Ranking the 5 best strikers in Dream Team World Cup – Karim Benzema misses out

IF you want to be successful in your mini-league, and even challenge for a share of Dream Team World Cup’s £50,000 prize pot, you’ll need some Golden Boot contenders in your XI.

With so many prolific strikers to choose from, it would be easy to settle for a good strike force when you should be striving for a great one.

Here at Dream Team HQ we’ve thought long and hard about the superstar forwards and have settled on a top five ranking.

Be warned, there’s no place for Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema!

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5 Cristiano Ronaldo (£7m)

Star power

We had to find a space for Portugal’s No7, he is international football’s all-time top scorer after all.

The 37-year-old has been used sparingly by Man United this season, much to his chagrin, but his compatriots may be thankful for his reduced workload as he should raring to go in Qatar.

Ronaldo has a modest record at World Cups (seven goals in 17 games) in comparison to his stats in other competitions but the fact is he’s still one of the most effective penalty-box strikers in world football.

With the likes of Bernardo Silva, Rafael Leao, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Cancelo and Nuno Mendes providing the service, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner should be presented with plenty of opportunities against Ghana, South Korea and Uruguay in Group H.

Plus, he’s on penalties, always a bonus in the world of Dream Team.

4 Harry Kane (£7.5m)

England rely heavily on their skipper

Speaking of penalties, England’s captain has converted his fair on the international stage – his spot-kicks helped him win the Golden Boot in Russia four years ago.

The Three Lions are kept on a leash under Gareth Southgate and Iran, Wales and USA will dig in and sit deep in hope of upsetting the Euro 2020 finalists but still, Kane is a somewhat inevitable presence.

With 51 goals in 75 games, the Spurs forward needs just two more to equal Wayne Rooney’s all-time England record.

Kane’s current ownership of 35.5% makes him the second-most popular player in his position.

3 Neymar (£7m)

gettyThe favourites’ main man[/caption]

The Brazilian press has repeatedly used the term ‘Neymardependencia’ (Neymar dependency) in recent years when discussing the national team.

It’s generally thought that the five-time World champions are now more well-rounded with Vinicius Junior, Raphinha and Richarlison making up a formidable front three, but still Neymar is the main man, operating at No10.

The most-expensive player in history needs just to two more goals for the Selecao to match Pele’s all-time record and you wouldn’t bet against him achieving the feat in Qatar.

Brazil face a tough group in the form of Cameroon, Serbia and Swizterland (the latter two finished above Portugal and Italy respectively in qualifying) but they are pre-tournament favourites for a reason, having won their last seven games in a row, scoring 26 goals and conceding just two.

It’s easy to overlook because of how the two campaigns ended for Brazil but Neymar was excellent at the 2014 World Cup and pretty good in 2018 too.

2 Kylian Mbappe (£7.5m)

Dream Team World Cup’s most-popular player!

Something’s not quite right with France.

Les Bleus have won just one of their last six games, a run that includes three defeats, and they’ve been the unluckiest side among the bigger nations in terms of injuries – Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante’s absences have been viewed as a disaster in France.

And yet, in Mbappe they have one of the world’s best players.

While Benzema’s form has dipped this term and Antoine Griezmann’s minutes have been artfully managed, the youngest member of Didier Deschamps’ forward line has been ruthlessly going about his business with PSG.

Mbappe, Dream Team World Cup’s most-selected player, heads to Qatar having scored 19 goals in 20 games across Ligue 1 and the Champions League – he is unplayable at his best.

The 23-year-old multiplied his reputation infinitely in Russia four years ago and with Erling Haaland having demanded the spotlight in recent months, he will be motivated to remind the world who truly is heir to the throne.

1 Lionel Messi (£7.5m)

gettyJust the seven Ballons d’Or[/caption]

It’s something of a perfect storm for the legendary No10 this winter.

Argentina are in the best shape they have been in over a decade and will start the tournament against Saudi Arabia having not lost a game in almost three and a half years.

And their captain is in sensational form having registered 25 goal involvements in 18 outings for PSG this season.

Previously, Messi has played under the weight of immense pressure at major tournaments but that was relieved when he inspired the Albiceleste to Copa America glory last year.

Incredibly, he may have his best chance to win a World Cup at the age of 35.

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