Lukas Podolski is FACTUALLY one of the world’s top Strikers, so don’t panic!

Podolski – One of the top International Strikers

       

Fact is guys I am getting a tad disillusioned by some of the negativity from media, to be expected, but also from within our own ranks. Most of us are still positive and rightly so, but I fear some are not convinced wholeheartedly that Podolski and Giroud as incomings, outweigh the single attacking departure, of van Persie. There are calls for £25 million to spent on Llorente, who has scored, from memory, twice since March, and mustered 17 goals in La Liga, the same as Clint Dempsey in the EPL, but I digress!

I have written on why we need to be more of a team and how we need to spread the goals, and I certainly feel we are equipped to do that more efficiently in 2012/13. I am  not saying Wenger will not strengthen further in the attacking third but he has hinted that he feels his two new strikers will indeed compensate for the 30 league goals we have lost. I would urge patience whilst we get the combination of Giroud, Walcott, Gervinho and Lukas Podolski right BUT today is all about the determined and quite frankly a little scary German international. Why becasue he is a proven goal scorer at the highest level, for his country and he has hit the net more often and more efficiently than most strikers in the history of our great game! A dramatic statement you may feel, but with 44 goals in 101 international before he turned 27 it is hard to argue the case against. However if you do wish to argue  please do so in the comments, but before you do, first just follow a small and I hope quite enlightening journey through history up to the present day:

Table 1.  Who since international football began 140 years ago in 1872 has actually scored more goals than Lukas Podolski? Hundreds surely?

 

Player Country Goals Caps
       
Ali Daei Iran 109 149
Ferenc Puskas Hungary 84 85
Pele Brazil 77 92
Sandor Koscis Hungary 75 68
Kamamoto Japan 75 76
Bashir Abdullah Kuwait 75 148
Stern John Trinidad & Tobago 70 114
Kiatisuk Senamuang Thailand 69 130
Hossam Hassan Eygpt 69 169
Gerd Müller Germany 68 62
Majed Abdullah S Arabia 67 142
Miroslav Klose Germany 64 122
Jassem Al-Houwaidi Kuwait 63 74
Ronaldo Brazil 62 97
Hussein Saeed Iraq 61 126
Imre Schlosser Hungary 59 68
Gabriel Batistuta Argentina 56 68
Carlos Pavón Honduras 56 96
Romário Brazil 55 70
Didier Drogba Ivory Coast 55 87
Kazuyoshi Miura Japan 55 89
Jan Koller Czech Republic 55 91
Joachim Streich East Germany 55 102
Bum-Kun Cha S Korea 55 121
Samuel Eto’o Cameroon 54 109
Robbie Keane Ireland 53 120
Adnan Al Talyani UAE 53 164
Zico Brazil 52 72
Poul Nielsen Denmark 52 38
Jon Dahl Tomasson Denmark 52 112
Lajos Tichy Hungary 51 72
David Villa Spain 51 82
Hakan Şükür Turkey 51 112
Thierry Henry France 51 123
Karim Baheri Iran 50 87
Bobby Charlton England 49 106
Sven Rydell Sweden 49 43
Carlos Ruiz Guatemala 49 98
Landon Donovan USA 49 143
Włodzimierz Lubański Poland 48 75
Dimitar Berbatov Bulgaria 48 77
Gary Lineker England 48 80
Andriy Shevchenko Ukraine 48 111
Rudi Völler Germany 47 90
Jürgen Klinsmann Germany 47 108
Pauleta Portugal 47 88
Hristo Bonev Bulgaria 47 96
Rolando Fonseca Costa Rica 47 107
Jared Borgetti Mexico 46 90
Davor Šuker Croatia 45 69
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Germany 45 95
Grzegorz Lato Poland 45 100
Lukas Podolski Germany 44 101

 

So there is the answer in black and white. ONLY 52 players since the advent of international football,  have scored more times for their country than Lukas Podolski.

A familiar fist pump salute

 It would however be fair perhaps to remove those players, who over their careers have not played for competitive international countries, and therefore have played the majority of their internationals against weaker opposition and defences. We should compare ‘apples with apples’ to make this a worthwhile exercise.

