**UPDATE** Was pointed out to me that I missed two titles for Eto’o (not counting Inter). Changes will reflect that when I get a minute to make em.
My brother Pumi wrote me an email earlier today saying that he had been looking at Eto’o’s Wikipedia page and was shocked by the stats for his time at Barcelona, and that it seems suspicious (and racist) that they are jocking David Villa for being such a pure striker, when Eto’o was so much more of one. I was surprised (by the stats, honestly) and moved, so I decided to actually take the last 15 years, or so, and figure out who actually WAS the best striker, and by what margin. The following are my results. Note: I didn’t count Eto’o’s time at Inter nor Vieri’s time outside of Inter in the spreadsheet below. But it won’t change the rankings (since it gives Eto’o another title AND more goals, but poorer production, and Vieri poorer production but higher total).
I consider age 21-30 to be a player’s “prime”, take goals per game, titles won, and total goals by age 30. I rank the players based on this criteria, then see who has the lowest score. You get bonus points – totals goals – if you were a prodigy (and no bonus if you were productive into your 30s). I didn’t include assists, which I should have, but were hard work–would have helped the players with prolific teammates. So my conclusion from these stats: Lionel Messi is the best player of our generation. Ronaldo is the best pure scorer. CR7 second, on pace to first (as a some-time winger!). Barcelona were foolish to get rid of Eto’o for Ibrahimovich and Villa, but it doesn’t matter, since they have Messi. Raul is overrated. Spaniards are racist. Brits aren’t. Michael Owen is the Ken Griffey Jr. of the striker class. Oh, and I forgot about Torres. Oops!
**Notes on the statistics:
Goals per game: Minimum 200 games.
Titles: Only counting top 2 domestic tournaments, and top 2 international tournaments.
Total goals by 30: Didn’t pro-rate 30 y/o season (rounded up where relevant). I only counted goals that they scored in leagues that are top for their respective country (EPL, Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga, etc). For the younger guys, didn’t account for how many years they have left, but you can ballpark it for a feel.
Get at me here with comments, and I’ll gladly factor in and add, as relevant.