Being a striker or an attacking midfielder doesn’t mean players should focus only on attacking roles like scoring goals and creating chances to assist a teammate.
A footballers role is much more than this!
Traditionally, strikers and forwards are known for their ability to score goals and create attacking opportunities.
However, some extraordinary players have demonstrated that they possess defensive capabilities too.
In this blog post, I will discuss the top 10 football strikers/forwards who are not only lethal in front of the goal but also impressively effective when it comes to defending.
1. Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid, France)
Antoine Griezmann’s versatility as a forward is well-documented, and his defensive attributes are equally impressive.
He is known for his tactical awareness and ability to intercept passes, making him a valuable asset in breaking down opposition attacks.
2. Roberto Firmino (Al Ahli, Brazil)
Roberto Firmino is a perfect example of a modern striker who excels in multiple facets of the game.
Known for his intelligent pressing and tireless work rate, Firmino played a crucial role in Liverpool’s high-pressing system. He is expected to do the same now in Al-Ahli Saudi FC.
He actively participates in recovering the ball and often initiates counter-attacks by winning back possession in the opposition’s half.
3. Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich, Germany)
Thomas Müller’s unorthodox playing style often surprises opponents, but one aspect that remains consistent is his work rate.
Müller is renowned for his tactical awareness and intelligent positioning, which not only helps him score goals but also contribute defensively, especially during set-pieces.
With his intelligent positioning Müller has created a new role in modern football known as raumdeuter.
Check it out in a video below:
4. João Félix (Atletico Madrid, Portugal)
João Félix is a young and highly talented forward who possesses impressive technical skills.
In addition to his flair going forward, Félix is not afraid to put in defensive efforts, tracking back to challenge opponents and disrupt their play in midfield.
5. Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund, Germany)
Marco Reus is an intelligent and skillful forward known for his creativity in the final third.
However, he is also a hard worker off the ball, pressing opponents and tracking back to provide defensive cover for his teammates.
6. Karim Benzema (Al-Ittihad, France)
Karim Benzema’s defensive work rate and ability to win aerial duels are often underrated.
Besides being a prolific goal-scorer, Benzema willingly drops back to provide an extra layer of defense and contributes to winning the ball back in midfield.
7. Gerard Moreno (Villarreal, Spain)
Gerard Moreno has been a consistent performer for Villarreal, showcasing his goal-scoring prowess.
However, he is equally adept at defending and contributes significantly to the team’s pressing game, forcing turnovers and creating opportunities from defensive positions.
8. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United, England)
Rashford at times turns into a prime Ronaldo.
But besides his speed and agility going forward, Rashford is equally capable of tracking back and helping his team defensively.
His work ethic and willingness to put in the hard yards make him a valuable asset for both Manchester United and the England national team.
9. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur, England)
Harry Kane’s scoring record speaks for itself, but he is more than just a goal machine.
Kane is not afraid to drop deeper and contribute defensively, often acting as a link between the midfield and attack.
His aerial ability and passing as a playmaker often comes in handy during defensive set-pieces and creating attacking threats.
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