FIFA World Cup 2010: Top 10 Forwards to Look Out For
Previously, I had listed the top 10 midfielders, which was an easier job than ranking forwards.
It's also difficult to categorize wingers, and I've considered those wingers who play more like a forward with an eye for the goal.
Selecting the top two forwards was a piece of cake, but as the list progressed, it got tougher and tougher to rank one above the other.
There are different genres of strikers, but the ultimate goal is to deposit the ball back in the net.
We have all types of strikers on this list. Let's have a look at them.
10. Carloz Tevez
Tevez was brilliant for Manchester City in the 2009-10 season. He scored goals at will and made Ferguson look stupid.
Along with Messi, he's going to be a mainstay in Argentina's attack with goals expected to flow from Tevez's boot if he continues his good-form.
Tevez is a power-packed striker versatile enough to play at different positions.
His pace enables him to run past any defense with ease. He likes to hassle and harry opponents with his quick runs.
He's a workhorse and possesses bundles of energy. He's a nifty finisher as well.
One of the potential Golden Boot winners.
9. Luis Fabiano
Fabiano has no World Cup experience but could shine in his debut.
His international record is enviably good with a spectacular goal-scoring ratio. He will be the one leading Brazil's attacking line.
Although he was a failure at Rennes and FC Poto, his performances for Sevilla are noteworthy.
His on-field conduct has earned him a bad reputation, but he's a powerful striker with a thunderous finish.
He can score goals and could go on to claim the Golden Boot.
8. Robin Van Persie
Robin Van Persie is a versatile attacker capable of playing anywhere along the front-line.
He's bestowed with brilliant ball control and first-touch.
He started off as a left-winger but now plays both as the lone-striker and second-striker.
He's a lethal dribbler who can easily beat players on the dribble. He prefers to play in the hole and has great vision.
He's a free-kick expert, too, with a superb left-foot.
He lacks heading ability, but apart from that his game is flawless.
He is the mainstay in the Netherlands attack and is a contender for the Golden Boot with the Dutch expected to reach the last four.
7. Arjen Robben
Robben is primarily a winger but his style resembles that of a forward.
His career took an upturn since joining Bayern Munich and he looks like a complete package now.
He now has more goals than ever and might play a vital role in Holland's title surge.
Robben's blistering speed is a problem for any kind of defense.
He can do almost anything with the ball on his feet. Amazing dribbling skills, ball control, and inch-perfect crosses are the strong points in his game.
He likes to beat players on the dribble and sometimes does one too many.
He's also a danger from set pieces. He can play on both wings but likes the right flank more, as he can cut-in to aim at the goal with his favored left-foot.
His long-range shooting technique is clear to one and all after firing in glorious goals from a long distance in the 2010 Champions League games that were vital for Bayern reaching the final.
6. David Villa
David Villa is one of the most feared strikers in Europe.
While talking about Villa, the first thing should be about his exquisite finishing.
He is a natural goal-scorer who always knocks at the door and creates openings for himself.
Villa's game is all about composed finishing and a multitude of goals.
He's equally strong on his weaker foot, if there's one.
Some strikers are labeled as predators, and Villa epitomizes the role of a predator in the best possible way.
In South Africa, Brilliant Villa will most likely feature on the top half of the goal-chart with a pretty good chance of picking the Golden Boot.
5. Fernando Torres
Torres will be ready to start alongside David Villa for Spain after shrugging off his injury problems in time.
The 2006 World Cup was a dream debut for Torres as he scored three goals in four games.
He hasn't had a memorable 2009-10 season for Liverpool, though.
Torres is a complete striker. His composure in front of the goal is second to none.
He likes to beat defenders one-on-one and possesses great technique.
He's brilliant in the air too. His pace, coupled with the aforementioned skills, makes him one of the most deadly strikers.
He's a strong contender for the Golden Boot and Spain has been widely touted as the clear favorite.
4. Didier Drogba
This is possibly Drogba's last World Cup and he would like to finish off in style.
Although Ivory Coast is not expected to string together upsets, Drogba can singlehandedly lift them to a knockout berth.
Drogba is the last word in physical game.
His gigantic build and power makes him unplayable.
He must play as the lone striker for Ivory Coast where he can excel the most.
He has had a remarkably good season with Chelsea and ended up as the top scorer in the Premiership.
3. Wayne Rooney
Rooney hasn’t scored a single goal in the World Cup after making his debut at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
That won't be the case this time around, though.
The 2009-10 season was the best of his career, and he would obviously like to carry on his good form into the World Cup.
Rooney's game is all about power and aggression coupled with a lethal shot.
He has worked hard on his headers and now appears like a complete striker.
He can easily fit anywhere along the frontline. This type of striker is ideal to take up the role of a lone-forward.
His work rate is high and he drops back to midfield occasionally to help out with the defensive work.
Rooney is expected to shine in the World Cup and is a strong candidate for the Golden Boot with England expected to make it into the final four.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo started off as a winger but soon transformed into a second striker.
Ronaldo's game is all about trickeries and pace with an amazing ability to shoot from the tightest of angles.
He is a master in long-range free kicks and has a amazing scoring ratio from free kicks.
His heading prowess is also worth a mention, which makes him a complete player.
Ronaldo's recent transfer to Real Madrid has been a huge success for both parties, although the Madrid club failed to win silverware.
However, Portugal isn't expected to reach the final laps and may go out early in the tournament, so it remains to be seen how Ronaldo can inspire his team to surprising levels.
Portugal must also make sure that Ronaldo is given the freedom to play his own game.
He likes a free role, and if Portugal tries to restrict him to the wings, it will turn out to be a disaster.
1. Lionel Messi
Messi might have been spectacular for Barcelona, but for Argentina, he hasn’t really fired up until now. But now is the time to make amends.
One couldn't get a bigger stage than the World Cup to prove his worth.
Recently, Maradona "threatened" to run naked if Argentina goes on to win the tournament.
I am not sure whether Maradona believes his team can do it. But a good World Cup for Messi could force Maradona to strip.
Messi prefers wings and he isn't comfortable playing as a striker.
Messi's game is all about technique, ball control, and dribbles. He can split open any defense with his mesmerizing dribbling skills.
Although a left-footed player, Messi prefers playing on the right wing and cutting-in on his left foot to shoot from a fairly long distance.
He scored more than 40 goals for Barcelona this season and if he can emulate that form while playing for Argentina, Maradona and Co. could lift the Cup and we could see a naked show.
It was a difficult job picking 10 forwards and ranking them.
I had also considered Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon), Diego Milito (Argentina), Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina), and Nickolas Anelka (France).
Samuel Eto'o was pretty close but he isn't the same player that he once was, and Cameroon isn't going anywhere in the tournament, so he will not have much of an impact.
Milito had been an unknown commodity before joining Inter Milan, but he has established himself in a spectacular fashion.
However, one good season isn't enough to include him amongst the best, although he's a man to watch out for in this edition.
This list also indicates why teams like Italy and France are going to struggle. Both these teams are lacking quality in the final third.