In the world of football, the very best are often considered to be attackers who rack up loads of goals, such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi over the years.
Their skill on the ball, willingness to take on the opposition, and fire it past any goalkeeper is what makes fans jump out of their seats and cheer. However, to create the perfect footballer, one who could perform in any area of the field or facet of the game, you need to combine strengths from players skilled in other positions.
The very best have honed their craft, but if you were to combine the best body parts of some of the current top performing players, you could forge the perfect footballer...
Cristhian Stuani’s Head
It is said that scoring a goal is the most difficult thing to do in football, so scoring a goal with one’s head must be the epitome of scoring given that a player has only one touch on the ball to put it into the back of the net.
He may not be the most recognisable player in world football, but the former Middlesbrough striker has proven to know how to use his head this season.
For Girona FC, Cristhian Stuani has scored six headed goals and pulls off an average of 1.1 headed shots on goal per La Liga game.
Having an eye for goal is one thing, but goals don’t come about without a very talented playmaker seeing the spread of the pitch and picking that perfect pass to set up a goal.
There are many incredible playmakers in world football, such as Lionel Messi and Kevin De Bruyne, but Neymar has risen above them all so far.
Enjoying his first season in France and his first season as the world’s most expensive player, Neymar has been phenomenal for Paris Saint-Germain.
The Brazilian superstar has 16 assists so far, while averaging 3.5 key passes per game – all on top of the 26-year-old’s impressive tally of 27 goals in all competitions.
Salif Sane’s Upper Body
While the players more commonly associated with skill on the ball are wingers who are slight of frame, they manage to show strength when on the ball.
Everywhere else on the park, strength is even more important. Being stronger than an opponent in one on one situations and when defending in your half can make all of the difference in the world.
Salif Sane often plays at centre-back but is a perfectly capable central midfielder, and has proven to be a monstrous presence wherever he stands.
The Senegalese international was much sought after in the last transfer window, with his frame that exceeds 6’4’’ proving to be able to stifle many opponents.
This season for Hannover 96, Sane has won 83% of his 129 aerial duals, averages 1.7 tackles, 7.4 clearances, and 1.0 blocks per game, and has scored a goal with his head in the Bundesliga.
David de Gea’s Hands
In football, the only player who gets to use their hands to full effect is the goalkeeper.
Sure, there were the likes of Rory Delap who could tally assists from his throw-ins, but the work that goalies do in every game often keeps their teams going.
Through the struggles that Manchester United have toiled with since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, David de Gea has remained as their best player, keeping them in games that they don’t deserve to be in.
The Spaniard’s rapid reactions and incredible positioning have made him as one of the best – if not the very best – goalies in the world.
De Gea’s proving that again this season with his average of 2.85 saves per game, 2.37 successful claims at a 97% success rate, and a tally of 15 clean sheets in the Premier League.
Every footballer needs strong and durable legs to keep them moving for 90 minutes, as well as deal out strong tackles, cut out passes, move around the pitch with the ball, and pass the ball.
Ultimately, a player who can do all of that at the highest level makes a team even stronger.
Real Madrid have always been known for their flair-filled attackers and ability to acquire the most exciting players around the world, but the core of their team for the last few seasons has been Brazilian Casemiro.
Now 25-years-old, the stocky 25-year-old is an expert at protecting the defence, and despite Real’s lax season so far, he’s put up strong numbers.
Casemiro averages 4.4 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1.6 clearances, 1.3 dribbles, 1.0 key pass, 89.1% pass accuracy, and a distance of 11.09 kilometres per game in La Liga and the Champions League.
Harry Kane’s Feet
When it comes to scoring goals, the final efforts all come down to the player’s footwork. They need to be able to make space, move beyond defenders, and put the ball past the goalie.
Despite the top footballing honours all but ignoring the Tottenham Hotspur striker, he has been phenomenal for the past few years.
Still only 24-years-old, he’s already got 23 goals in the most competitive top division in Europe this season as well as another six in the Champions League to add to a tally of 32 goals in 33 games so far.
What’s most impressive is while other top scorers distinctly favour a certain foot, Harry Kane can put it away with either – or his head for that matter.
Of the 32 goals, 13 have been from his left foot, 13 have been via his right, and a further six have come from the Englishman’s head. The ambipedal striker will continue to set the league on fire with his scoring.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*