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Football: Top five strikers of the last decade

Atletico Madrid striker Luis Suarez celebrates his 35th birthday on Monday, and for now, remains with the reigning La Liga champions.

If reports are to be believed, he is a potential target for Aston Villa this month, as Steven Gerrard tries to add more quality to his team.

The former Rangers coach has wasted little time in trying to improve his squad, with the signings of Lucas Digne, Robin Olsen and Philippe Coutinho.

But a deal for Suarez would arguably overshadow every other transfer in the January transfer window.

Suarez has been one of the top five strikers in Europe over the last decade, and we compare his record to some of his rivals ahead of a potential winter transfer.

1. Robert Lewandowski - Bayern Munich

Poland international Robert Lewandowski is widely regarded as the best striker in the world and he continues to rule in the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich.

The 33-year-old first made his name at Lech Poznan, scoring 32 goals in 58 appearances to earn a move to Borussia Dortmund. In 2014, he controversially decided to join Bayern from their biggest rivals, but that decision has been vindicated and then some.

Lewandowski, who is known for his killer instinct in front of goal, has scored 292 league goals since the start of the 2011/12 campaign, and that record puts him at the top of the pile.

During that time, Lewandowski has won the Bundesliga eight times, while he also lifted the Champions League trophy in 2020.

He was named Ballon d'Or Striker of the Year in 2021, and with 39 goals for club and country this season, he has shown no signs of slowing down as he tries to win a second European crown, with Bayern 7/2 to lift the trophy this season.

2. Luis Suarez - Atletico Madrid

Suarez is sometimes overlooked in polls, with the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo always grabbing the limelight.

But when it comes to a natural No.9 striker, the Uruguayan fits the bill with ease, and his ability to deliver across several leagues in Europe puts him at number two.

His 2013/14 campaign with Liverpool is one of the best from a Premier League striker, but his tally of 31 goals was not enough to help the Reds win the league title.

After a four-year spell at Anfield, he decided to try his luck in La Liga, with Barcelona paying £64million for his services in July 2014.

He managed to form a deadly combination alongside Messi and Neymar, and even though he had those two to compete against, he still scored 195 goals in all competitions for Barcelona during a trophy-laden spell.

Suarez won everything available during his spell at the Camp Nou, and the club's decision to let him join Atletico Madrid in 2020 is on they continue to rue.

3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic - AC Milan

When you think of a player that has done it all, then Zlatan Ibrahimovic often comes to mind.

The Sweden international has played for some of the world's biggest clubs, some of them twice, and continues to deliver in front of goal at the age of 40.

Ibrahimovic's strength and power have made him the player he is today, but speed is not something he possesses. The fact he has continued to score at the highest level in an era where pace has become essential proves how good he is and 239 goals since 2011 puts him up there with the very best.

The former Malmo man has played for AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and LA Galaxy in recent years, and he will hope to win another Serie A crown with the Rossoneri this season at 11/1.

4. Karim Benzema - Real Madrid

The Frenchman is another player that sometimes does not receive the respect he deserves.

To excel in a Real Madrid team takes talent, but to do it at the same time as Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale is even more challenging.

Benzema has done that and more, and he continues to lead the line at the Santiago Bernabeu.

He might not be everyone's cup of tea, but the 34-year-old's record in La Liga is one of the best in the last ten years.

Since 2011 he has scored 186 times for Madrid in the league, winning three league titles in the process.

While he would have liked to have won more, the former Lyon frontman has four Champions League winners medals, with a fifth 16/1.

The majority of professional players dream of participating in the competition, never mind winning it, and Benzema's four awards prove he has been one of the game's best strikers during his career.

5. Sergio Aguero - Retired

Last but not least, we have Sergio Aguero, who sadly had to hang up his boots late last year.

A medical issue forced the Argentinean to call it a day, meaning his Barcelona career never got going after his emotional departure from Manchester City.

Aguero changed the culture at the Etihad Stadium, helping them become contenders, and he is remembered for THAT goal. The strike that won City the title in 2012 will never be forgotten, and his time in the Premier League was hugely successful.

While he never won the Champions League with the Citizens, the 33-year-old won five league titles and became the club's all-time top goalscorer.

He is also the fourth all-time Premier League goalscorer and the highest non-English scorer in the competition.

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