Messi, Cristiano & Neymar 10 best forwards in world football this season

Who is the best of the best? Football is all about goals - talk as much about tactics and intricate passing and vision as you want but if you do not have the right men at the business end, well, everything goes out the window.
Here we take a look at the 10 best forwards in world football - based on current form while taking into account their exploits from the beginning of the season as well as the closing months of the previous one.
Romelu Lukaku and Paulo Dybala had prominently featured in a similar list we drew up recently, but their poor form of late - and the incredible performances of their competitors - sees them being pushed out. For now.
Oh, and a shout out to Alvaro Morata and Dries Mertens, both of whom missed this list by the proverbial hair's breadth!

10. Sergio Aguero

Club: Manchester City
Games played: 11
Goals: 10
Minutes played: 826
Shots per 90 mins: 4.91
Goals per 90 mins: 1.09
Goals per Shot: 0.22
Everyone wrote Sergio Aguero off when Pep Guardiola rocked up to the Etihad with ideas of passing and positioning and more passing... but what people forgot was just how good a player Aguero is... and that Pep ain't no fool.
The Argentine has been in devastating form this season, and while he is regularly rotated with Gabriel Jesus (he does have the lowest minutes played on this list), the fact that he is the preferred pointy-tip to what is arguably world football's most potent attacking unit is a testament to his ageless skill.
Oh, and a doff of the hat for his breaking of Manchester City's ancient record of top goalscorer for the club. Proper legend material.

9. Cristiano Ronaldo

Games played: 11
Goals: 7
Minutes played: 990
Shots per 90 mins: 7
Goals per 90 mins: 0.64
Goals per Shot: 0.09
Some of you will be shocked to see Cristiano Ronaldo so low down a top-10 list. Some of you will be exasperated that he has even been included in this list considering he's scored just 7 goals (the lowest in the list) and has an abysmal shots-to-goals ratio (again, the lowest in the list), but bear with me here.
Ronaldo hasn't been in the best of forms - scoring just 1 goal in 7 La Liga matches (in which he had 48 shots on goal) - and that is the obvious reason why he's so low down here.
But that one goal he did score was the match winner against Getafe... and he's been on fire in the Champions League, scoring 6 goals in just 4 matches, picking up where he left off last year (when he finished top-scorer) and to not acknowledge that would be petty.
Besides, in the middle of Real Madrid's horrible run of performances, he has arguably been their best player - the one holding it all together!

8. Mauro Icardi

Club: Internazionale (Inter Milan)
Games played: 12
Goals: 11
Minutes played: 1,064
Shots per 90 mins: 3.25
Goals per 90 mins: 0.93
Goals per Shot: 0.29
Diego Maradona may insist that Mauro Icardi got into the Argentine national team because Wanda, Mauro's better-half, lobbied hard for him but the truth is that it would take a coach of incredible thickness-of-head (hello there, Edgardo) to keep Icardi out.
Inter's talisman, him of that iconic MI9 captain's armband, has been on fire for quite a while but he's slowly upping his own game and emerging - unmistakably - as one of the best no.9s in world football.
The much-awaited Derby Della Madonnina against newly refurbished AC saw the very best of Icardi when he scored a hattrick to guide the Nerazzurri past their rivals 3-2 - the second an athletic scissors kick that was quite simply phenomenal.
Inter have had plenty of great no.9s, but Icardi is en-route to making sure he's talked about in the same breath as the best of them.

7. Robert Lewandowski

Club: Bayern Munich
Games played: 14
Goals: 12
Minutes played: 1,190
Shots per 90 mins: 4.34
Goals per 90 mins: 0.91
Goals per Shot: 0.21
Robert Lewandowski has been pretty critical of Bayern Munich's transfer policy - and of his teammates' "policy" of not creating enough chances for him to be Bundesliga's top scorer - and he was apparently one of the powerful few who forced Carlo Ancelotti... but to see him play on the field, you'd think everything was just perfect.
The Pole has this uncanny knack of keeping off-field issues off the field and focus all of his considerable powers onto the one thing he does better than most - score goals. He is the most important cog of this Bayern machine, and Jupp Heyneckes is already loving having him at his disposal.
It's not just the fact that he has 12 goals in 14, but the fact that whenever he hasn't played (hello, that away performance against Celtic) Bayern have looked a shadow of themselves... there can be no greater signifier of a footballer's quality than that.

6. Harry Kane

Club: Tottenham Hotspur
Games played: 14
Goals: 13
Minutes played: 1,202
Shots per 90 mins: 5.87
Goals per 90 mins: 0.97
Goals per Shot: 0.17
Pep Guardiola was being his typical arrogant self when he called Tottenham Hotspur 'the Harry Kane team' and Mauricio Pochettino rightly slammed him for it - but there is an element of truth to it.
As fantastic a defensive unit as Pochettino has built at the back for Spurs, and as good as Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen are, it's Harry Kane that elevates them from a good team to one that has the potential to be a great one.
He's picked up this season where he left off in the last one, and the one before that - the two time Golden Boot winner is all set to win it the third straight
Even when he doesn't score, he plays the defence so brilliantly that he leaves acres of space in behind him... see, Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Real Madrid.