 

Table 2. Who from the major footballing nations has scored more in international football history than Lukas Podolski?

 

Player Country Goals Caps
       
Ferenc Puskas Hungary 84 85
Pele Brazil 77 92
Sandor Koscis Hungary 75 68
Gerd Müller Germany 68 62
Miroslav Klose Germany 64 122
Ronaldo Brazil 62 97
Imre Schlosser Hungary 59 68
Gabriel Batistuta Argentina 56 68
Romário Brazil 55 70
Didier Drogba Ivory Coast 55 87
Jan Koller Czech Republic 55 91
Joachim Streich East Germany 55 102
Samuel Eto’o Cameroon 54 109
Robbie Keane Ireland 53 120
Zico Brazil 52 72
Poul Nielsen Denmark 52 38
Jon Dahl Tomasson Denmark 52 112
Lajos Tichy Hungary 51 72
David Villa Spain 51 82
Hakan Şükür Turkey 51 112
Thierry Henry France 51 123
Bobby Charlton England 49 106
Sven Rydell Sweden 49 43
Landon Donovan USA 49 143
Włodzimierz Lubański Poland 48 75
Dimitar Berbatov Bulgaria 48 77
Gary Lineker England 48 80
Andriy Shevchenko Ukraine 48 111
Rudi Völler Germany 47 90
Jürgen Klinsmann Germany 47 108
Pauleta Portugal 47 88
Hristo Bonev Bulgaria 47 96
Rolando Fonseca Costa Rica 47 107
Jared Borgetti Mexico 46 90
Davor Šuker Croatia 45 69
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Germany 45 95
Grzegorz Lato Poland 45 100
Lukas Podolski Germany 44 101

 

ONLY 37 players in history from top footballing nations have scored more than Podolski. Wow impressive!

To be fair to Lukas though perhaps we should only compare him to other international strikers from the modern era. For me I started watching football in the 1970s so that is my era:

 

Table 3.  Who has actually scored more international goals than Lukas Podolski in the modern era?

Player Country Goals Caps
       
Pele Brazil 77 92
Gerd Müller Germany 68 62
Miroslav Klose Germany 64 122
Ronaldo Brazil 62 97
Gabriel Batistuta Argentina 56 68
Romário Brazil 55 70
Didier Drogba Ivory Coast 55 87
Jan Koller Czech Republic 55 91
Joachim Streich East Germany 55 102
Samuel Eto’o Cameroon 54 109
Robbie Keane Ireland 53 120
Zico Brazil 52 72
Jon Dahl Tomasson Denmark 52 112
David Villa Spain 51 82
Hakan Şükür Turkey 51 112
Thierry Henry France 51 123
Bobby Charlton England 49 106
Landon Donovan USA 49 143
Włodzimierz Lubański Poland 48 75
Dimitar Berbatov Bulgaria 48 77
Gary Lineker England 48 80
Andriy Shevchenko Ukraine 48 111
Rudi Völler Germany 47 90
Jürgen Klinsmann Germany 47 108
Pauleta Portugal 47 88
Hristo Bonev Bulgaria 47 96
Rolando Fonseca Costa Rica 47 107
Jared Borgetti Mexico 46 90
Davor Šuker Croatia 45 69
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Germany 45 95
Grzegorz Lato Poland 45 100
Lukas Podolski Germany 44 101

 

The answer that only 31 footballers playing top level international football since the 1970s have scored more times for their country than Lukas Podolski. Less than 8 players per decade!

Okay so he has scored a lot of goals but it is not just the number of goals beacause the best strikers will have an excellent goals to games ratio surely?

