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10 Of The Greatest Number 9 In Football

by Abiodun Apena
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The beautiful game of football has over the years seen great and stunning number 9 grace the game with their unique skills, amazing techniques of kicking a ball and a killer instinct in front of goal.

Number 9 is like a secret code for the best striker in a team and these strikers are known to posses great instinct, unrivalled precision and unwavering composure when faced with a goalie.

While generational talents and tactical innovations have seen the role altered, the primary assignment of a number 9 remains the same including bringing his teammates into the game and scoring goals.

Who is the greatest number 10 in football history?

So here on Naijnaira, we’ll take a look at some of the best number 9 strikers in the history of the game who deserves to be called ‘Great’.

10. Gerd Muller – (Germany)

‘Der Bomber’ Gerd Muller is unanimously regarded as one of the finest strikers ever to grace the beautiful game of football. Muller represented both Germany and Bayern Munich while actively playing at the highest level, and he was reported to score 68 goals in 62 games for Die-Mannschaft.
His nickname was quite famous among German fans because of how important he was for the national team, where uses his strength and elusive agility to bamboozle defenders who can’t match up with his skills and killer instinct in front of goal.
The great Gerd Muller didn’t only terrorize teams with his goals he also achieved great success with Die-Mannschaft and Die-Roten, winning the FIFA World Cup, European Championship and the European Cup three times before he bid farewell to the beautiful game.

9. Marco van Basten – (Netherlands)

Marco van Basten’s name will forever be on the lips of football enthusiasts, particularly those who saw him laced a cleat and dazzled for Ajax and the Netherlands in the 80s with his unique skills and amazing composure in front of goal.
The great Dutch forward was the focal point of the ‘Orange’ side that won the European Championship in 1988, playing a pivotal role in helping the team clinched the title.
Van Basten was so good that he won the Ballon d’Or on three occasions and FIFA Best Award in 1992, a great achievement that gives credence to why his talent and quality shouldn’t be doubted.
Injury was never a friend of Marco, his career was cruelly ended at the blossoming age of 28 when he bid farewell to the beautiful game having successfully donned the Orange and Club shirts.

8. Alan Shearer – (England)

So when the conversation about who the greatest England striker is? Alan Shearer’s name often pops up because of his ruthlessness, intelligence and killer instinct in front of goal for national team and clubs.
Shearer is known to be a beast when it comes to goal-scoring, particularly with his heading ability, which makes him stand as one of the greatest goal-poacher to ever grace the Premier League, scoring 260 goals in 441 appearances.
While successful is the right word to use for his club’s career, the same can be said of his international career with the Three Lion where he scored 30 goals in 63 games for England.

7. Gabriel Batistuta – (Argentina)

For a player to be nicknamed ‘Batigol’ means he’s a clinical goal-poacher who is tested and trusted in terms of putting the ball at the back of the net when he comes face to face with a goalie.
Batistuta was so good that he painted the Serie A with different types of goals for Fiorentina and AS Roma while actively playing at the highest level. He’s ranked as the 10th all-time top-scorers list in Italy having proven prolific throughout his time in the country.
As a matter of fact, Batigol also donned the Albiceleste jersey with pride at the grandest stages of international football, netting 56 goals in 78 appearances for Argentina before he retired.  

6. Andriy Shevchenko – (Ukraine)

A legend at Ukraine and AC Milan right? Absolutely yes, for how impactful his career was and how he literally put his country’s name on the world map with his magnificent talent.
Shevchenko became a fearsome goal-poacher at the age of 18 when he made his debut for Dynamo’s first team, and outrightly went on to become a legendary figure for the team before moving to San Siro.
Sheva littered Serie A with goals while at AC Milan and was also instrumental for the Ukraine national team amassing 111 appearances and a lot of beautiful goals-scoring moments in the colors of Rossonerri and Ukraine. 

5. Luis Suarez – (Uruguay)

Two times European Golden Boot winner Suarez is ranked number five on our list, he is one of the most complete modern-day strikers ever to lace a cleat. 
Suarez’s rise to stardom began in the Dutch Eredivisie with Groningen, Ajax, Liverpool and Barcelona where he win everything that needed to be won in football.
The tenacious Uruguayan goal-poacher is third on the list of Barcelona’s all-time top-scorers and Uruguay’s record goal-scorer, an amazing record that stands him out as one of the finest strikers ever to play football.  

4. Robert Lewandowski – (Poland)

Lewandowski may not have won the World Cup, but he certainly remains one of the finest goal-poacher to grace the beautiful game of football. Pole’s greatest goal-scorer of all time announced himself as a deadly striker to the world at Borussia Dortmund under the tutelage of Jurgen Klopp.
At Bayern Munich he further continuingly prove himself to be one of the best with Die-Roten painting the Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League with goals before moving to Barcelona this summer.
The power, techniques and pace of Lewa have over the years been seen as a weapon to destroy teams be it an elite or lowly team, what comes to his mind is scoring goals for his team.

3. Thierry Henry – (France)

Not only was Thierry Henry nicknamed ‘Igwe’ by Arsenal’s fans in Nigeria, but he was also a beauty to watch. Henry backed up his amazing talent with an absolutely incredible trophy haul during his active years at Arsenal, Barcelona and France. 

To omit Henry’s name on this list will amount to total disrespect to the Frenchman for the kind of career he had at the grandest of stages in football. Henry was so good that the Gunners fans see him as a legendary figure having scored 228 goals in all competitions.
For Les Bleus he won the 1998 FIFA World Cup on home soil, thereafter he captured the European Championship just two years after winning the World Cup in France against Brazil.   

2. Raul Gonzalez Blanco – (Spain)

Captain phenomenal Raul Gonzalez is unarguably one of Real Madrid’s great and all-time leading goal-scorer with a whopping 323 goals.
Raul wasn’t so successful with the Spanish national team but his time at the Santiago Bernabeu where he used his left foot to terrorize teams and defenders is littered with a lot of trophies.
He also had a stint away from Real Madrid, teaming up with Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga where he also recorded quite a number of goals and beautiful moments of brilliance in the shirt of the team.  

1. Ronaldo Nazario Delima – (Brazil)

‘O Fenomeno’ Ronaldo enjoyed an incredible career at the grandest of stages that saw him won the FIFA World Cup, Copa America, and a lot of league titles before bidding the beautiful game farewell.
Ronaldo is arguably one of the best if not the best in terms of how perfectly a striker interprets the number 9 role with aplomb while actively playing. He dazzled defenders with his breathtaking steps-over at Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
The man is argued to be the best striker for his unique dynamism, unrivalled trickery, pace and killer instinct in front of goal, scored over 400 goals in his career including 62 for his darling national team.

This article was updated 2 months ago


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