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Introduction

When debating who’s the best player in world soccer, people have too many options. Though the conversation is often reduced to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, some may also include midfielders, defenders or even goalkeepers among their choices.

That’s why people sometimes prefer to ask who’s the best in each position, as it’s difficult to compare players with completely different roles on the pitch. Here, we’ll take a look at the ten best male strikers in the world based on their performances in the last two seasons.

Top 10 Best Strikers in the World

Judging by the amount of goals scored in the last couple of seasons, their implication in their teams successes and other reasons (such as their consistency, fame and importance in their squad) why they can be considered as such, these are the current top 10 strikers in world soccer:

10. Diogo Jota (last 2 seasons):

  • Club/national team: Liverpool and Portuguese national team
  • Goals: 43
  • Assists: 13
  • Minutes played: 1,763' (2020-21); 3,572’ (2021-22)
  • Minutes per goal: 136’ (2020-21); 170’ (2021-22)
  • Titles won: 1 FA Cup, 1 EFL Cup
  • Individual awards: None.

Having joined Liverpool from Wolves in a shocking €44m deal in September 2020, it didn’t take long for Diogo Jota to prove Jurgen Klopp right. With 13 goals in 30 appearances in his first season at Anfield, the Portuguese forward became a dependable option up front despite not being an outright No. 9.

Though Jota’s natural position is winger, he looked comfortable when playing as striker in a front three with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane by his side. In his second year with Liverpool, Jota recorded 21 goals in 55 games.

9. Dusan Vlahovic (last 2 seasons):

  • Club/national team: Fiorentina, Juventus and Serbian national team
  • Goals: 55
  • Assists: 9
  • Minutes played: 3,090’ (2020-21); 3,680’ (2021-22)
  • Minutes per goal: 147’ (2020-21); 127’ (2021-22)
  • Titles won: None
  • Individual awards: 21/22 Coppa Italia top goalscorer.

Having made fantastic progress as Fiorentina’s hitman, Dusan Vlahovic caught the eye of multiple European giants before Juventus secured his signature for €81 million in January 2022. During his time in Florence, the Serbian striker scored an impressive 49 goals in 108 appearances.

The 22-year-old sensation scored 20+ league goals in the last two seasons, recording 21 goals for Fiorentina throughout the 2020-21 Serie A before extending his tally to 24 goals the following year—only three shy of the season’s top-scorer, Ciro Inmobile.

8. Romelu Lukaku (last 2 seasons):

  • Club/national team: Inter, Chelsea and Belgian national team
  • Goals: 60
  • Assists: 14
  • Minutes played: 3,565’ (2020-21); 2,748’ (2021-22)
  • Minutes per goal: 119’ (2020-21); 183’ (2021-22)
  • Titles won: 1 FIFA Club World Cup, 1 Serie A
  • Individual awards: 2021 Serie A player of the season, FIFA Clubs World Cup top goalscorer.

Though his return to Chelsea for the 2021-22 season didn’t go according to plan, Romelu Lukaku is undoubtedly a world-class striker. In fact, his position on this list would have been higher if he had had a better performance last season. However, his production during the 2020-21 campaign has been remarkable.

With 24 league goals to his name (five behind that season’s top scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo), Lukaku fired Inter Milan to a long-awaited Serie A success in 2021, beating stiff competition from AC Milan and Napoli. That would convince Chelsea to bring him back in the summer, and although it didn’t work out, Lukaku still recorded two crucial goals to help the Blues secure the FIFA Club World Cup.

7. Ciro Immobile (last 2 seasons):

  • Club/national team: Lazio and Italian national team
  • Goals: 61
  • Assists: 15
  • Minutes played: 3,299’ (2020-21); 3,357’ (2021-22)
  • Minutes per goal: 132’ (2020-21); 105’ (2021-22)
  • Titles won: 1 UEFA Euro
  • Individual awards: 21/22 Serie A top goalscorer.

Ciro Inmobile joined Lazio in the summer of 2016, and the Italian team didn’t have to worry about its goal scoring production since then. Having recorded more than 180 goals with the Lazio outfit, Inmobile has been continuously called up to represent Italy.

Inmobile was particularly prolific over the last two seasons. After racking up 20 goals in the 2020-21 campaign, he won the 2021-22 Serie A golden boot by recording 27 goals.

6. Harry Kane (last 2 seasons):

  • Club/national team: Tottenham Hotspur and English national team
  • Goals: 76
  • Assists: 30
  • Minutes played: 3,982’ (2020-21); 4,250’ (2021-22)
  • Minutes per goal: 121’ (2020-21); 157’ (2021-22)
  • Titles won: None
  • Individual awards: 20/21 Premier League top goalscorer.

Once turned down by Arsenal, life would see Harry Kane have an opportunity with the Gunners’ lifelong rivals. It took a series of loan spells, but Harry Kane would eventually prove himself at Tottenham—and he didn’t let anyone down. Since 2013, Kane has established himself in the Spurs lineup. His fantastic progress eventually earned him a place with the England national team, with whom he already has 50 goals in 73 caps.

