15 Best Second Strikers in the World

Who is the greatest second striker in the history of football?

Second striker is a unique position. In addition to their function as goal scorers, second strikers are also required to provide assists or create empty space for the main striker. They must have good off-the ball movement and high creativity to do their job well.

Second striker is often also referred as a shadow striker. Sometimes, players who play in this position also serves as a playmaker. The question is, who is the best second striker in the world? To answer these questions, let us read this following list.

15. Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney is a modern example of a second striker whose ability is no longer in doubt. He always plays slightly behind the main striker, and sometimes goes down to the midfield to pick up the ball. In addition to have a great finishing ability, Rooney also has above-average physical strength compared to other England strikers. No wonder that he plays vital role in providing goals and assists for Manchester United as well as England national team.

14. Alessandro Del Piero

Del Piero is one of the best Juventus players of all time. The small Italian player is also an example of a very creative striker. Although his position was in the front end of the team, Del Piero often went down to the middle of the field and played a role as playmaker. His role as a second striker greatly helped Juventus' main goalscorers, particularly David Trezeguet who played alongside him during the period of 2000s.

13. Raul

Raul is the legendary player of Real Madrid Spanish national team. He possessed very beautiful playing style. His dribbling skill is good and his technique is solid, although he is not very strong and fast. During Ronaldo was part of Real Madrid, Raul took a role as a shadow striker. His main task was to lure the opponent's defenders and provide more space for Ronaldo to score.

12. Roger Milla

The Cameroon striker surprised the world when he helped his team defeat the World Cup defending champions, Argentina in 1990. Milla can be called as an eccentric player. His body is thin, tall, and he was good at snaking through opposing defenders. His movements were unpredictable and deceptive. Despite his old age, Milla was still important part of Cameroon national team in the World Cup 1994. Until today, Milla holds the record as the oldest player to score a goal in the World Cup tournament.

11. Eric Cantona

Eric Cantona is a former French striker who became Manchester United greatest player in the mid-1990s. He was a tough player, had good vision as well as high technical ability. He played along with a variety of world-class striker, such as Teddy Sheringham and Andy Cole. On the pitch, Cantona played more often behind the main striker. He provided assists for the other striker and often scored goals from outside the penalty box.

10. Giuseppe Meazza

Giuseppe Meazza is a living legend of the city of Milan. His name is immortalized into a stadium that is now used as the home base for two of Italy's biggest clubs, AC Milan and Inter Milan. Meazza was a striker who played a major role in helping Italian national team won two consecutive World Cups in 1934 and 1938. Throughout his career with the national team, Meazza scored 33 goals in 53 appearances.

9. Roberto Baggio

Roberto Baggio is an example of the most creative second striker in the world. At first glance, his position is not clearly determined. Sometimes he roamed on the front end, sometimes on the side of the pitch, and sometimes in midfielder area. This free role was apparently used by Baggio to do a variety of things that were hard to predict by the opponent defender. In one game, Baggio could suddenly release good assists or goals from completely unexpected situation. As he often creates wonders on the field, Baggio is given a nickname "fantasista."

8. Gianfranco Zola

Zola has a very similar playing style to Alessandro Del Piero. The Italian striker also quite consistently maintained his forms with major European clubs, such as Napoli, Parma, Chelsea, and Cagliari. Although his body is only 167 centimeters tall, Zola was greatly feared by opposing defenders. This left-legged player is a threat for the opponents because he possessed high running speed and prolific goal-scoring instincts.

7. Francesco Totti

Francesco Totti is a prince of Rome, which until this article was published, he has been playing for 12 years. He is also a shadow striker who did great job alongside Gabriel Batistuta and Vincenzo Montella, the attacker-trio who helped the club win the Scudetto in 2000-2001 season. In the last few seasons, Totti began to leave his position as a second striker and more often placed as a single center forward.

6. Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi played as a second striker in his early career at Barcelona. At that time, he was accompanied Ronaldinho as a shadow striker, supporting the center forward, Samuel Eto'o. Messi performed this task very well because he does have good skills that helped him be a good second striker. In addition to his fast pace, his dribbling skills and finishing touch are also excellent.

5. Dennis Bergkamp

Dennis Bergkamp is the best Arsenal's second striker of all time. This player carried out his duty very well when accompanying world class strikers such as Thierry Henry, Ian Wright, and Nicolas Anelka. In the Dutch national team, Bergkamp was also a perfect companion for Patrick Kluivert. Indeed, besides proficient in scoring, this player was also great at playmaking.

4. Ronaldinho

Second striker position is probably the most suitable role for Ronaldinho. He has played in different positions as a winger, attacking midfielder, and a center forward. Among all of these positions, he plays better as a second striker. Ronaldinho's golden period occurred when he played for Barcelona. At that moment he was a tandem for Samuel Eto'o. The combination between Ronaldinho and Eto'o helped Barcelona dominate the world of international football.

3. Ferenc Puskas

Puskas is a retired Hungarian player who played in the 1950s to 1960s. In his performance with Hungary national team, Puskas scored 84 goals from 85 appearances. He also led his country to be the World Cup's runner-up in the year 1954 and also became the top scorer in the same tournament. At club level, Puskas won many achievements at Real Madrid, which are five La Liga titles and three Champions League cups.

2. Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona's name will always be discussed whenever people talk about football. The Argentine player is not only very talented, but also often create various kinds of controversy. Maradona, who was short and left-footed, transformed into a scary monster on the pitch. His technique was very great, he possessed extraordinary dribbling ability, and he also had great creativity that often helped his team score important goals.

Maradona's greatest moment was during the World Cup 1986. In the tournament, he scored one of the most beautiful goal ever in the world of football. He dribbled past five defenders before deceiving the goalkeeper and shot the ball to the net. He also led his team win this tournament by defeating West Germany in a very dramatic final match. Compared to Pele, I think Maradona is technically a better player. It's a pity to see that he ended his career in a notorious way.

1. Pele

Pele is the greatest legend in the world of football. The Brazilian footballer led his country win the World Cup three times between the period of 1958 to 1970. His name is also listed as the top scorer in the history of football. Throughout his career, Pele scored 650 goals in 694 appearances. He is also named as the most player who scored hattrick, with a total of 92 hattricks throughout his career.
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