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What Kind Of Forward Are You?

Ronaldo And Messi
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Strikers in Football are a bit like NFL Quarterbacks, or opening Batsmen…you can’t help but give them the limelight and everyone wants to be one! Forwards are players that stay in advanced positions on the pitch and have limited defensive responsibilities, i.e. forwards normally score more goals than other players (most often). If you’re wondering where and how you’ll settle into Jose Mourinho or Pep Guardiola’s XI, pick the type of forward you’d love to be and then hope like hell that you’ve got the skill to back it up on the pitch! Need some help to understand what kind of forward you are? We’ve got you covered:

▶ Center Forward


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A center forward often shoulders the responsibility for scoring the most goals for their team. A CF is not always involved in the build-up to a goal but it’s his job to get on the end of a goal scoring opportunity and put the ball in the back of the net. Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres are classic examples of Center forwards.

▶ Second Striker


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The name itself suggest you’re a supporting striker, but that could be misleading if you look at the number of goals scored by these men and women. This kind of forward does not necessarily have the burden of scoring goals but has a really important role in the build-up to a goal. Antoinne Grizemann played in this position when Atletico Madrid signed Diego Costa from Chelsea. Wayne Rooney’s ability to create space and link play with a perfect assist was exceptional and is a fine example of a man that filled this role to perfection.

▶ Target Man


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As cliched as it sounds, the target man, is basically the target for the team often at the end of curlers coming into the box. Generally tall and physical in stature, their job is to win the aerial battles and also make runs to get into the box for crosses and cut-backs coming in at them. These kinds of attackers are often used by teams that play defensive football and have the ability to score against the run of play too. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is possibly THE most versatile target man in Football. Peter Crouch is another fine example while Chris Wood at Burnley, now finds himself at the receiving end of a pass quite often and does a damn good job when he gets it!

▶ False Nine


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No player has perhaps ever been better at this position than Lionel Messi…and the man is far from done. Arrigo Sacchi, the legendary manager of AC Milan, is said to be the man that proposed the idea of ridding specialists from the game and creating the False Nine, whose role is not just to score, but to create holes, chances and space on the pitch. Most false nines are not strikers, but are wingers or attacking midfielders and find ingenious ways create space and runs for other players. Another great example of a false nine in today’s world of Football would be Roberto Firmino.

▶ Poacher


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A poacher is always at the right place at the right time scoring rebounds, tap-ins and anything that falls into the box, they get goals no matter how. Dutch coach Foppe de Haan once told his student Ruud van Nistelrooy to “wait like a lion in the sun” instead of chasing every ball and that man did a fine job of it across the globe for club and country. Miroslav Klose was a real fox in the box for Germany with goal-poaching masterpieces that took the Germans to winning the World Cup. The point of football is to put the ball in the back of the net and these players along with men like Jamie Vardy, Javier Hernandez, Sergio Aguero etc. in today’s world do that very efficiently.

▶ Clinical Finisher


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A clinical finish is often used to describe a finisher’s efficiency in front of the goal and with these finishers, you know the ball is going to end up in the back of the net when it finds its way to their feet, with the goal in sight. Luis Suarez is a fine example of a clinical finisher who is deadly in front of goal. Zlatan, Messi, Samuel Eto’o are also names that fit this tag and have given defenders and goalkeepers nightmares with the ease with which they put it past them!

▶ Complete Forward


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This is not a term to be used lightly. A complete forward is a striker who excels in every department; he can drop back to link up play, he’s got the control and physical presence to hold up play, he can make a rapid run and surprise the opposition defence, he’s strong in the air when he needs a crucial header…and he can score goals! A complete striker is the kind of striker that can put away a striking volley, score from long range, free kicks, penalties and even with both feet. They’re often worth their weight in gold and in the case of Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane, they’re probably worth a lot more even in the current market!