Kane has managed to keep up with his good work over the years, winning his third Premier League golden boot after recording 23 goals in the 2020-21 campaign. Last season, the Tottenham star scored 27 goals in 50 games across all competitions. He also played a pivotal role in England’s run to the Euro 2020 final, where they lost to Italy.

5. Erling Haaland (last 2 seasons):

  • Club/national team: Borussia Dortmund and Norwegian national team
  • Goals: 81
  • Assists: 21
  • Minutes played: 3,540’ (2020-21); 2,388’ (2021-22)
  • Minutes per goal: 86’ (2020-21); 82’ (2021-22)
  • Titles won: 1 DFB Pokal
  • Individual awards: 2020 and 2021 Norwegian Player of the Year and 20/21 UEFA Champions League top goalscorer

Having emerged as one of the most prolific young strikers in Europe, Erling Haaland has caught the eye of the world since joining Borussia Dortmund from Salzburg in January 2020. In his first full season at the Bundesliga side, the Norwegian star recorded an astonishing 41 goals in 41 appearances. He was particularly prolific in the UEFA Champions League, finishing as the tournament’s top scorer with 10 goals.

The following year, Haaland continued to impress world football with his goal scoring instinct by finding the net on 29 occasions in just 30 games. Haaland also has an incredible record at the international level, with 20 goals in 21 caps with Norway. Therefore, it was no surprise that he was named Player of the Year in his country in the last two seasons.

His consistent performances with Dortmund made him the most sought-after striker in the summer of 2022, when a release clause in his contract became active. Though many European powerhouses kept tabs on him, Premier League reigning champions Manchester City eventually got the upper hand by forking out €60m for the 22-year-old forward. With the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, and Bernardo Silva now by his side, the sky's the limit for Haaland.

4. Cristiano Ronaldo (last 2 seasons):

  • Club/national team: Juventus, Manchester United and Portuguese national team
  • Goals: 73
  • Assists: 9
  • Minutes played: 3,751’ (2020-21); 3,220’ (2021-22)
  • Minutes per goal: 104’ (2020-21); 134’ (2021-22)
  • Titles won: 1 Coppa Italia, 1 Italian Super Cup 
  • Individual awards: 20/21 Serie A top goalscorer, 2020 UEFA Euro top goalscorer.

Some players seem to age like fine wine. If not, look at Cristiano Ronaldo. At 37, the Manchester United forward continues to defy Father Time thanks to his work ethic and natural talent. Having left Juventus after three years in 2021, the Portuguese megastar has continued to produce in his first season back at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo hasn’t been favored by his teams’ performances, but it’s time to debunk the myth that he’s on decline. While the teams he’s been playing for didn’t enjoy much success as of late, Cristiano himself has been doing great. If you don’t take our word for it, just look at his stats over the last two seasons.

Before making a shocking return to Manchester, Ronaldo made sure of leaving Turin in great fashion by winning the 2020-21 Serie A golden boot with 29 goals. On top of that, he had an impressive goal ratio in the Champions League, with four goals in six games. Though United left a lot to be desired the following season, Ronaldo was one of their few bright spots. 

Not only was he the team’s top scorer in the Premier League with 18 goals in 30 games, but Ronaldo also rose to the occasion on the Champions League nights. Once again, his goal ratio in Europe’s most prestigious tournament was remarkable, with six goals in seven games.

Additionally, Ronaldo has been outstanding at the international level as well. No, Portugal didn’t achieve a major success in the last two seasons. However, Ronaldo did everything he could to help his national team had a better outcome, as he was the Euro 2020 top scorer with five goals. Moreover, during the 2021-22 season he reached 117 goals with Portugal, breaking a world record for the most international goals scored.

3. Kylian Mbappe (last 2 seasons):

  • Club/national team: Paris Saint-Germain and French national team
  • Goals: 90
  • Assists: 44
  • Minutes played: 3,690’ (2020-21); 3,906’ (2021-22)
  • Minutes per goal: 88’ (2020-21); 100’ (2021-22)
  • Titles won: 1 French Super Cup, 1 Coupe de France, 1 Ligue 1 and 1 UEFA Nations League
  • Individual awards: 20-21 and 21-22 Ligue 1 top goalscorer.

Kylian Mbappe got his hands on the highly desired World Cup early in his career, but there was still more to come for the Frenchman. Following that memorable success, he left Monaco to embark on a bigger challenge at PSG, who saw him blossom into one of, if not the most fascinating forward in world soccer. Capable of dribbling and leaving defenders behind with his speed, Mbappe showed his credentials before turning 20 years old

In case there were any doubts about him, Mbappe made sure of proving his believers right in the 2020-21 season. Even though Paris Saint-Germain’s journey ended in the semifinals, that UEFA Champions League campaign has a special meaning in Mbappe’s career. In the first leg of the round of 16 against Barcelona, he completely stole the show at the Camp Nou with a hat trick. In the following round, he netted a brace against Bayern in Germany. 

