12 best finishers in world football right now

Chances come a few in soccer, but if one of these best finishers in world football gets half a chance against your club, it's game over.

Haaland shoots past Thiago Silva

Who is the best finisher in world football? Modern forwards are today required to exhibit a variety of skills in order to be judged adequate for the topflight football. From take-on ability to excellent technique to lightning-fast speed, the prerequisites are exhaustive.

Finishing, however, is a trait that has been universally required since the launch of the beautiful game. With this in mind, Clacified have produced a list of the current best finishers in world football, who will devastate any opponent given a chance.

Best finishers in world football right now

Here's a quick review of who the best finishers in world football are currently:

  1. Lionel Messi
  2. Robert Lewandowski
  3. Karim Benzema
  4. Erling Haaland
  5. Son Heung-min
  6. Dimitri Payet
  7. Mattia Destro
  8. José Luis Morales
  9. Jesse Lingard
  10. Gareth Bale
  11. Franck Honorat
  12. Mohammed Salah

12. Mohammed Salah

Although now regarded as the one of the best players in the world, Salah is not an expert at converting scoring opportunities. Still, he is statistically one of the finest goal scorers in the world.

Last season, the Egyptian king scored a staggering 22 league goals yet missed the second-most clear-cut opportunities in English football. This season also, he is also exhibiting the same profligacy in front of goal.

However, due to his ability to make up for lost opportunities and even score from acute angles, he now ranks as the twelfth most clinical player in football. 

11. Franck Honorat

Prior to last season, the 26-year-old Frenchman Franck Honorat had never scored in a top-flight league in his career, despite having made his professional debut at the age of 19. But this campaign alone, Honorat has scored 11 goals for Stade Brestois.

Honorat is predicted to have less than 5 goals based on the quality of opportunities presented to him, but he has more than doubled that total with 11 non-penalty goals. This competence entries Honorat into our list of the best finishers in world football as one of the dark horses..

10. Gareth Bale

The most surprising aspect of Gareth Bale's placement on our list of best finishers in world football is perhaps his low ranking. Bale, who was once the most expensive player in the world, has now fallen precipitously in the football rankings.

However, he showed glimpses of his quality during his brief Premier League stint in North London. Bale, who scored 11 goals for Tottenham under Mourinho, missed only two clear-cut opportunities, one of the lowest percentages in the world.

In a display of incredible brilliance, he scored this many goals on just 19 shots, making his conversion rate the second-best in the league.

9. Jesse Lingard

If this article had been compiled a year ago, then hell might have broken loose with the inclusion of Jesse Lingard as a top finisher. In 2021, however, the tides have shifted, and Lingard is no longer a Manchester United failure, but rather one of Europe's most sought-after wingers.

The 29-year-old may just be a late bloomer, since 38% of his Premier League goals were scored in 2021.

The fact that he was the league's fifth best 'over-performer' last season is factual evidence that he is one of the most deadly players in the Premier League.

8. José Luis Morales

At 34 years of age, Levante's Morales is the second oldest player on this list of best finishers in world football but is also one of the most consistent.

The Spanish winger has scored 10+ goals in 3 of his last 4 seasons in La Liga, netting almost 10 more goals than the chances afforded him. 

Last season, Morales managed the 7th best non-penalty goals per minute in the division. Turning 35 next year, he might be at the end of his career, but Morales is one player you don't want your club's rearguard to come against.

7. Mattia Destro

Another tricenarian on our list of best finishers in world football right now is Genoa's Mattia Destro. Beginning his career in the Ligurian city, Destro has been in the Italian Serie A all his life, scoring double digits for four different teams in four different seasons. 

His finishing skill looks to be improving despite approaching the decline typical of football players over 30. In the previous season, 60.5% of his shots were on target, ranking second in Serie A and sixth in Europe.

In September 2021, he became a viral sensation after scoring a goal for Genoa while clutching a water bottle.

He went viral in September 2021 when he scored what was thought to be a winner for Genoa while clutching a water bottle. According to some, the footage is one of the most iconic in contemporary Serie A.

Although not one of the grand marquee names in world football, Destro is the last player in 2021 you would want to see bearing down on your club's goal. 

6. Dimitri Payet 

One of the most technical players in the game, France's Dimitri Payet is also one of the best finishers in world football right now. The 34-year-old probably has his best years behind him, but has been aging like fine wine. 

This season, he boasts the best chance conversion rate in Ligue 1, and 10th in the world. In a display of consistency, he was also in the top 10 in France the previous campaign.

5. Son Heung-min

Korea's golden boy and one of the best footballers in the world, Son Heung-min has held the title of best finisher in football for some years now, but the brilliance of other players just keeps him away from the top spot this year.

Capable of shooting proficiently with both feet, Son's clinicality was so good last season that only four players, including Lewandowski and Messi, had a better chance conversion rate than the 29-year-old. 

In addition, the winger has also ranked as one of the most accurate shooters of a football in the Premier League.

4. Erling Haaland

In 2021 alone, Haaland scored 49 goals in all competitions for Dortmund and is rated by CIES Football Observatory as the most valuable player in the world. The fact that he is the only player under the age of 24 on this list of best finishers in world football testifies to his brilliance. 

Although he misses a lot of chances, as is a normalcy for elite strikers, Haaland, has more than made up by ranking in the top 2 for goals per game in every season since 2018.

Also, in the Bundesliga, he has finished top 3 in goal conversion rate in every season. With this staggering consistency that puts the 21-year-old as an established world-class player, Haaland is the best young finisher in world football. 

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3. Karim Benzema

A player in his prime, Karim Benzema, has arguably found football more enjoyable since leaving the shadow of world star, Ronaldo. Since the Portuguese' departure, the Frenchman has netted into the 20s in each of the last three seasons. 

Now 33, the Karim is showing the world a part of his game that was oblivious to many: clinical finishing.

Since 2018, Benzema has finished with one of the highest conversion rates in world football, which comfortably ranks him as the third best finisher in world football right now. 

2. Robert Lewandowski

Polish and Bavarian legend, as well as one of Bundesliga’s most consistent record breakers, Lewandowski is undoubtedly one of the greatest strikers of all time. 

Currently holding the seemingly unassailable record for the quickest five goals in a single game, Lewandowski has not only imprinted his name in statistics but in the canons of history. 

1. Lionel Messi

Who else merits the title of best finisher in football besides the greatest left foot ever to play the game? Statistically, realistically, and officially, Lionel Messi is the most clinical player in the world of football.

In the previous four seasons, the Argentine legend has scored 30 more goals than projected, literally transforming water into wine.. This is not taking into account competitions outside the Spanish topflight.

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For the past eleven years, the 34-year-old has dominated the Spanish golden shoe, carting home the award in eight of those seasons.

His sniper-like precision is an additional feature that contributes to his clinical statistics as the PSG man has had the most shots on target in each of the past five years. In the 2019-2020 season, Messi scored more goals from beyond the penalty area than any other team.

A legendary Finisher, Lionel Messi is also the best footballer in the world.