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Best South American Strikers of 2021

Fri 17 December 2021 | 14:30

South American strikers are some of the most sought-after in the world but who is the best South–American striker in 2021? In the following article, we've compiled who we think are the current top strikers in South–America. Read on to find out more about ranking South–America’s top strikers.

As we are getting closer and closer to the end of the 2021 calendar year, numerous debates about "the best football players of the year" are arising.

The rankings are narrowed by some factors such as the players' nationalities, their positions on the field, as well as their number of goals and assists, and basically any numbers and stats one player can record while playing football.

From a vast range of Criteria, we have chosen being "South American" and being a "striker", and since Copa America was held during this year, the topic of best South American strikers of 2021 has been a hot one among football lovers.

Besides international football, footballers spend most of the year wearing their clubs’ shirts. Hence, one player's performance is judged by his performance on both club and international levels.

Best South American Strikers of 2021:

In the following article, we are going to introduce some of the

best South American strikers of 2021

. While you can guess some of them, read on to find out more about the surprises on the list!

Luis Suarez

  • Full name: Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz

  • Date of birth: 24 January 1987 (age 34)

  • Place of birth: Salto, Uruguay

  • Height: 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)

  • Position(s): Striker

The Uruguayan striker has proved that not only was he one of the best South American strikers in 2021, but he is also one of the most dangerous strikers in the world of football even at the age of 34.

His ambition toward success grew vigorously as he was forced to leave Barcelona in the summer of 2020 by their manager at the time,

Ronald Koeman

.

Suarez

joined Blaugrana's La Liga rival, Atletico Madrid, and turned out to be their most decisive player on the way to the achievement of the 2020/21 La Liga title.

He was Atletico Madrid's top scorer in the league by scoring 21 goals within 32 appearances. The prolific goal scorer collected 21 points for his team, more than any other among all La Liga players.

Suarez scored 2 match – winning goals during Atletico's 2 final matches of the 2020/21 La Liga season, while if RojiBlancos had lost any of those 2 games, they would not have won the title.

He genuinely carried them on his shoulder to their 11th ever La Liga championship by being directly involved in 35% of the team's total goals within the competition with 21 goals and 3 assists.

Besides, Suarez has retained his good form up until the first half of the 2021/22 season by scoring 7 goals and assisting 1 within 12 La Liga matches.

However, despite his memorable achievements on club level, the 34 – year – old striker could not find happiness with his national team in 2021 Copa America: Suarez only managed to sore 1 goal during 5 matches throughout the tournament while Uruguay was eliminated in the quarter finals by Colombia.

Uruguay have sacked the coach, Oscar Tabarez, after 15 years in charge of the national side. Tabarez's last game in charge saw Luis Suarez and Co lose 3-0 to 10-man Bolivia, leaving them three places below the automatic qualifying positions.

Former

Atletico Madrid

striker Diego Alonso was named head coach of Uruguay’s national team less than a month after the sacking of long-time manager Tabarez.

The elite striker has barely had a shot on goal during the Copa America and risk bowing out of international football on a disappointing note.

A decade has now passed since Uruguay last lifted the oldest international trophy in world football, destroying Paraguay 3-0 in the final in Buenos Aires' Estadio Monumental.

Lautaro Martinez

  • Full name: Lautaro Javier Martínez

  • Date of birth: 22 August 1997 (age 24)

  • Place of birth: Bahía Blanca, Argentina

  • Height: 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)

  • Position(s): Striker

The 24 – year – old striker was definitely one of the

best South American strikers of 2021

. We can arguably name him 'the most successful Argentinean player of the year', as he won the Copa America with his national team as well as the Italian Serie A with Inter, while shining in both tournaments.

He played vital role in ending Juventus's 10 – year domination over the Italian League, and he was one of the best players in the Argentina squad that managed to win a major trophy after 28 years.

Martinez featured in all 38 Serie A games for Inter throughout 2020/21, within which he scored 17 goals and provided 6 assists. He paired up with Romelu Lukaku as the 2 strikers in Antonio Conte's 3 – 5 – 2 formation, and he was the club's most pivotal player after the Belgian man.

Moreover, Martinez has continued his astonishing performance to the 2021/22 season even with the departure of

Lukaku

and

Antonio Conte

. He has scored 5 goals within 11 Serie A games for Nerazzurri.

Furthermore, Lautaro Martinez was a key player in Argentina's Copa America – winner campaign. They finally gave their people an international trophy after 28 years.

Martinez's 3 goals during 6 games, especially the one against Colombia in the semi – finals, was vital to Albiselecte's memorable championship, which was sweetened as they defeated their eternal rival, Brazil, in the final match on Brazilian soil.

Lautaro Martinez was spotted while crying during Argentina’s latest World Cup qualifier against Uruguay, He was in tears on the bench after finding the target in a 3-0 win.

He was replaced shortly after netting the Albiceleste’s third of a productive evening, with

Lionel Scaloni

introducing Joaquin Correa in the 65th minute.

In fact, his tears were those of joy, not sadness, with Lautaro delighted to have scored in front of his family in the stands.

“Martinez told reporters, “For my daughter, my family, more than anything for that.

“I thought of my family who were at the stadium, that's why I got emotional. That is sacrifice, to leave many things aside. My family has always accompanied me and I will forever be grateful for that."

His goal against Uruguay was his 16th for his country through just 32 appearances, with other notable number nines being currently kept on the sidelines.

