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5 of the best strikers of the Messi-Ronaldo era

Ronaldo and Messi have redefined goalscoring
Ronaldo and Messi have redefined goalscoring
Omene Osuya
Modified 04 Jun 2019
Top 5 / Top 10

The last decade (2008 -2018) will go down in history as the Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo era. Never in the history of football has a timeline been dominated by two players like this.

Before the two of them arrived on the scene, a 25+ season was regarded as the hallmark of the great strikers. The likes of Ronaldo De Lima, Thierry Henry, Samuel Eto'o, Andriy Shevchenko were regarded as world-class strikers, yet they never came close to the numbers set by the eternal duo.

The strangest part of the story is that both men, Messi and Ronaldo, are not traditional strikers. Both players started out and have played most of their careers as wide men.

However, the coaches most responsible for what both men have become: Pep Guardiola and Sir Alex Ferguson recognized their goalscoring abilities early on. Both managers then built their teams in ways that allowed Messi and Ronaldo become the goalscoring machines they are today.

However, in the last decade, we have seen a lot of strikers whose exploits have been overshadowed by the former El Clasico duo. Here is a look at 5 of the very best:

#5 Didier Drogba

In many ways, Drogba was the perfect striker
In many ways, Drogba was the perfect striker

The Ivorian giant was the total package striker. Powerful yet skilful, big yet possessing amazing technique, Didier Drogba had it all. A late bloomer, he had spent a bit of time at Le Mans and Guingamp before making the move to Olympique Marseille in 2002 for £3.3m. It was at the Velodrome aged 24 that he burst into life.

In the 2003-2004 season, Drogba was on fire scoring 19 goals in Ligue 1 and 11 goals in European competition, leading the team to the UEFA Cup (now Europa League) final.

This prompted Chelsea and Jose Mourinho to pay £24m for him after just one season at Marseille. The Premier League was not ready for what was to follow.


Drogba really came into his own under the Special One and over the next 8 years, became one of the continent's deadliest. His big-game temperament, ability to bully defenders and goalscoring instincts won him many plaudits.

164 goals and 14 trophies later, he left as a Blues legend. His tally of 300 goals in 686 club games across all his clubs tells the story of a truly great striker.

Drogba was also a beast for his national team, The Elephants, as in 83 games, he scored 57 goals becoming the country's all-time leading goleador.

Also see : women's world cup 2019, womens world cup bracket, Womens World Cup Standings

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Published 11 Jan 2019, 00:36 IST
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