HALL OF FAME - CENTRE FORWARDS

POACHER

A centre-forward who does not involve himself in the build-up phase in and around the box or the final third, and instead perfects the art of elusive movement and goal-scoring instinct, to pounce on any chances to put the ball in the back of the net. They are deadly finishers from close range and alert to rebounds or mishaps in the penalty area, with a 6th sense for goal-scoring opportunities. They rarely leave the penalty area and are rarely seen wandering wide or in the channels. They are usually associated with the phrase 'fox in the box' and lull their opponents into a false sense of security. A prominent example of a Poacher would be Gerd Muller.

STRIKER

Striker's tend to be smaller in stature, selfish in nature and unlike poachers, tend to have a fair amount of skill in their locker which can make them dangerous outside the penalty area too although like poachers, they too are considered to be deadly inside the penalty area. Strikers can beat defenders with their dribbling skill and have the ability to interchange with roaming forwards, although their natural habitat is in and around the penalty areea, looking to either poach or create a goal-scoring opportunity for themselves out of nothing. A prominent example of a Striker would be Romario. In the modern game, the position of Striker is very much alive and most elite forwards fall into this category i.e. Luis Suarez and Sergio Aguero.

NUMBER 9

If there is one position which has stood the test of time it is the number 9. Traditionally the number 9 was associated with strong headers of the ball, great target men with strong hold up play and ferocious finishing skills. The likes of Kocsis and Seeler brought a more sophisticated approach to this position, with the ability to also drift into channels and take players on themselves - bringing a 'striker-esque' element into their game and as the game evolved, number 9's generally became more and more rounded to the point where the likes of Van Basten and Luiz Ronaldo basically became the complete centre-forwards, capable of it all. In the modern game there isn't such a great tradition of number 9's but that is more due to a dearth of quality in this position rather than it being tactically impotent.


THE GREATEST CENTRE FORWARDS


rOMARIO
'LITTLE ONE'

ROMARIO

R92
'EL FENOM'

LUIZ RONALDO

BATIGOL
'BATIGOL'

GABRIEL BATISTUTA

MULLER2
'DER BOMBER'

GERD MULLER

MVB
'THE SWAN OF UTRECHT'

MARCO VAN BASTEN

SEELER
'OUR UWE'

UWE SEELER

Gunnar_Nordahl_-_AC_Milan
'THE FIREMAN'

GUNNAR NORDAHL