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Soccer

Top 5 All-Around Attackers in Soccer

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Soccer's Top 5 All-Around Attackers

Messi
Rondeau/Presse Sports via USA TODAY Sports

This list is comprised of the top five all-around attackers in the world of soccer. These players can do everything in the attacking third of the pitch at a high level. They are the catalysts for their team’s success and the focal point of the attack.

This list boasts some of the world’s most famous athletes, as well as up-and-coming young stars. It is not often that you find players that can be placed anywhere on the final third of the pitch and have the same impact.

Whether its scoring goals, assisting goals, or scoring from set pieces, these players excel at it all. It’s rare to find a player that will take a defender one-on-one, score from free kicks, deliver pinpoint crosses and be a clinical finisher in front of goal.

There can be an argument made for some other players to be on the list, but when you look at the criterion involved in the selections, it's easy to come to an understanding. These players all possess loads of pace, superior athleticism and vision to pick a pass, and are constantly drawing fouls against the opposition. Bewildering defenders regularly, this group of players can play for any side and adapt to any formation.

They are a group of players envied by many others. They possess qualities that not many that have ever played the game can attest to. As productive as any players in the world at the club and international levels, it will be interesting to see how they will astonish and inspire fans this season.

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5. Lionel Messi

Messi
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sport

Lionel Messi is arguably the greatest player to ever play soccer, with a left foot as precious as gold. The Argentinean International is scoring goals at a record pace for Barcelona in La Liga. Once considered a right winger exclusively, Messi is as hard to mark as anyone in the world. He is now deployed in a center forward role, interchanging positions seamlessly as he is wiling to go anywhere on the pitch to influence the game. Breaking Gerd Muller’s record for goals in a calendar year was just the tip of the iceberg for the little magician. It is scary to think that the best player in the world continues to improve his game, erasing any weaknesses people perceive him to have.

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4. Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Cristiano Ronaldo was the most expensive transfers in the world for a reason. He is arguably the most talented soccer player to set foot on earth. Ronaldo has continued to prove his naysayers wrong with his more than one goal per game average since moving to Real Madrid. Known to favor the left wing position, Ronaldo could be the best striker in the world if he wanted to be. What is even most impressive about playing predominantly on the wing is that Ronaldo is the only player to have back-to-back 40 goal seasons in La Liga history. Ronaldo can do no wrong; his aerial ability is as good as anyone's in the world, and no one strikes the ball with more venom from a free kick than the Portuguese International. His awareness to score anywhere on the pitch makes him a threat to terrorize the opposition at a moment's notice.

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3. Neymar

Neymar
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Neymar, the young Brazilian International, has become the new No. 10 for the Selecao. A shirt rich in tradition only given to the best Brazilian superstars, Neymar wears it with good reason as he has solidified himself as one of the best players in the world. Neymar has brought hope back to Brazil with a style of play reminiscent of former Brazilian greats. A world-class finisher with technical ability exuding from his pores, the former Santos star provides substance and style with his play. Finally making a move to Europe, Neymar chose Barcelona to help aid in his ascendancy. With loads of talent, no one can deny the impact that Neymar will have in Europe. And to top it off, next summer’s World Cup on his home soil. A left-winger by trade, Neymar can play as No. 10 or No. 9. He has shown the ability to score as well as be a playmaker consistently.

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2. Gareth Bale

Bale
Gareth Bale Official Facebook Page

Gareth Bale has become a revelation in the English Premier League, starting off as a left-back for Tottenham Hotspurs when he came over from Southampton. Bale was the PFA player of the year and young player of the year in the Premiership last campaign, as he lined up everywhere on the pitch. Possessing cheetah-like pace, Bale gives fullbacks nightmares when he lines up wide on the pitch. Bale may be the best crosser in the world, delivering the ball with unbelievable accuracy. Due to a lack of striking options, Bale was deployed as a striker or in a central attacking midfielder’s role, providing loads of goals and assists. Leaving an indelible mark on the soccer world, Bale looks poised to join Real Madrid, eclipsing Ronaldo’s world record fee. It is understandable why Spurs are keen on retaining the Welsh Internationals services, but it looks more and more unlikely as Bale seeks a bigger platform to shine.

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1. Marco Reus

Reus
Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports

Marco Reus epitomizes the new era of German football both domestically and internationally. Reus has an unbelievable work rate combined with technical and tactical superiority that make him an all-around menace on the pitch. The German International was instrumental in leading Borussia Dortmund to the Champions League final, with his counter-attacking play sparking a nation of supporters. Reus can line up on each flank, as a striker, or in a withdrawn role behind a center-forward, pressing the opposition all over the pitch. Reus has shown a willingness to track back defensively as well, which is surprising for someone so vital to the attacking purpose of a team. At such a young age, Reus has mastered the art of attacking. With his work rate, the sky is the limit for this German Star.