From Robert Lewandowski to Erling Braut Haaland, several forwards enjoyed a season to remember. Find out who made the shortlist.
European football has never been more popular, with players across the globe fighting hard to be a part of it. Last year saw the emergence of new breed of global strikers in Lautaro Martinez and Erling Braut Haaland, while the old guards continued their hot goal scoring streak as well. None more than Robert Lewandowski had the best year of his life while traditional giants like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar had to take a step back.
With teams no longer afraid to play positive, fast-attacking football, strikers are provided with ample opportunities to score goals. No wonder records keep tumbling every week! Like the old saying goes, goal scoring is an art and not many can master it. But, some thrive at it more than the others, and let’s check out who they are. Find who made it our shortlist for the best strikers in 2020:
Erling Braut Haaland (Borussia Dortmund, Norway)
Several elite European clubs, including Manchester United, were reportedly keen to sign the young Norwegian when he was at RB Salzburg. Surprisingly, Haaland, 20, chose Borussia Dortmund in January 2020. And in no time, the promising youngster became a world beater.
The forward began his Dortmund reign with a hat-trick against Augsburg and went on to score 13 league goals that season and prior to that he scored 16 for RB Salzburg in the first half of the campaign. He also scored ten goals in the last Champions League season. With him continuing the hot run of form, Haaland is undoubtedly the most coveted forward in the world right now.
Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan, Argentina)
Martinez has thrived alongside Romelu Lukaku in Inter Milan’s forward line. The young prospect benefited a lot playing under the experienced Antonio Conte. After joining the Italian giants in 2018, he has quickly transformed from being a future prospect to becoming the first name on the team sheet for Inter.
Lautaro has all the skill set necessary for a striker – pace, dribbling, agility, perfect first touch and a composed finish. His ability to play as a withdrawn forward also adds to his flexibility. Martinez’s seven European goals last season along with several other important domestic goals make him a hot future prospect.
Ciro Immobile (Lazio, Italy)
The Italian goal machine took huge strides in 2019-20 Serie A campaign, scoring a whopping 36 goals from 37 games. His electric form helped Lazio reach the Champions League. He continued the goal scoring run, netting a further five in four Champions League group matches this season.
He is the dream centre forward any club can wish for. Immobile can make runs behind the last line of defence or hold the ball efficiently under pressure till support arrives. He’s got a good left foot, right foot, and is equally dangerous in headers as well.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus, Portugal)
By his usual standards, Ronaldo had a quiet year. Scoring 44 goals from 45 games for both club and country in 2020 can only be considered as below-par for a player of Ronaldo’s calibre. That speaks volumes about the heights he has reached in the earlier campaigns.
He won just the Serie A title with Juventus last season and endured a disappointing European campaign. The team wasn’t at his best in the domestic cup competitions either, denying the Portuguese more opportunities to score goals. At 36 years, Ronaldo still continues to be the main man for whichever team he plays.
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich, Poland)
If 2020 belonged to anyone it has be for Robert Lewandowski. The Polish striker was in the form of his life to help Bayern Munich win a treble last season. He netted 47 goals from 44 games for Bayern and Poland last year.
The 15 Champions League goals he scored in the 2019-20 helped the German giants lift the coveted European trophy for the first time since 2012-13. The talismanic centre forward was without a doubt the most prolific striker of 2020.