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Ranking the five best strikers in world football right now

Karim Benzema produced another match-winning moment for Real Madrid this week, scoring the decisive goal against Chelsea to book the Spanish side’s place in the Champions League semi-finals.

Benzema’s winner came after scoring consecutive hat-tricks in his previous two Champions League appearances and the 34-year-old is enjoying arguably the best season of his career at the Bernabeu this term.

 

Following the Frenchman’s latest showing, we’ve ranked the five best strikers in world football right now.

5. Erling Haaland

Even in a season that has been disrupted with fitness issues this term, Erling Haaland has continued to find the back of the net at a rate of almost a goal-per-game.

The Norwegian has been nothing short of sensational since his emergence at Red Bull Salzburg, breaking goalscoring records on an almost weekly basis to emerge as the most coveted talent in the world game.

Haaland’s hulking frame, blistering speed and ruthless instinct around goal are a potent combination and the winner in the race to sign the 21-year-old – Manchester City are believed to be front runners – will have a goalscoring machine on which to rely upon for the next decade.

Haaland has 23 goals in 25 games for Borussia Dortmund this season and 80 in 84 since his arrival at the Bundesliga side. It’s an utterly absurd ratio for any footballer, let alone one who doesn’t turn 22 until the summer and has the frightening potential to get even better.

4. Harry Kane

Harry Kane’s game has evolved to such extent that it’s difficult to categorise the England captain, who has developed into an archetypal number nine and deep-lying creative ten rolled into one.

Kane won the Premier League’s Golden Boot for a third time last season and continues to score at an impressive rate, scoring 22 goals in all competitions this season and rising to fifth among the Premier League’s all-time record goalscorers.

The passing range the 28-year-old has exhibited in recent seasons has made Kane an even more dangerous proposition, however, with Son Heung-Min having been the main beneficiary of the vision that saw the forward lead the Premier League for assists in 2020/21.

Kane’s creative qualities rival that of midfield playmaker and his multi-faceted talents could prolong his time at the top of the game as he chases Alan Shearer’s divisional goals record.

3. Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe’s ascent to a status as the world’s finest footballer has shown few signs of slowing, the forward remaining Paris Saint-Germain’s leading light even after the arrival of Lionel Messi.

Having featured across the front line for much of his time in Paris, Mbappe’s best football has come in a central role with the 23-year-old having provided 36 goals and assists in just 25 starts from a central position in all competitions this season.

Mbappe leads Ligue 1 for both goals and assists in 2021/22, with only Karim Benzema bettering his return of 34 goal involvements in one of Europe’s top five leagues so far this season.

At his best there is arguably no player who appears more unstoppable than Mbappe, a footballer who possesses extraordinary explosiveness, rapid footwork and captivating confidence in possession.

His expected departure on a free transfer this summer will be a seismic blow to PSG, who will be losing one of the game’s greatest talents for nothing.

2. Karim Benzema

Benzema’s brilliance booked Real Madrid’s place in the Champions League semi-finals this week and continues to fire the Spanish side towards success this season.

It’s now 38 goals in all competitions during a career-best campaign for the France international, who has proven decisive on the biggest stage with back-to-back European hat-tricks against PSG and Chelsea.

His treble at Stamford Bridge was the perfect demonstration of this version of Benzema, one who has shouldered the responsibility at Real Madrid since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure.

Benzema’s first goal showed delicate link-up and an audacious headed finish, before his movement and subtly saw a second header guided into the far corner.

His third came after pressing the Chelsea backline into a mistake and there is arguably no more complete centre-forward in the game right now than Benzema, who leads La Liga for both goals and assists.

1. Robert Lewandowski

For all the differing traits that the likes of Benzema and Kane bring to the game, the currency for a centre-forward’s worth is primarily goals and no footballer in world football is a richer source than Robert Lewandowski.

Lewandowski’s numbers are mind-boggling. He has scored 40+ goals in seven straight seasons at Bayern Munich and now ranks as both the club’s and Bundesliga’s second-highest scorer of all time.

Having broken Gerd Muller’s single season record with 41 league goals last season, Lewandowski is now in pursuit of the German’s all-time Bundesliga record and is now just 56 from equalling the legendary Muller’s landmark.

The 34-year-old has averaged a goal every 99 minutes across his Bundesliga career and since the start of the 2019/20 season has scored 150 goals in just 128 appearances across all competitions for Bayern.

It’s 47 for the season and counting for the Poland captain, who is set to send more records tumbling in the coming campaigns.

Read – You’re having a laugh! – Five of the most notorious excuses in Premier League history

Read Also – Five January signings who made an immediate impact in the Premier League

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