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10 Forwards to watch at the 2010 FIFA World Cup

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messi.jpgFrom Pele to Ronaldo, Muller to Klose, Maradona to Messi, the World Cup has witnessed some of history's most magnificent goal poachers. Making his mark at the FIFA World Cup is the true test for every professional striker, and one that etches his name forever in history. Performances at the biggest stage is what separates the good from the great and lets hope that a number of strikers achieve greatness in this edition of the FIFA World Cup, in turn, making it a dazzling tournament.

The job of a striker only gets tougher when it comes to the World Cup. Not only is a goal scored remembered & celebrated for long, but also an opportunity spurned is never forgotten. A striker therefore, has to have the concentration and patience of a hunting Lion and the nerves of steel to achieve success in the finals of the most prestigious football tournament. From hero in one moment to zero in the next, strikers can change the fate of their country in the blink of an eye, thus making or breaking history and hence, are probably the most crucial of all 22 men out there on the field.

South Africa 2010 will also display a plethora of talent on this front with the likes of Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, Didier Drogba and Cristiano Ronaldo wearing their lucky boots in order to be recalled in the same breath as some of football's immortal. Expect the World Cup to dish out every kind of striking flavour for the world to savour with all kinds of strikers, the powerful, the elegant, the dexterous and the cunning trying to apply their skills to the best effect! While compiling our list, we've included some wingers as we felt they are better classified as forwards than midfielders, and we've limited ourselves to one frontman per team, so if Messi is picked (which he is), there was no room in our top 10 for Aguero, Tevez and Milito!

David Villa (SPAIN)- The newly unveiled Barcelona striker will be determined to justify his €40 million price tag and will come out all guns blazing in South Africa. One of the most reliable finishers in the game, Villa is also the creator of many goals. Nicknamed 'El Guaje', the talented Spaniard won the Golden boot in 'Euro 2008' and will be looking to continue his fine run for his country in the World Cup.
Club 09-10 - 46 (28)  Internationals - 58 (38)

Cristiano Ronaldo (PORTUGAL) - The world's most expensive player, Cristiano Ronaldo has been in tremendous form netting 33 goals for Real Madrid this season. With his thrilling stepovers and dipping free kicks, Ronaldo will be the go-getter for Portugal. Wearing the Captain's armband for the first time in a major tournament should be an added responsibility, and that should spur Ronaldo to bring home the World Cup to the Selecção de Quinas faithful.
Club 09-10 - 35(33)  Internationals - 71 (22)

Lionel Messi (ARGENTINA) - FIFA World Player of the year, Lionel Messi will be looking to help Argentina win the world cup after a 24 year gap. He has been in impeccable form for Barcelona scoring at nearly a goal a game. Messi's international record leaves a lot to be desired though, and he will be determined to set things right. Along with some of the finest strikers in the world, the Atomic Flea will be sure to be amongst the goals.

Club 09-10 - 53(47)   Internationals - 44 (13)

Antonio Di Natale (ITALY)- The only bright spark for Udinese during their harrowing domestic campaign this season was their Captain Di Natale, who with a return of 29 goals top scored in the Serie A. Italy will have their hopes pinned on this 'never say die' striker who is known for his speed and leadership. Di Natale has never been his country's first choice but this time around his maturity and experience provide him with the best chance to leave a mark on the big stage.
Club 09-10 - 35 (29)  Internationals - 33 (9)

Samuel Eto'o (CAMEROON)- Eto'o has had a quiet season by his standards for the treble winning European Champions, Inter Milan, but has been at his dynamic best, filling in at different positions; including a role as a full-back for his club. Mostly playing on the flanks this season, Eto'o is a team player who excels when playing up front. Cameroon's hopes would be pinned on its captain to come up with the goals and the inspiration to lead them to greatness.
Club 09-10 - 47 (16)  Internationals - 97 (44)

Diego Forlan (URUGUAY)- Atletico Madrid striker, Forlan has been in sublime form for club, guiding them to the Europa League title by scoring the extra time winner. Scorer of many a spectacular goals, Forlan would be required to provide the firepower for his country along with Luis Suarez. He would be expected to lead from the front and would love to set the World Cup ablaze with his goals.
Club 09-10 - 55 (28)  Internationals - 62 (23)

Luis Fabiano (BRAZIL) - The Golden Boot winner of the Confederations Cup 2009, Fabiano will be looking to replicate his form in the World Cup. The Sevilla striker has scored 21 goals this season helping his club qualify for the Champions League next year. With the exclusion of Ronaldo and Adriano from the squad, all eyes will be on Fabiano to stand up and be counted. He will be expected to lead the goal scoring charts for the Selecao.
Club 09-10 - 34 (21)  Internationals - 36 (25)

Wayne Rooney (ENGLAND) - Manchester United and England's prized possession, Wazza comes to the World Cup with a lot of hope and expectation from fans around the world. Rooney's burst of speed, finishing coupled with a never-say-die attitude endears him to even his staunchest critic. England's claim to the Cup rests firmly on this 24-year old's shoulders. After earning plaudits for a stunning individual season Rooney will look to stamp his authority at the World Cup and England will be mighty pleased if that happens.
Club 09-10 - 44 (34)  Internationals - 60 (25)

Didier Drogba (IVORY COAST) - Chelsea player of the year and the premier league's 'Golden Boot' holder, Didier Drogba is a big centre-forward and an equally prolific goal scorer. His personality polarizes opinion, though there is no doubt about his class. The highest goal scorer of all time for his country, Drogba would like nothing less than to lead his country to success in the World Cup. Ivory Coast will look at Drogba for inspiration to lift them out of the Group Of Death. While we await word about his fitness, the World Cup would undoubtedly be poorer for his absence.
Club 09-10 - 44 (37) Internationals - 68 (44)

Arjen Robben (NETHERLANDS) - Guiding Bayern Munich into the Champions League final, almost single-handedly at times, Robben will be a key component of the Dutch Challenge in the World Cup. The former Chelsea star has the power and pace to decimate any defence and Bert van Marwijk's Dutch side will be expecting a major contribution from him. He has a knack of scoring spectacular goals and a few of those delicacies shall be remembered for years to come if they grace us at the World Cup.
Club 09-10 - 36 (23)  Internationals - 46 (13)

Of the 18 World Cups held, only 4 were won by the 'Golden Boot' winner's team. So even though one would love his favourite team to be filled with the best of strikers, a player scoring the highest number of goals might not necessarily guarantee a win at the FIFA World Cup.

Legend:- Appearances (goals)

Also read:
10 Defenders to watch at the FIFA World Cup

10 Midfielders to watch at the FIFA World Cup

File Photograph Copyright: Ryu Voelkel

 

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