 

 Table 4. Top 32 international goal getters in modern era by Goal/Game ratio

 

The Greatest of all time – Another German
Player Country Goals Caps Ratio
         
Gerd Müller Germany 68 62 1.09
Pele Brazil 77 92 0.837
Gabriel Batistuta Argentina 56 68 0.82
Romário Brazil 55 70 0.785
Zico Brazil 52 72 0.732
Włodzimierz Lubański Poland 48 75 0.64
Ronaldo Brazil 62 97 0.64
Didier Drogba Ivory Coast 55 87 0.632
Dimitar Berbatov Bulgaria 48 77 0.623
David Villa Spain 51 82 0.621
Jan Koller Czech Republic 55 91 0.604
Gary Lineker England 48 80 0.6
Joachim Streich East Germany 55 102 0.54
Pauleta Portugal 47 88 0.534
Rudi Völler Germany 47 90 0.522
Miroslav Klose Germany 64 122 0.52
Jared Borgetti Mexico 46 90 0.511
Samuel Eto’o Cameroon 54 109 0.495
Hristo Bonev Bulgaria 47 96 0.49
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Germany 45 95 0.473
Jon Dahl Tomasson Denmark 52 112 0.464
Bobby Charlton England 49 106 0.462
Hakan Şükür Turkey 51 112 0.455
Grzegorz Lato Poland 45 100 0.45
Robbie Keane Ireland 53 120 0.44
Rolando Fonseca Costa Rica 47 107 0.44
Lukas Podolski Germany 44 101 0.4356
Jürgen Klinsmann Germany 47 108 0.435
Andriy Shevchenko Ukraine 48 111 0.432
Thierry Henry France 51 123 0.414
Landon Donovan USA 49 143 0.342

 

So only 26 strikers from major mations who have scored more than Lukas since the 197os, have a better international goals to game ratio than Podolski.

And finally as I am biased I think we should only be fair to Lukas and compare him with these super strikers of the modern era that are still playing for their country today.

Table 5. Those who have scored more internationally than Podolski and are current internationals by goal/game ratio. Yes not even our own Thierry Henry.

 

Player Country Goals Caps Ratio
         
Didier Drogba Ivory Coast 55 87 0.632
David Villa Spain 51 82 0.621
Miroslav Klose Germany 64 122 0.52
Samuel Eto’o Cameroon 54 109 0.495
Robbie Keane Ireland 53 120 0.44
Lukas Podolski Germany 44 101 0.4356
Landon Donovan USA 49 143 0.342

 

Okay so in the final analysis there are only 5 internationa strikers, currenly playing for their nations, who have scored more than Podolski and have a better goals to game ratio. All 5 players who have scored more and have a better ratio are 4 or more years older than Lukas, and it remains to be seen if Keane, Klose and Drogba will be picked for their countries going forwards.

Bottom line is that the facts do not lie and Lukas Podolski is right up there with the modern greats in terms of international football.  In addition we should bear in mind that he has spent the bulk of his international career as a wide striker and not a centre forward which all the others have been.

Yes of course there are players who  have scored less goals than Lukas who have a better ratio, but how long did you want this blog to be. I hope I have made the point that we have an abosolute gem on our hands for £11 million!!

So in reality: Journos, Talksport, MOTD, Sunday Supplement and any other doubters out there: Do you really believe that Poldi will not be able to do what he has done so effectively since he was a teenager for club and country, in the EPL?

Get real!

Until next time thanks for reading.

Like what you read? Agree/disagree? Leave a comment below or follow me or comment on this blog on Twitterhttp://twitter.com/goonerdave66

 

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29 comments

  1. Great post mate. I agree with you 100%, Lukas is one of the best strikers in the world fact! However I’m not so sure international football stands up to club football these days which will probably be the counter argument for those idiots who think he is an average player.

  2. Today I learned that David Villa is his own sovereign country. Enlightening stuff.

    But jokes aside a really good read on a player I’ve loved following since my first days of becoming a Germany fan (before I was even an Arsenal fan!), so I am mega happy at having him obviously!

  3. podolski is amongst those great players who play in major competitions like the world cup and euro, and those who are seemingly likely to be crowned champions as well. Many of the other strikers don’t stand the chance of winning one with their respective countries.

