Top 5: Europe's most effective strikers

Zlatan Ibrahimovic tops Barcelona forward Leo Messi on the list of Europe's most effective strikers

Patrick Surlis
Published 04/30/2013 11:50 by Patrick Surlis, read by 47,019 people.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has long been regarded as one of the most talented forwards in the world - but is he now the best in the game?

The Swedish striker has enjoyed a superb season since joining Paris St Germain last summer, providing seven assists and a Ligue 1-high 27 goals as his French side roll to the league title.

And the stats support his case - at least in terms of his importance to his team. Over half (55.7 per cent) of PSG's goals have been either scored or set up by Ibrahimovic this term - the highest percentage in Europe. More than Leo Messi, more than Cristiano Ronaldo. More even than Atalanta's Argentinian forward confusingly named German Denis.

Many have been quick to proclaim the death of the number nine, the orthodox goalscoring forward who sticks up front, holds the ball up, brings others into play, and occasionally bags a few goals.

Messi and the 'false nine' is partly responsible, but a quick glance at the stats demonstrates that they're not dead yet.

Messi, in the tiki-taka Barcelona system, places highly on the most effective strikers list, but he's surrounded by orthodox centre-forwards. To quickly explain what we mean by 'effective', we're talking about the strikers who contribute the highest proportion of the team's goals - either through assists or the actual goals themselves.

With thanks to for the statistics, GMF counts down the top 5 forwards in Europe with the highest goal contributions for their respective teams…

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