In that year, in which he finished with 42 goals in 47 appearances, he also stepped up at the international stage—again. Mbappe was a key contributor to France’s success in the UEFA Nations League, scoring a goal and providing an assist both in the semi and in the final.

The 2021-22 season saw an even better version of Mbappe, who was heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid during the year. The fact that he was in the final months of his contract with PSG didn’t affect his play, as he recorded 39 goals in 46 appearances.

His 28 goals in 35 Ligue 1 games helped Paris regain the league title, but he didn’t have the same luck in the Champions League. Once again, Mbappe delivered breathtaking performances in the round of 16—this time against Real Madrid— but his side couldn’t keep up with his level and suffered an early elimination in Spain. Even so, Mbappe was praised for his level throughout the season, earning a massive contract extension with PSG.

2. Robert Lewandowski (last 2 seasons):

  • Club/national team: Bayern Munich and Polish national team
  • Goals: 112
  • Assists: 22
  • Minutes played: 3,389’ (2020-21); 4,003’ (2021-22)
  • Minutes per goal: 71’ (2020-21); 80’ (2021-22)
  • Titles won: 1 FIFA Clubs World Cup, 2 Bundesliga, 1 UEFA Super Cup, 2 German Super Cup
  • Individual awards
  • 20-21 and 21-22 Bundesliga top goalscorer 
  • 2020 and 2021 Polish Player of the Year 
  • 20-21 and 21-22 Bundesliga Player of the Season 
  • 2020 UEFA Male Player of the Year 
  • 2020 and 2021 FIFA World Player.

In some cases, the numbers speak for themselves. If not, look at Robert Lewandowski’s stats in the last two seasons. Over 100 goals is already insane for a player in an entire career, let alone in just two years. At Bayern Munich, however, the Poland international got used to finding the net game after game.

In the 2020-21 season, Lewandowski was completely unstoppable for Bundesliga rivals as he got in the scoresheet 41 times in only 29 games. Far from being satisfied with his production, the Pole star recorded more goals than appearances next year as well. Not only he had 35 goals in 34 Bundesliga fixtures, but Lewandowski also scored 13 times in 10 Champions League games. Should Bayern have gotten past the quarter finals, his record could have been even better.

After eight years with the Bavarians, Lewy felt like it was time to move on and pushed to join Barcelona. He eventually got what he wanted, creating high expectations at the Camp Nou. The Catalans have been missing a dependable No. 9 since Luis Suarez left for Atletico Madrid in 2020, so now it’s a great opportunity for Lewandowski to make history.

1. Karim Benzema (last 2 seasons):

  • Club/national team: Real Madrid and French national team
  • Goals: 83
  • Assists: 15
  • Minutes played: 3,883’ (2020-21); 3,919’ (2021-22)
  • Minutes per goal: 129’ (2020-21); 89’ (2021-22)
  • Titles won: 1 UEFA Champions League, 1 Spanish La Liga, 1 Spanish Super Cup, 1 UEFA Nations League
  • Individual awards: 21-22 UEFA Champions League top goalscorer, 21-22 La Liga top goalscorer, 2021 French Player of the Year.

A man that needs no introduction. The best player of the 2021-22 season without any doubt, Karim Benzema proved that, for some, age is just a number. At 34, the Frenchman found the best form in his career to help Real Madrid win a Champions League that will live long in the memory of every soccer fan.

He did quite well in the 2020-21 as well, scoring 30 goals in 46 games, but last season was complete madness. Not only because of the striking 44 goals he netted in 46 games across all tournaments or his 15 goals in 12 UCL games, but especially due to the timing of each of those goals.

An Unforgettable 2021-22 Season

Benzema led an epic comeback win over PSG with a hat trick, but that was just the beginning. After putting three other goals past Chelsea in the first leg of the quarterfinals, Benzema secured his team’s place in the semis with a dramatic finish in extra time. 

He also bagged a brace against City in the first leg, and when it looked like the visitors were turning things around, Benzema came up clutch in extra time again. In a nutshell, Real Madrid wouldn’t have won that title without him.

Having finished as the Champions League and La Liga top scorer, Benzema is expected to win his first Ballon d’Or after having one of the best individual seasons in recent years.

Although they are two of the best teams in the world right now, neither Argentina nor Brazil currently have a No. 9 that made the cut. Striker is a very special position on the pitch, and right now, the best forwards in the planet do not necessarily belong to the strongest national teams at the moment.

Conclusions

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Written by
editorial team 💻
Daniel Benchimol
Co-Founder & CEO
Jee Lee
Creative Director
Kelvin Loyola
Editor Blog
Daniela Bardales
UX - UI Designer
Martin O' Donnell
Editor Blog
Bianca Schinca
Blog Designer
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highlights app about
It is made for the sports fan simply looking to discover the most crucial moments of their favorite sport.
learn more