Who were the best strikers during the World Cup? Including van Persie and Muller

Thomas Muller, Germany National Football Team

A Manchester United star, a Real Madrid forward and a Bayern Munich attacker all feature.

The strikers are arguably the most important players in any team because they score the goals, which translate all of the hard work into physical success.

There were some memorable attacking performances from the World Cup such as Luis Suarez’s demolition of England during the group stage, before the Uruguayan decided to bite Giorgio Chiellini of Italy.

We’ve taken a look at five key statistical areas for forwards to assess the best performers in Brazil.


Thomas Müller Germany FW 5 7 682
Lionel Messi Argentina FW 4 7 693
Neymar Brazil FW 4 5 457
Robin van Persie Netherlands FW 4 6 548
Karim Benzema France FW 3 5 450

Bayern Munich star Thomas Muller leads the way in terms of goals, which will leave Manchester United fans cursing over not being able to convince him his future was away from Germany. However, United fans will be pleased to see van Persie on the list.


  TeamPosGoal AssistAppsMins
Thomas Müller Germany FW 3 7 682
Karim Benzema France FW 2 5 450
Josip Drmic Switzerland FW 2 4 251
Emmanuel Emenike Nigeria FW 2 4 360
Eduardo Vargas Chile FW 2 4 311

Muller also weighed in with the most goal assists during the tournament, with Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema just behind him. Los Blancos are reportedly keen to keep Benzema and it’s clear to see why; he makes sensible decisions at the right times during important games.

On Target Attempts

  TeamPosOntarget Scoring AttAppsMins
Karim Benzema France FW 15 5 450
Robin van Persie Netherlands FW 12 6 548
Neymar Brazil FW 9 5 457
Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal FW 9 3 270
Clint Dempsey USA FW 8 4 387

Benzema also had more shots on target than any other player. Manchester United fans have more reason to be pleased over van Persie, as he will have a short break before carrying momentum into pre-season ahead of the new Premier League campaign.

Final Third Passes

  TeamPosSuccessful Final Third PassesAppsMins
Lionel Messi Argentina FW 111 7 693
Thomas Müller Germany FW 91 7 682
Karim Benzema France FW 73 5 450
Neymar Brazil FW 55 5 457
Keisuke Honda Japan FW 53 3 270

It shouldn’t be a major surprise for fans to learn that Barcelona star Lionel Messi made more successful final third passes for Argentina than any other player. He carried the weight of the team for most of the tournament and several will argue that he deserved a winning medal.


Lionel Messi Argentina FW 492 7 693
Dirk Kuyt Netherlands FW 401 5 509
Thomas Müller Germany FW 395 7 682
Neymar Brazil FW 328 5 457
Alexis Sánchez Chile FW 279 4 390

Messi also had more touches than any other forward during the tournament. However, we’ve decided to focus on new Arsenal signing Alexis Sanchez because it’s significant for the way Arsenal play that he makes himself available all across the attack during important matches.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch