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4 Legendary Strikers Who Will Play Their Last World Cup in Brazil
This year’s World Cup will see the curtain fall for some of the deadliest strikers of the generation. And we look at how the fairy tale might end for these national heroes.
Germany's Most Lethal Striker
Joint national all time top scorer alongside German legend Gerd Müller with 68 goals (131 games), Miroslave Klose has been a monster of a target man for Germany particularly during the world cups. He also shares the all time national goal scoring record in World Cup Finals, 14 goals, alongside Gerd Müller as well. Will Klose become the all time highest goal-scorer this year in Brazil by going past the Legendary Brazilian striker Ronaldo (who has scored 15 goals)? Seeing that Klose has an average of almost 5 goals per World Cup, it seems to be a nailed on conclusion unless the concept of probability fails here.
The German national team have always had issues in the production of high quality strikers. Mario Gomez, who looked like the new Klose after his 41 goals in a single season a few years ago for his club, has gone under the shadows at his new club Florentina due to fitness issues. This has surely proved to be beneficial for Klose who has had fitness issues of his own but has become fit in time to be selected yet again. Stats suggest that it has been during World Cup years that Klose has been most prolific for his national side.
Klose, 35, is surely entering his 4th and final World Cup and would like to go off with a bang. (which can either be in the form of winning the World Cup or becoming the highest World Cup goal scorer ever or even both!)
Robin Van Perfect?
2.Robin Van Persie
The Flying Dutchman Robin Van Persie, what a beautiful left foot this kid has got hasn't he? Well, not so beautiful during the World Cups unfortunately.
The national team captain Van Persie has had a wonderful playing career for both club and country. The Manchester United forward has an impressive national goal tally of 41 in 82 games but has had a torrid time playing as a striker for the Dutch national team in World Cups. Van Persie has participated in 2 World Cups and has scored a disappointing 2 goals (one in each World Cup). This however does not undermine the quality that Van Persie possesses.
Although Van Persie is just 30 years old and can participate in the 2018 World Cup, recent fitness struggles have suggested that it might not be the case. Alongside Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Van Persie forms a formidable attack force for the Dutch side but can he take his nation to a step higher than they previously did? That remains one question that would only be answered in the coming few days
Can he take Spain to another World Cup title?
David Villa, nicknamed El Guaje, has won everything that has been put in front of him. You name it and he has won it. The national all time top scorer with 56 goals (94 games) has been one of the best products of Spain.
Not the tallest player by any means, David Villa has excellent dribbling, passing and distance shooting skills that make him as deadly as a scorpion. Villa scored 3 goals in his debut World Cup campaign and scored an emphatic 5 goals in the historic 2010 World Cup which Spain went on to win. He is the all time top scorer of Spain as well, having already gone past the legendary Raul.
There have been several question marks as to the selection of David Villa for the 2014 world cup squad for Spain simply because of the fact that his fitness has deteriorated significantly. Add to it the magnificent rise of Diego Costa and it is easy to see why there is uncertainty over whether the 32 year old finisher will be on the plane for Brazil as part of Del Bosque's World Cup squad or not. But the contribution made by villa for the national side is admirable and his achievements are second to none. Even though Villa has nothing to prove to anyone but if he does feature in Brazil, it would provide the center forward the chance to leave the international stage with a bang- a bang that might as well propel Spain to another World Cup title!
World Cup 2010s Golden Boot Winner
National Legend Diego Forlan,34, is rated highly by footballers and coaches all around the world because of the quality he has. And this was approved as Diego Forlan on the World Cup 2010 Golden Shoe award for being the best player in the tournament scoring 5 goals in the process (joint highest). Having scored 36 goals in 107 games for his country, Forlan is expected to perform well once again this term. With the likes of Edison Cavani and Luis Suarez, Uruguay form one of the best attacking trios in this year’s World Cup as the Uruguayan coach will look to make the most of this generation of players.
Forlan enters in his 3rd World Cup (6 goals), the one that will supposedly be last as well, and he would surely want to play a vital role for his national side. And seeing his pedigree, there is no doubt that he would do just that!
So, from the Salto-Klose to the Villa thumb suck, from the Curly Forlan flicks to the Flying Dutchman, the World Cup 2014 in Brazil promises to be a memorable one and the one that would bring down the curtains for these Global Heroes.
The World Cup awaits its holder, which of these deadliest strikers will have the honour of lifting it? Or is there a new legend waiting along the horizon?
Note: This hub is written by a dear friend and colleague, Fahad Rehman