Best strikers in the world today: Mbappe or Haaland?

We have come up with a top-five list of the best strikers in the world today, based on a variety of factors that contribute to them being among the elites of their position.

Of course, goals are the most important factor to rate a striker off, but other aspects of their game must be considered to generate the all-round complete centre-forward. Nonetheless, here is our list of the top five best strikers in the world today:

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Best strikers in the world: The top 5

5. Lionel Messi (Inter Miami)

It is a debate as to whether Messi can be classified as an out-and-out striker, given he often picks up the pockets in front of defenders and also played on the wing in large parts of his career, but we had to include him in the list. The Argentine perhaps cemented himself as the greatest player of all time when he won the first FIFA World Cup of his career in Qatar in 2022, effectively completing his trophy cabinet having already won the biggest prizes in the sport.

He is still boasting great numbers in America, scoring 23 goals and producing a further 16 assists in 26 appearances in total over all competitions for Inter Miami, and his average of 4.8 shots per game is among the highest ratio of all players this campaign. This adds to Messi's astonishing career numbers where he has over 1000 goal contributions in just over 900 club games, and the 36-year-old is showing no signs of stopping.

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4. Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)

From one Argentine playing for Inter to another, Inter Milan's Martinez features in fourth on our list. He has been a consistent source of goals for a number of seasons now, including 24 so far in the Serie A that has helped push his side to win the title. For Inter alone, Martinez has managed a total of 129 goals in 281 appearances, while also contributing 43 assists.

His xGDiff (expected goals difference), which measures how many goals a player actually scores in comparison to their expected goals, is +5.47 in Serie A, which highlights how good of a finisher he is. Nonetheless, at 26 years of age, the Inter captain is at the peak of his powers.

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3. Harry Kane (Bayern Munich)

It feels harsh only having Kane third on this list, but two real superstars make up the top two, and the one factor that goes against Kane is he is yet to win a major trophy in his entire professional career. That is not entirely his fault of course, as he moved to Bayern from Tottenham Hotspur last summer with the aim of winning silverware, only for Bayern themselves to have their first trophyless season for over a decade.

Nonetheless, Kane is still a world-class striker, and he has plenty of goals to back that up. Indeed, he is having the best scoring season of his career at Bayern, netting 44 times in 45 appearances across all competitions, and has scored over 400 times for club and country. Kane is England's record goalscorer, and will be hoping to lead the Three Lions to victory at Euro 2024 in Germany, after heartbreak on home soil in the Euro 2020 final.

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2. Erling Haaland (Manchester City)

Haaland has proved himself undisputedly as one of, and in some eyes the best, striker in the world since making the move to City from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2022. In his debut season at the Etihad Stadium, he broke the all-time Premier League record for goals scored in a singular season (36), and spearheaded Pep Guardiola's side to the coveted treble.

This term, Haaland leads the Premier League scoring charts again with 27 going into the final day, including an important brace in City's 2-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur in their penultimate fixture, which puts the title in their hands as they are two points clear of nearest challengers Arsenal

Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane compared Haaland's off-the-ball work to a League Two striker earlier this season, which is laughable considering the runs he makes in behind, and the physicality he uses to shrug off defenders. Indeed, he wins 1.2 aerial duels a match on average, perhaps making Keane come across as bitter as a former Manchester United player, and of course having a famous altercation with his father Alfie.

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1. Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

It is a very close call, but we have put Mbappe as the current best striker in the world. Similar to Messi, it may be slightly controversial considering that he has played on the wing for a lot of his career, including in this season with Paris Saint-Germain, of whom he has announced that he will be leaving at the end of the season.

It is expected that Mbappe will be moving to Real Madrid in the summer, and with Brazilian superstars Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr already occupying the wings, the Frenchman will likely operate down the middle as a central striker.

He has proven himself to be an absolute nightmare for defenders with his electric pace in behind, and his dribbling ability is often unmatched, with his 2.5 dribbles averaged per game among the best of strikers in Europe's top leagues.

Of course, Mbappe scores plenty of goals too, with his 27 strikes unmatched in Ligue 1 as he pushed PSG to yet another domestic title, while he will also be looking to add to his 46 goals for France at the Euros, leading them to glory after losing the World Cup final in Qatar, where we scored a brilliant hat-trick.

Also, check out who we believe are the best midfielders in the world today.

Adam is a lead writer on Football Whispers. He is a big Arsenal fan, and also follows his local club Wealdstone, made famous by The Wealdstone Raider, of whom he has interviewed. Adam also follows darts, boxing, cricket and tennis, among many other sports.