Let's pretend for a moment we have the wherewithal to create a Frankenstein's monster-like striker using the best attributes of the finest forwards going around in world football at present.
Which characteristics of say, Radamel Falcao, Sergio Aguero or Luis Suarez would you steal to build your uber-striker?
For the sake of this article we are going to exclude players who usually play as attacking wide men or false nines, such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and stick to those who regularly play as target men or advanced second strikers (like Suarez).
Cristiano and Leo are also excluded just because it would be too easy to combine those two freaks of nature to create the ultimate attacking weapon.
Also for the sake of this convenience we are going to call our imaginary forward a name: Nove Nueve.
The qualities being used to assemble Nove Nueve are physique, tenacity, striking instincts, shooting ability, ball control and footballing brains.
For pure athletic ability, the Colombian Falcao is the most blessed No. 9 around, and will therefore provide his body for our scientific experiment. He is quick, mobile, strong and is a supreme header of the ball.
He also has the flowing locks that have been the call sign of so many great forwards since the days of Mario Kempes. Nove Nueve's body, then, will be made up of 80 percent Falcao, plus 10 percent each of his Ligue 1 buddies Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to give him a few extra inches of height and a touch more power.
A slightly different attribute to striking instinct, here we are referring to the player's vision, creativity and ability to combine with teammates to unlock opposition defenses.
Though he is a natural No. 10, Francesco Totti has shown over the years that he is also a highly potent front man, and he is possessed of one of the most remarkable footballing minds going around. Nove Nueve's brain will be made up of 60 percent Totti, 20 percent Sergio Aguero and 20 percent Robin van Persie.
There are certain players who have such a burning desire to win that they will do almost anything for their team to achieve that goal. They are usually the guy you hate most on the other team, but if they happen to play for your boys, you will no doubt love their commitment and ability to take a game by the scruff of the neck through sheer bloody mindedness.
Nove Nueve's disposition is made up of 60 percent Luis Suarez, 20 percent Carlos Tevez and 20 percent Diego Costa.
The natural instinct that, as commentators love to say, "cannot be taught." Some players know exactly the right movements to make, the right place to stand and the right time to make their runs. They are also extremely good at putting the ball in the back of the net, no matter the tightness of the angle or lack of time and space available to them. We are mixing 50 percent Aguero and 50 percent van Persie here.
The ability to dribble past opponents or out of tight spaces is a massive weapon in a striker's arsenal. Mr. Nueve will need excellent close control. His dribbling skills will be half Dimitar Berbatov and half Aguero.
Such a critical skill for anybody who hopes to bag a lot of goals, there seem to be so few forwards who have really mastered the art of shooting at goal. Technique is vital, but factors such as confidence and rhythm are also so important. Nove Nueve's shot will contain a little bit of Hulk's power, Suarez and Ibrahimovic's knack of guiding the ball in from anywhere and Aguero and van Persie's accuracy.
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