The currency associated with a footballer is goals. The more the goals the more renowned the player. It is the arbitrary rule of football and has been since the beginning of the game. It is no surprise then that Messi and Ronaldo are the most revered players of this era.The number of goals they've scored has sort of worked against more routine players. Where once 30 goals a season was considered an achievement, it pales in comparison to the output Messi and Ronaldo serve us every year.So here's a list commemorating strikers who have escaped the attention they should be getting because they play in an era dominated by mythological football players.
#1 Seydou Doumbia
The player that most embodies the ignorance of pure goalscorers in this period has to be Seydou Doumbia. Despite scoring goals from the off, he hasn't really attracted the interest of top level clubs in his career, until now.
Doumbia started off his career with Kashiwa Reysol before moving to Tokushima Vortis in Japan. His record since his stint in Japan reads: 7 in 16 at Vortis, 50 from 64 at Young Boys and 61 from 95 at CSKA Moscow. If this was 2002, he'd be on his way to Manchester United, but the influence of the football titans has made his achievements look obsolete.
Doumbia, just this week, secured a move to Roma and will be hoping to find some appreciation among the Romans for his talent, while the rest of the world ignores him for not being good at holding up play, or having the strength of an elephant and being able to break the sound barrier or scoring 100 in a season.
#2 Jermain Defoe
There are very few players that can boast the kind of composure Defoe possesses in front of goal. His overall gameplay might be a tad lackluster, but when you need goals, Defoe is the man; just ask Harry Redknapp.
Defoe is an integral part of West Ham, Tottenham and Portsmouth's history in the last decade. He helped them stay competitive in the most troubling of times. Defoe, in his entire career, has scored 226 goals from 532 appearances in club football. He has also represented England 55 times scoring 19 goals in the process. He is also the 14th highest goal scorer in the Premier League history and is one of only 24 players to have managed more than 100 premier league goals since the competition's inception.
Despite his obvious abilities, too often in his career he has been looked at as a mid-table fodder. Never entrusted with representing the big teams and too often he has been portrayed as the king of medium sized occasions. He is currently plying his trade at Sunderland, where Gus Poyet saw it fit to call him back from Toronto to help his team with the relegation battle. As ever, Defoe has started off brilliantly doing what he does best, scoring goals.
#3 Lukas Podolski
It is a pity that Prince Poldi never could get the recognition he deserved despite his overawing goal scoring record.
An assassin in front of goal, Podolski never fails to delight when presented with the opportunity. It is unfortunate that his rise coincided with the evolution of strikers, leading to him being planted firmly in the limited category. In the last 5 seasons, when fully fit, Podolski has managed more than 10 goals in each and every campaign. It is what he does best, come to think of it, it is the only thing he does on a football pitch.
Stints at Bayern and Arsenal, where there is a greater emphasis on players being well rounded, have damaged his reputation. He is now seen as a good dressing room presence. His own national team manager admitted to taking Podolski for the world cup because he was good for the morale. Comments such as this have overshadowed his obvious capabilities, he is, after all, one of the best finishers in the game.
Podolski is currently playing for Internazionale on loan from Arsenal. The loan does not include an option to buy, and a return to Arsenal doesn't seem too likely unless he's ready to warm the bench. His career is heading to a tragic end.
#4 Klaas Jan Huntelaar
Huntelaar has to be one of the unluckiest players in the world. Having scored, in abundance, at every level possible, he still isn't looked at as a modern day great.
Huntelaar is often compared with compatriot Ruud van Nistelrooy. Nistelrooy having been a star in the earlier part of the last decade, will always be remembered by fans of both United and Madrid. Huntelaar, on the other hand, despite having a goal scoring record to match will fade into oblivion once his career is over.
Huntelaar has amassed 216 goals from 344 appearances. In any other era, this would be the mark of a great player. Sadly for him, he won't be remembered in such a fashion.
#5 Antonio Di Natale
Not many other than your usual set of Serie A fans will appreciate the legend that is Antonio Di Natale. Di Natale is a manager's dream. He can play anywhere across the front line. He can score goals as well as create. And he just gets better with age.
Di Natale has worked himself into the pantheons of Serie A's greatest, but unfortunately for him not many outside of the Italian league will be remembering him when he hangs up his boots at the end of this season. His 251 goals from 567 appearances holds him in good stead with other Serie A greats but sadly, it isn't even a scratch on Messi and Ronaldo's records. He'll just be seen as another good player, but not good enough to remember forever.