will be wondering of the Mexican is the prime poacher up front that got away. 

Goal target: 15


Sevilla: Kevin Gameiro

The sale of Sevilla’s forward line, as well as much of the midfield and defence, sees a new-look strike force. That is set to be led by former PSG forward Kevin Gameiro, a fine talent who was pushed aside by imports to the French club costing about €700 million. 

Sevilla have lost their way of late in the transfer market. Coach Unai Emery needs that trend to reverse and for Alvaro Negredo’s name to be quickly forgotten in the Sanchez Pizjuan. 

Goal target: 20 


Valencia: Helder Postiga

A very underrated forward over the years, Postiga is the chosen one to take over for Roberto Soldado, who left Spurs. Whilst the Portuguese poacher might struggle to reach the 25-goal mark at this stage in his career, there may still be enough petrol in the tank to push Valencia toward the team’s target of a top-four finish. 

Goal target: 15 


Valladolid: Javi Guerra

The Pucela club is one that relies on the whole team chipping in with goals, rather than putting all the work onto the shoulders of a single striker. Few changes in the Valladolid squad sees the 31-year-old up front once again and hoping to better a quiet campaign last year—one that produced just eight league goals from 30 appearances. 

Goal target: 10 


Villarreal: Giovani dos Santos

Dos Santos is an enigma, wrapped in a puzzle, jammed inside a really hard-to-open jar. The Mexican international began his career in a promising fashion at Barcelona before losing his way and heading off to Spurs. Spells at Ipswich Town, Galatasaray, Racing Santander and Mallorca followed with the forward being more successful on Spanish lands but unable to settle.

On his day, dos Santos is a match-changing marvel, as shown by a goal and an assist in Villarreal’s opening league win against Almeria. 

Goal target: 10