Soccer World Cup

Ranking the Top 5 Forwards in the 2014 World Cup

Ranking the Top 5 Forwards in the 2014 World Cup

2014 World Cup logo
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Glitz and glamor often follow the forwards on a soccer pitch. After all, they’re the ones primarily entrusted to provide those explosive goal celebrations that engulf each country during any World Cup. It’s also a safe bet that when the 2014 event is finally completed, the winning side will boast a peerless performance from at least one of their forwards. Here is a look at the five best strikers heading to Brazil this summer.

5. Neymar, Brazil

Neymar
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5. Neymar, Brazil

Neymar
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Just 22 years of age, the eyes of the host country will be on Brazilian phenom Neymar when his team takes the field for the World Cup opening match against Croatia on June 12. After producing prolific goal totals in Brazil’s domestic league, Neymar is coming off a season that saw him pair with Lionel Messi to net 15 goals and 11 assists in his first campaign with FC Barcelona.

4. Arjen Robben, Netherlands

Arjen Robben
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4. Arjen Robben, Netherlands

Arjen Robben
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Capable of playing either forward or midfield, Arjen Robben figures to see action at both spots for the Netherlands in Brazil after spending much of this past season playing wing for club side Bayern Munich. A dynamic left-footed player who excels in space, Robben had a strong season for the Bundesliga champs with 21 goals and 14 assists in 45 matches. On the national team level, Robben has netted 22 goals and 73 caps since 2003.

3. Luis Suarez, Uruguay

Luis Suarez
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3. Luis Suarez, Uruguay

Luis Suarez
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Highly skilled and volatile, Luis Suarez has cemented his place amongst the great strikers in the world. When at his best, Suarez is a nightmare for defenders with his combination of ball-handling skill, powerful shot and aerial ability. Suarez again led the way for Liverpool with 31 goals and 13 assists in 39 matches this past season. Since first joining Uruguay in 2007, he’s potted 38 goals in 77 appearances.

2. Lionel Messi, Argentina

Lionel Messi
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2. Lionel Messi, Argentina

Lionel Messi
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A four-time World Player of the Year, Lionel Messi has created a legacy that makes him one of the sport’s all-time greats. Featuring a combination of explosive speed and superlative ball-handling skills, Messi is virtually unstoppable when given space in which to move. He’s coming off another excellent campaign with FC Barcelona that yielded 41 goals and 11 assists in 44 contests. Messi has also netted 37 goals for Argentina since 2005.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo
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1. Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo
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The reigning World Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo continues to amaze teammates and opponents alike with his wide ranging set of skills. Ronaldo is coming off an incredible season with club side Real Madrid that saw the 29-year-old Portuguese net an astounding 54 goals and 15 assists in 51 starts. A complete player, Ronaldo has been nearly as deadly for Portugal at the national team level with 49 goals in 110 games since 2003.