Lionel Messi

  • Full name: Lionel Andrés Messi

  • Date of birth: 24 June 1987 (age 34)

  • Place of birth: Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina

  • Height: 1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)

  • Position(s): Forward

No explanations needed!

Lionel Messi

was the

Copa America best player 2021

, he was the tournament's top scorer with 4 goals, and also its top scorer with 5 assists.

Messi finally achieved a major trophy with his national team and burst into tears right after the final match's final whistle. The absence of a trophy with Argentina was the only whole in the career in the player which is said by his fans to be the G.O.A.T (The Greatest of All Time).

While he is not predominantly a striker, he has played as a striker on several occasions for his club and country. He has been one of the

best South American footballers 2021

the same as every other year since 2007.

Messi's individual performance during 2021 calendar year has been astonishing as always: He has played in a total of 53 games, scored 40 goals and provided 14 assists. This means an average of 85 mins per goal contribution.

On the international level, Messi has featured in 16 games for Argentina within 2021, has scored 9 goals, and provided 5 assists (97 mins per goal contribution).

Furthermore, on club stage, the legendary player has played in 37 games for

Barcelona

and Paris Saint – Germain. He has scored 31 goals and provided 9 assists within those matches for the Spanish and French sides.

During the Copa America, as mentioned, Lionel Messi was the top scorer with 4 goals, best assist provider with 5 assists, and was jointly named the Best Player of the tournament alongside PSG teammate Neymar – well, they were not teammates at the time!

He averaged 70 mins per goal contribution throughout the tournament, which was definitely the sweetest achievement of his career.

Moreover, the Argentinean man won the 2021 Spanish Cup as his last trophy with FC Barcelona before moving to the French Capital.

Lionel Messi was said to be one of the main chances of winning the 2021 Ballon d'Or award as the best player of the year alongside

Robert Lewandowski

.

Finally, it was announced and Messi touched the sky. The Paris Saint-Germain forward is once again crowned the best in the world.

He received his record seventh Ballon d'Or from his close friend and former Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez, who congratulated the Argentine on the stage. Messi had previously won the accolade in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019.

Robert Lewandowski finished second in the voting, with Jorginho finishing third and

Karim Benzema

being ranked in the fourth position.

The Bayern Munich forward received the Striker of the Year award, while Barcelona midfielder Pedri was handed the Kopa Trophy and Chelsea were named Club of the Year.

While there are plenty who are happy to see the award back with the Argentinian, others have questioned what Leo has done to deserve it.

Luis Muriel

  • Full name: Luis Fernando Muriel Fruto

  • Date of birth: 16 April 1991 (age 30)

  • Place of birth: Santo Tomás, Colombia

  • Height: 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)

  • Position(s): Forward

Atalanta's Colombian striker's astounding performance has left us no choice but to include him in the list of the

best South American strikers of 2021

.

He featured in 36 Serie A games for Atalanta during 2020/21, and despite he came on the pitch as a starter on only 16 occasions, Muriel managed to score 22 goals and was his team's top scorer.

In addition, he also provided 9 assists throughout the league.

Muriel

was directly involved in 34% of Atalanta's total goals in the league.

Moreover, Muriel recorded the astonishing ratio of 65 minutes/goal. The record seems even more outstanding when you compare his number to the second player of the list: Cristiano Ronaldo, the league's top scorer, who scored a goal an average every 96 minutes throughout 2020/21 Serie A season.

Furthermore, Muriel was his club's 2nd top assist provider as well, behind only Ruslan Malinovskyi, who was the league's top assist provider with 12 assists. He was one of the main reasons Atalanta finished the league in the 3rd place and qualified for 2021/22 UEFA Champions League.

Muriel and his national team, Colombia, finished Copa America in the 3rd place and achieved the Bronze medal. They were eliminated by the eventual champions, Argentina, in the semi – finals, and won Peru 3 – 2 in the third place play – off.

Muriel did not have a good tournament and only managed to provide 1 assist within 4 games during the competition.

Neymar JR

  • Full name: Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior

  • Date of birth: 5 February 1992 (age 29)

  • Place of birth: Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil

  • Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)

  • Position(s): Forward

Not originally a striker,

Neymar

scores and assists. The Brazilian killer was jointly named the Copa America best player 2021 alongside Lionel Messi.

Neymar scored 2 goals and provided 3 assists throughout the competition, and while he was not the best of the tournament in any of those, the Brazilian winger was by far the best dribbler of the tournament, having completed 5.8 dribbles per match.

Besides, Neymar also recorded the best average of Key passes per match ratio with 3.5, standing above Lionel Messi with 3 key passes per match.

Moreover, the 29 – year – old talented player created a total of 9 big chances during his appearances in the tournament, which made him the best of the tournament in that matter, again, standing him above Lionel Messi with 6 total big chances created.

In addition to offensive acts, Neymar was also the player with the most number of possessions won in the final 3rd. With all that in mind, he was deservedly named Copa America best player 2021, and he has definitely been one of the best South American footballers 2021.

Moreover, Neymar netted 9 goals and assisted 5 during 18 League games for

Paris Saint – Germain

. He missed almost half of the season due to injury.

However, his performance in the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League was good enough to take PSG to the semi – finals for the 2nd consecutive year: he scored 6 goals and provided 2 assists within 9 appearances in the tournament.

Unfortunate for him and Paris fans, they were eliminated by Man City in the semi – finals, and couldn't replicate their feat of proceeding to the final math for the 2nd successive year. They had lost the final match of 2020 UCL to Bayern Munich.

Although it was not the best year of his career, Neymar was still one of the

best players in South America 2021

.

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source: SportMob

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