Every successful soccer team shares one thing in common: they have at least one spectacular forward in their starting 11. A solid defense makes you difficult to beat, but even those sides that are air-tight at the back need someone who instinctively knows where the back of the net is.
The upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will see some of the best forwards and strikers in the world take to the field, hoping to not only lead their team to glory but also capture the tournament’s Golden Boot award. Any up-and-coming forward could do much worse than watching the following three stars intently because they could learn much about what it takes to be a world-class frontman.
Harry Kane – England
Harry Kane is a phenomenal striker but one who is massively underrated by large sections of fans. The Tottenham Hotspur and England number nine is the complete striker and the hot favorite with online sportsbook BetUS to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup Golden Boot. Kane is a leader of men, which is why he wears the captain’s armband for club and country. Hugely professional, Kane leads by example and lets his football do the talking.
You only have to look at Kane’s goalscoring record to see why Manchester City considered paying more than £100 million for his services last season. The 28-year-old has played 279 Premier League games for Tottenham Hotspur and scored an incredible 183 goals. Last season saw Kane score 17 goals in 37 appearances, which was his worst tally from seasons where he played at least 30 games. Imagine scoring 17 top-flight goals and it being your worst season on record!
It is not only scoring goals where Kane excels because he creates chances for his teammates. Watch how Kane drops deep into a number 10 role to bring others into play. Also, note his unselfishness in front of goal if a teammate is in a better goalscoring position. Kane has 43 Premier League assists to his name, meaning he has been directly involved in 226 goals in 279 league games. Those are incredible figures. Let’s not forget Kane also has 50 goals in 73 England national team games!
Karim Benzema – France
The skills of most strikers start dropping off once they reach their 30s, but Frenchman Karim Benzema is not like most strikers. The 34-year-old goes to the 2022 FIFA World Cup having enjoyed the best season of his long and illustrious career. Benzema scored 27 goals in 32 La Liga games for Real Madrid and 44 goals in 46 games in all competitions! Those impressive stats took Benzema’s career record to 404 goals in 773 games, plus 37 in 97 appearances for the French national team.
Benzema has the ability to strike a ball ferociously and with deadly accuracy at the same time. He scores spectacular goals from outside the box but always seems to find space in the penalty area so he can enjoy simple tap-ins.
The former Lyon frontman plays the relatively new position of a “false nine” to perfection. Find a heat map of Benzema’s 2021-22 season for Real Madrid and be prepared to be amazed at how often he touches the ball and where.
Kylian Mbappe – France
If Kane is the complete striker and Benzema is the complete false nine, the Kylian Mbappe must be the complete all-around forward player. The 23-year-old Paris St. Germain star can play down the middle as a striker or on either flank, thanks to his lightning pace, dexterity, and excellent dribbling ability.
Mbappe is most definitely a future Ballon d’Or winner once Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo step away from the game; Mbappe has plenty of time on his side. Since signing for PSG from Monaco in 2017-18, Mbappe has fired in 119 goals in 142 Ligue 1 games and 171 in 217 games overall. They are ratios any striker would be proud of, but Mbappe spends a lot of his time playing as a winger, making those figures extraordinary.