The world of football has witnessed some iconic strikers over the years, from the times of Ferenc Puskas, Eusebio, Pele to the current generation stalwarts like Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe and Robert Lewandowski. 

The role of a center-forward, though, has changed quite a bit as time passed by. A good modern day striker is expected to be clinical in front of the goal, and also contribute as much as he can in the build-up. 

Gone are the days when a forward could wait on the halfway line waiting for somebody to win the ball. Managers like Pep Guardiola, Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp expect their No. 9s to drop deep and help their defenders as well.

So who is the best among the current generation forwards?

Best striker in the world

Erling Haaland is currently regarded as the best striker in football. The Norwegian international became the fastest player to score 20 goals in the history of English club football, reaching the mark in just 14 matches. 

It has been a debut season to remember for the former Borussia Dortmund player, who made a big money move this summer to Manchester City. He has already scored three hat-tricks, including one against Manchester United at home. 

PSG’s Kylian Mbappe is having a terrific season as well, for club and country. While the 24-year-old striker smashed 20 goals in 22 matches for the Parisian club, he nearly won his second World Cup in Qatar with France. 

Mbappe won the Golden Boot in the FIFA World Cup 2022 with eight goals in seven matches. He also scored a hat-trick in the final against Argentina, becoming the second footballer in history to score thrice a World Cup final.

While two young guns in Mbappe and Haaland are leading the race to be the best striker in the world, senior players Harry Kane and Robert Lewandowski are not far from contention. 

Although Tottenham Hotspur are struggling to make their presence felt in the Premier League, Kane has been on the score sheet more than a dozen times this season.

Robert Lewandowski, who moved to Barcelona in summer after a sensational spell with Bayern Munich, continues to pile on the goals with 18 strikes in 20 appearances across competitions this season.