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The 9 Most Powerful Strikers in World Football

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistNovember 25, 2013

The 9 Most Powerful Strikers in World Football

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    The word "power" has many meanings, but what exactly does it mean when referring to footballers? 

    One of the many definitions of the word from Merriam-Webster is "a person or organization that has a lot of control and influence over other people or organizations." 

    Some other interpretations of the word in reference to football would describe a tall player with the ability to tower over everyone else or a very physical forward that could easily bowl through defenders. 

    By taking those definitions and other qualities into account, we picked the nine most powerful forwards in world football. 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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    There are plenty of words that could describe Paris Saint-Germain star Zlatan Ibrahimovic. 

    Those words include egotistical, freakish and, of course, powerful. 

    Everywhere the towering Swede has played, he has found success and earned the respect of fans despite his comments about his own talent. 

    Ibrahimovic has won a league championship in Holland, Italy, Spain and France while scoring over 20 goals in eight different seasons. 

    The only knock on the dominant 6'5" forward, who can score with every body part, is his failure to help Sweden qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. 

Lacina Traore

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    Any time a forward stands inches, and sometimes feet, above his competition, he demands a bit of power. 

    That is the case with Anzhi Makhachkala's Lacina Traore, who stands at 6'8". 

    Any time the former big spenders of the Russian Premier League earn a set piece, Traore becomes an instant threat because he does not have to scrap above others to put his head on the ball. 

    Although he does have some control when it comes to set piece opportunities in the air, the Ivorian is still a work in progress when it comes to having the ball at his feet. 

    That, and Anzhi's poor record in 2013, may explain why he scored just seven goals in league play last season and just five in the current campaign. 

Luis Suarez

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    No forward has influenced the play of his team more during the current English Premier League season than Luis Suarez

    The Liverpool marksman has netted nine goals in just seven appearances for the Merseyside club during the 2013-14 campaign. 

    Suarez also has the power to change a match due to his poor disciplinary record; just ask Ottman Bakaal or Branislav Ivanovic about that part of the Uruguayan's game. 

    Regardless of what he does in a single match, Suarez has the ability to change the course of it in a heartbeat, and for that reason as well he makes an appearance on this list. 

Diego Costa

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    Diego Costa's name easily slips your mind when talking about the best goalscorers in La Liga, but he is one of the best forwards right now in the Spanish top flight. 

    Costa has picked up where Radamel Falcao left off in the goal-scoring department for Atletico Madrid and his production has helped the club stay in the La Liga title discussion. 

    By scoring 14 goals, three fewer than current Pichichi leader Cristiano Ronaldo, Costa has accounted for 37 percent of his team's goals. 

    The Atletico Madrid forward has also scored at least two goals four times since August. 

Stefan Kiessling

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    Another player that has not received the attention he has deserved over the last 12 months is Bayer Leverkeusen's Stefan Kiessling. 

    The 29 year old, who stands at 6'3", has eight goals for the second-place team in the Bundesliga; a total that puts him behind Robert Lewandowski by one on the German goalscoring chart. 

    Not only is the German a threat in the air, but he can also deliver quality on the ground to find the back of the net as well. 

    With the ability to impact a match at any time, Kiessling has led Bayer Leverkeusen to second in Group A in the UEFA Champions League, just one point behind Manchester United with two games to play. 

Romelu Lukaku

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    At just 20 years of age, Romelu Lukaku has a reputation for being one of the most powerful forwards in the world. 

    The young Belgian made his mark on the EPL last season on loan at West Brom, and he is making the same type of impact on loan at Everton this season. 

    Lukaku can do whatever is asked of him on the offensive end as he is a strong header, free-kick taker and, of course, goalscorer. 

    When the current season ends, Lukaku's numbers may influence Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho to actually keep him at Stamford Bridge to become the next great game changer in West London. 

Christian Benteke

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    Everything that was said about Romelu Lukaku in the previous slide can be used to describe the play of his fellow Belgian, Christian Benteke

    Benteke, who was out injured for a month earlier this season, carried Aston Villa above the relegation zone toward the end of the 2012-13 campaign. 

    The 22 year old, who will partner in some dimension with Lukaku at the World Cup for Belgium, is a physical presence that hands any defenders he faces a 90-minute challenge. 

    Benteke does like to use his height to score with his head, but he also possesses plenty of finesse when the ball is at his feet to make him a complete player. 

Edinson Cavani

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    Buda Mendes/Getty Images

    On a PSG team filled with superstars, Edinson Cavani stands out for his ability to score goals at a very productive rate.

    When you look at the performance by the Uruguayan as a starter in Ligue 1, his four goals in nine starts do not impress you much.

    But, when you look at the power he has had off of the bench in the French top flight, it is quite impressive. 

    In four appearances as a substitute, Cavani has three goals for the Parisians. 

    If that statistic does not impress you, I could add in that he also has four goals in three UEFA Champions League matches this season too. 

    Not many forwards on this list are asked to play in a variety of roles, but Cavani has done that by lining up as a center forward and as a right winger, and despite his position changes, he still has the power to alter a match in an instant. 

Cristiano Ronaldo

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    There is absolutely no doubt that Cristiano Ronaldo is the most powerful player in world football at the moment.

    Ronaldo has found a new way to put fans in awe almost every week this season as he has scored an astounding 25 goals in 18 matches in all competitions. 

    The Portuguese attacker, who led Portugal to a victory in the UEFA World Cup qualifying playoffs over Sweden recently, has dominated everyone who has dared to stand his way and there are no signs of slowing down from the 28 year old. 

    Ronaldo has scored those 25 goals at the club level with Real Madrid in every way that is imaginable to the human mind. 

    The future Ballon d'Or winner has scored with his head, through a free kick, on a breakaway, and even in contained space for Los Blancos.

    If that isn't the full description of what a powerful forward should be, I'm not sure what is. 

     

    All statistics obtained via WhoScored.com.

    Follow me on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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