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Nine of the Best Number 9s from the last nine World Cup tournaments

Crypto enthusiasts will tell you that if Bitcoin is the King, Ethereum is it’s Second in command. Yesterday, we focused on ten of the best Number 10s at the last ten World Cup tournaments, and today, the Number 9s have our attention.

There’s the odd “Khalid Boulahrouz” case where a non-offensive player wears the Number 9 shirt for his team, but in most cases, this is a jersey usually reserved for the most prolific or advanced forward in a football team.

9. Careca (Mexico 86)

Careca is regarded as one of the greatest strikers to emerge from Brazil. Standing at six feet, he possessed an impressive combination of almost every trait you would want in a modern striker. Pace, aerial ability, power, and an excellent positional sense. His trademark goal celebration was to mimic a flying airplane with his outstretched arms.

He missed the 1982 World Cup due to injury but got into his element in the 1986 edition, finishing the tournament with five goals as Brazil got eliminated by France in the quarter-final stage.

8. Roger Miller (Italia 90)

Cameroun’s talismanic striker was a shock inclusion in the squad for Italia 90 on the insistence of President Paul Biya. Miller took the World by storm and became the oldest goalscorer in the history of the FIFA World Cup at the age of 38. He broke this record four years later with a goal against Russia at USA 94 at the age of 42. He celebrated each of his four goals with a trademark dance at the corner flag.

England eliminated the Indomitable Lions of Cameroun in a thrilling encounter that ended 3-2 in favour of the Three Lions.

7. Gabriel Batistuta (USA 94)

Angel Gabriel, or Batigol, as he was fondly nicknamed by many, was one of the shining stars in an otherwise underwhelming Argentine team. Despite getting off to a flying start, the team’s morale fell apart due to Diego Maradona’s expulsion due to a failed doping test.

Batigol scored four goals in as many games as Argentina got eliminated in the first knockout stage at the hands of Romania. He was widely considered one of the complete strikers of his generation due to his technique, excellent movement off the ball, aerial prowess, and ability to finish chances with both feet excellently.

6. Davor Suker (France 98)

Suker made his debut for the newly-independent Croatia in 1990 after just two caps for Yugoslavia. He scored five goals in nine games as Croatia qualified for their first-ever World Cup. The Croatian team led by Suker and Boban shocked the World as they romped to an unexpected third-place finish beating more fancied teams like Germany and Netherlands.

Suker finished as the tournament’s top scorer with six goals and the silver ball for the second-best player.

5. Ronaldo (Korea/Japan 2002)

“The Phenomenon” brought a new dimension to the game of football. Ronaldo was an explosively pacey and powerful forward who could create magic with the ball at his feet. Despite being predominantly right-footed, he could score with both feet and was technically sound forward. According to then-Barcelona Coach Bobby Robson, he was “the fastest thing I have ever seen running with the ball.”

Ronaldo made a remarkable comeback from a career-threatening injury to feature for Brazil at the tournament. He scored twice against Germany in the final to confine the ghost of France 98 to history. He finished as the tournament’s top scorer with eight goals.

4. Hernan Crespo (Germany 2006)

Crespo can be described as a very opportunistic striker who stood out due to his excellent movement off the ball, aerial prowess, and ability to score acrobatic goals. He is regarded as one of the Italian Serie A’s best imports. Despite his obvious ability, his career was blighted by injuries.

Crespo finished as Argentina’s top scorer in qualification with nine goals as they finished top of South America. He ended the competition with three goals as Argentina fell to the hosts in the quarter-final.

3. Luis Suarez (South Africa 2010)

In Crypto terms, if Diego Forlan was Bitcoin, then Luis Suarez was Ethereum for Oscar Tabarez’s Uruguay team. The Uruguayans started the tournament with a barren draw against France but put South Africa to the sword in the second game with a 3-0 win, with Suarez assisting two of the goals. He scored both goals in the second-round 2-1 win over South Korea, his second being a spectacular shot that went in at the far post.

Suarez is a master of the dark arts. His most telling contribution came in stoppage time against Ghana in the quarter-final when he got a red card for deliberately stopping Dominic Adiyiah’s goal-bound header with his hands. Gyan missed the resulting spot kick, and Uruguay progressed to the Semifinals in the shootout.

2. Robin van Persie (Brazil 2014)

RvP was the top scorer in UEFA’s qualifying campaign for the 2014 showpiece with 11 goals. In the opening group game, he captained the Netherlands to a 5-1 demolition of the defending World Champions, Spain, scoring a flying header nominated for the Puskas award.

He finished the competition with four goals as the Netherlands claimed the Bronze medal against Brazil. Van Persie was the only player since 1966 in World Cup history to score with his left foot, right foot, and head, as well as scoring from a free kick and a penalty kick.

1. Harry Kane (Russia 2018)

Harry Kane was once described as an old-fashioned traditional Number 9, but he has grown in leaps and bounds. Although he is primarily known for his ruthless finishing, Kane has taken his all-round game to another level with an uncanny ability to drop deep into attacking midfield positions to create chances.

Kane captained England to a fourth-placed finish in Russia and finished the tournament with six goals, and he became the first English player to do so since Gary Lineker in 1986.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. KALEJAYE Ibrahim

    @precious omosuwe, This is lovely and interesting to read

  2. Bright

    When something pop up from this website you already know it’s worth your time and attentions, Preshous D’Proff got the football tech in himself and every readers can relate to his writing and follow it up to the crypto space 🚀🚀. Well done PROFF

  3. Big Myroh

    And after that header, RvP was nicknamed the Flying Dutchman… Now I’m elated as I wait the next episode as we count down to the world cup

  4. EniObanke

    I just finished reading “Nine of the Best Number 9s from the last nine World Cup tournaments”. The only one I didn’t agree with is Luis Suarez (South Africa 2010). I only remembered him as a Goalkeeper in that tournament….

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