The 21st century has produced a plethora of prolific goal-scorers who have scored goals galore in the biggest of competitions for club and country and have won multiple trophies.
Even when they do not find the back of the net, these players present a credible threat to opponents in the attacking-third because of their ability to conjure goal-scoring opportunities for teammates. Add to that their versatility which allows them to operate across a bevvy of positions in the attacking-third, these players are worth their weight in gold for their national and club team managers.
10 players with the most goal involvements in the 21st century
On that note, let us have a look at the ten players who have the had the most goal involvements (goals or assists) since the turn of the century.
Note: All stats have been taken from transfermarkt and are correct as on 5th October 2020.
#10 Karim Benzema (523) - 343 goals and 180 assists
French striker Karim Benzema has been a Real Madrid regular since arriving at the club in the summer of 2009.
After making his professional debut as a teenager for Olympique Lyon in 2005, he made a goal-scoring contribution in his very first game for the French club when his assist helped Lyon seal a 2-0 Ligue 1 win over Metz.
Benzema top-scored with 20 goals in 2007-08 as Lyon won their seventh consecutive French league title. Soon Real Madrid came calling at the end of the next season, and there would be no looking back for the young Frenchman.
With 92 goal-contributions (66 goals and 26 assists) during his four and a half seasons in France, Benzema arrived with a burgeoning reputation and didn't disappoint at the Bernabeu. Although he did not hit the ground running in his debut season at his new club, scoring only nine goals in all competitions, Benzema soon proved his worth in the subsequent seasons.
The Frenchman has since scored at least 20 goals in all competitions in each of his next ten seasons at the club.
Benzema most notably emerged out of the shadow of his illustrious teammate Cristiano Ronaldo in the last season when he tallied 20 league goals in successive seasons for Madrid as the Spanish giants won their first La Liga title in three years.
The Frenchman, who made his 81st and latest international appearance for France in 2015, has scored 27 goals and 18 assists for his country, and is also one of only two players to have netted in 15 consecutive seasons in the Champions League.
Benzema is renowned for his aerial prowess, goal-scoring ability and versatility that allows the forward to drop deep and create goal-scoring opportunities for teammates.
#9 Samuel Eto'o (524) - 408 goals and 116 assists
The Real Madrid reject was renowned for his strength, work-rate, composure in front of goal and tactical intelligence as he scored goals galore and also created goal-scoring opportunities aplenty for other colleagues up front.
Eto'o is one of a handful of players to win the Champions League in successive seasons for two different clubs. However, he is the only one to win the continental treble in consecutive seasons for two different clubs when he did so with Barcelona in 2008-09 and repeated the feat with Inter Milan the next season.
The two-time Africa Cup and four-time African Footballer of the Year winner is the all-time top-scorer for Cameroon with 56 goals.
#8 Wayne Rooney (545) - 366 goals and 189 assists
Wayne Rooney, who made his name with boyhood club Everton as a precocious goal-scoring teenager, was destined for greatness from a very young age.
The striker joined Manchester United in the summer of 2004 and didn't look back as he scored and created goals aplenty for the English giants during a prolific 13-season stint.
Rooney, who is one of the youngest scorers in the history of the Champions League, is the all-time top-scorer for both Manchester United (253) and England national team (53).
Despite his diminutive stature, Rooney is strong in the air and is a prolific goal-scorer. With advancing age, as his goal-scoring ability dwindled, the player proved his worth from deep as he created opportunities for colleagues while playing as a playmaker or box-to-box midfielder.
Rooney, who now plays at Derby County in the Championship, is the second-youngest player to provide an assist in Premier League history.
#7 Sergio Aguero (549) - 414 goals and 135 assists
Sergio Aguero, who made his professional debut for Independiente in his native Argentina in 2003, spent five successful seasons at Atletico Madrid before his stature skyrocketed after arriving at Manchester City in the summer of 2011.
The quintessential centre-forward, who is equally at ease while operating as a second striker, Aguero is renowned for his passing ability, link-up play and tactical intelligence besides his obvious goal-scoring prowess.
Aguero (180) is the fourth-most highest goal-scorer in the Premier League and is the competition's most prolific-scoring foreign player.
Aguero, who has also scored a record 12 hat-tricks in the Premier League, has netted 42 times for Argentina, a tally which is only behind that of his illustrious compatriot Lionel Messi (70) and the retired Gabriel Batistuta (43).