The five greatest A-League strikers ever

If Bruno Fornaroli keeps up his goal-scoring feats for another couple of A-League seasons, he would surely have to rate as the best striker the competition has seen.

A-League greatest strikers

Archie Thompson, Alessandro Del Piero and Bruno Fornaroli, left to right Source: Getty Images

But does he deserve to be rated on top already? That is the question.

If Fornaroli never played another A-League game, would he have done enough already to be rated as the best striker in the competition's history?

Advertisement


And what is the definition of a striker, for the sake of this argument?

We could restrict it to those who play in the conventional, top-of-the-attack, front-man position and hardly move from there, but that would be harsh.

Archie Thompson, for instance, played a lot as a winger as well as striker, but was a vintage goal-scorer, while iconic import Alessandro Del Piero was essentially a deep-lying forward, who could take his chances from anywhere.

So we must be a bit flexible.

In consultation with SBS football presenter and analyst and former Socceroos striker, David Zdrilic, we have come up with a top five in which quality of performance over an extended period is a key factor.

But we have also included some, whose performances over a shorter period of time were so good that they demanded recognition.

Based purely on form exhibited in the A-League, plenty of good players have missed out, including Sergio van Dijk, Mark Bridge, Alex Brosque and Andy Keogh, as well as Robbie Fowler and John Aloisi.

So here they are. The top five greatest A-League strikers ever:

1. Archie Thompson

Thompson


90 goals in 224 games for Melbourne Victory, including an incredible five in the 2006-2007 grand final. Eleven straight seasons of class.

2. Besart Berisha

Berisha
 

85 goals in 137 games for Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory, and a great performer in grand finals for both sides.

3. Shane Smeltz

Smeltz
 

89 goals in 178 games for Wellington Phoenix, Gold Coast United, Perth Glory and Sydney FC. Tremendous marksman.

4. Alessandro Del Piero

Alessandro Del Piero


24 goals in 48 games for Sydney FC. The Italy icon came here in his late 30s and wowed the fans with his outrageous skill.

5. Bruno Fornaroli

Bruno Fornaroli


32 goals in 37 games for Melbourne City. Terrific player as well as a goalscorer. If he keeps going like this, it will be phenomenal.

Zdrilic said continued excellence from Fornaroli could force a rethink, up the list, before too long.

"Ask me again in six months' time and maybe the picture changes a bit," Zdrilic said.

"Another year or two of this and he will definitely be up there with the first three somewhere.

"But at the moment, I'm picking Archie, Berisha and Smeltz because of their longevity. They have produced at such a high level for so long.



"Then I would have Del Piero for the impact he had on the game as an attacking player, particularly in his first season at Sydney, and his overall star power and ability to bring Australian football up a notch.

"Del Piero has got to be in there."


Share
Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Have a story or comment? Contact Us

Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Watch nowOn Demand
Follow SBS Sport
3 min read
Published 2 December 2016 at 2:13pm
By Greg Prichard