  4. Podolski’s past it!!!
    Only messing around he’s a quality player. The media are a fickle bunch can’t wait to jump on a player if they don’t instantley play well. If RVP doesn’t score for utd in the next game or so they’ll be on him. “doesn’t suit utd style of play” “can’t play with Rooney” “one season wonder” etc

  5. “And finally as I am biased…” Ha! I like that line, coz in anything #Arsenal, I’m terribly bias too. PS, I’m not saying your stats are bias – far from it. Truth is they paint a veritable picture that most doubters would benefit immensely from. On the question whether club football quite compares to club football these days? My answer is: so long there are 2 upright sticks and a bar above them, there’s always that person that knows how to put the round leather ball behind them. Great one Dave. Love the stats. I hope more gooners get to see this.

    1. Errata: I’d meant to compare international football to club and not club to club. Mistakes are mine. Please pardon moa. 😛

  6. Over and above all this, Poldi does not play as a center forward for Germany. His goals come from out wide. All the others are leading the line.

    1. Richard if you read the conclusion that is the point I made and why his ratio is even more impressive

  7. I think the striker that needs to come in should be the man mentioned early doors i. this article – clint dempsey. he plays all across the attacking midfield and up front. im certain that jol would be inyerested in one or more of chamakh park or bendtner. also at 29 years of age he would be the right age not to hamper the progress of campbell or afobe for too long.

    sahin yanga-mbwia and dempsey to replace park squillaci and chamakh in the 25. JOB DONE.

  8. Very informative.I prefer information too opinion.
    Good stuff again Dave

      1. Indeed .When you show how your opinion is formed it helps immensely.
        What I meant is I like a blogger to justify his opinion.Which you do.
        I don’t understand bloggers who think I am at all interested in having my opinion spoon-fed to me.As if they are somehow a font of knowledge.
        Still,you don’t do it and its refreshing

  9. hey mate love ur articles and a huge fan of ur writing …
    This is only the second i proably disagree with an article of urs, once it was something RVP actually staying.
    Im not as well versed as u in football but the fact remains international and club stages are completely different. At club level u have to get through an entire season whereas at international level,it either a friendly or couple of weeks long tournament. so how can we compare apples to oranges ?Secondly many players have quite well for country yet have remained ok for their clubs in that time, germans are a prime example of that. So comparing poldi purely on his international stats soley i may suggest is little biased on ur end. However I fully agree with the basic notion of the write up that Prince poldi is super fucking awesome and soon we’ll all witness that =)
    I hope u don’t take me wrong just my observation and i love ur articles please carry on with r excellent work

    1. Heh thanks. This piece was using his international record but I have written previously on his club form which aslo stacks up. It may look as if he scored less at Bayern but he was rotated and about half of his appearances were from the bench. He is also on record as needed to feel a family type club atmosphere with great camaraderie to perform and he has that here.

  10. if manure chelsky or citeh signed him he`d have been from another planet,remember chicharito anyone??? enough said

  11. You stats are fine but my worry is that his style is very different from past Arsenal strikers. He isn’t a strong link player, rather a lone hunter more in Eduardo mold if compared with other recent strikers. Excellent on the break and has a good shot but may stay invisible in matches where Arsenal dominates possession like we saw against Sunderland. So far the Song/RvP link is yet to be replaced though we now finally have a world class play maker in Cazorla who should be able to build a good understanding with Podi and Oliver.

  12. Spot on. I have no additions nor subtractions. I’ll also urge Arsenal faithfuls to exercise patience, goals are coming in plenty.

  13. This is a wow article Dave, I don’t really have much to say as I have always been a fan of poldi right from when he was a teenager, moreso because I believe when Wenger signs a player he has something he sees in them, all the players in the team now are awesome and good enough to compete my only concern is that they gel and get that link up we have always had in the team. To digress a little, I do not understand y Arsenal fans have become so unsupportive to the extent of condemning players from just ONE match, imagine Giroud having to apologiseto the fans just because of one miss, if we keep piling pressures on this players they will lose confidence and play with pressure just to impress and that isn’t a good thing because we will end up seeing more misses or poor performances from them, the hunger for trophies shouldn’t be a reason for us to lose our sense of support and patience in players.,

  14. Very informative & well written Dave, really looking forward to watching Podilski. I just hope, everyonw gives him time. Everyone is so impatient, it seems these days. Remeber when Thierry came, he didn’t set the world alight when he came.

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