5. Edinson Cavani

Club: Paris St. Germain
Games played: 14
Goals: 17
Minutes played: 1,261
Shots per 90 mins: 3.80
Goals per 90 mins: 1.21
Goals per Shot: 0.32
Edinson Cavani is the first player to have reached the 100 goal mark in two leagues (from Europe's top 5) - and yet he seems to be overlooked everytime a list of top forwards is drawn up.
While he was always the talisman for Napoli whilst he was there, he's held centre-stage at PSG for just one year in between the Ibrahimovic and Neymar eras, but he's never stopped scoring. And he's not about to stop now - as his stats show, 1.21 goals-a-game (third best in the list) and a 32% conversion rate when it comes to his shots becoming goals (second best in the list) put him straight into the top bracket of elite strikers.
Uruguay would be well advised to make Cavani their main man ahead of Luis Suarez come Russia 2019

4. Neymar Jr.

Club: Paris St. Germain
Games played: 12
Goals: 11
Minutes played: 1,077
Shots per 90 mins: 3.71
Goals per 90 mins: 0.92
Goals per Shot average: 0.25
€222 million is a massive, massive price tag to have hanging around your neck. When someone plumps that kind of moolah for you, they hold you to certain expectations - and not everyone can hold up to that kind of pressure.
Neymar Jr., though, isn't like anyone else, is he?
He landed in Ligue 1 and has taken to it like a fish to water, his performances in the Champions League (hello, Bayern Munich) vindicating the fact that his performances are incredible and it's not just down to the perceived lower standards of defending in France.
He may have an issue or two running with Edi Cavani - but the two seem to get along just fine when the ball's in open play... some of their, and Kylian Mbappe's, combination play taking the breath away - such is their speed of thought and movement.
Neymar's been integral to all this which is why while he may not have more goals than most on this list, he does have the most assists, and by a distance... at 7. Already.
He is truly a complete player.

3. Ciro Immobile

Club: Lazio
Games played: 14
Goals: 16
Minutes played: 1,088
Shots per 90 mins: 4.40
Goals per 90 mins: 1.32
Goals per Shot average: 0.30
Nobody expected Lazio to amount to much. Nobody expected Simone Inzaghi to do as well as he's doing at the moment. But then again, nobody accounted for Ciro Immobile.
The blonde-haired Italian has been in utterly sensational form this season, scoring an incredible 1.32 goals for every 90 minutes he spends on the pitch (the highest, by far, on this list)... and his mere presence on the pitch has often helped Lazio turn matches on their head,
As good as the rest of the Roman outfit is, it's Immobile's incredible finishing that's made them the team that they are right now.
This October no one in Europe's top five leagues was involved in as many goals as him (9), and it's not that he's only scoring all of them... he helps create too!

2. Lionel Messi

Club: Barcelona
Games played: 15
Goals: 15
Minutes played: 1,350
Shots per 90 mins: 6.2
Goals per 90 mins: 1
Goals per Shot average: 0.16
After being returned to his favourite false-nine position by Ernesto Valverde, Lionel Messi has once again upped his game - in a way few would have thought possible... especially considering the incredible individual season he had last time around... but then Leo Messi has never obeyed the laws of mortal expectation.
His free-scoring self has been unleashed with the freedom that Valverde has given him and at times it feels like he drives on Barcelona all by his lonesome... not that this is a new thing: after all, Messi has been directly involved in 45,1% of all Barça goals over the past 10 years.
The only reason we haven't given him the no.1 spot - apart from the phenomenal form of the man who occupies it - is that he has been a touch wasteful in front of goal... his conversion rate of 16% only good enough to better Ronaldo on the list (he has 9%).
It's just nitpicking, though. What a player that man is. Phew.

1. Radamel Falcao

Club: Monaco
Games played: 12
Goals: 14
Minutes played: 1,023
Shots per 90 mins: 3.06
Goals per 90 mins: 1.23
Goals per Shot average: 0.40
Before you start hurling stuff at your screen, wipe out your memories of the ghost who sleepwalked through a year each at Manchester United and Chelsea, and focus on the present - To hell and back: the story of Radamel Falcao's miraculous resurrection 
While he was almost back to his predatory best last season at Monaco, he has got there this season. If we consider all competitions, he converts 40% of his shots into goals... and when we talk only League goals, that rises to a quite incredible 50%; that's a goal every other shot.
Bloody brilliant, isn't he?

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