It goes without saying that Fernando Torres is one of the best strikers in the world. 48 goals in 67 games for Liverpool is a remarkable achievement and you have to wonder how Liverpool would have fared last season and some of this season had Torres not been injured so much. He has proven many times that he can turn matches in Liverpool’s favour with a swivel and a blast from his right foot. Many would say he is THE best striker in the world, I know that most Liverpool fans would. But I am not one of those with the opinion that Torres is the best, great though he may be. For there is one striker out there who is better than Torres – whose goalscoring ability is superior and who would be heralded as the best striker in the world without question were he playing for a bigger team with better support. I’m sure you can guess who I am talking about. That man, the best striker in the world, is David Villa.
If you need proof that Villa is better than Torres on equal footing, look at their records for Spain: Torres has 23 goals from 70 international games whilst Villa possesses a much more impressive 33 from 52. He’s scored 95 goals in 140 appearances for Valencia, a team that varies from being a team that will get a guaranteed Champion’s League spot to a side that was very nearly relegated a couple of seasons ago. Despite his side’s form though, Villa has continued to score constantly. He is always up there amongst the top scorers in La Liga and can be relied on to score in almost every match. The same could be said of Torres but Villa is more consistent, spends less time arguing with referees and diving, and less time injured. Yes he takes Valencia’s penalties while Torres plays second fiddle there to Steven Gerrard and can also score free kicks, but Villa also takes Valencia’s corners and free kicks into the box which denies him the opportunity to get onto most set pieces to score whereas Torres will lurk in the box to receive the opportunity.
Villa’s goal-scoring record is even more impressive when you look at the clubs he has played for. Whilst Torres had a record of more than 1 in 3 for Atletico and more than 1 in 2 for Liverpool whilst Villa has scored just under 1 in 2 for Sporting Gijon and Zaragoza, neither of which are remotely big clubs, his record at Valencia is well above 1 in 2 also. Considering the clubs that he has played for, Villa’s record continues to shine given that he has had to deal with poor passers of the ball around him failing to set him up. Would you prefer to be set up for a goal by Steven Gerrard or by Pablo Hernandez? Yes, Villa has David Silva behind him playing balls through but Silva’s only been a prominent member of the Valencia team for a couple of years now whilst Villa’s been scoring regularly for a long time. It’s no wonder big teams want to make the most of Valencia’s financial problems and acquire Villa given how impressive his goalscoring record is.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to slag Torres off in any way, he is a remarkable player who is doing a magnificent job at Liverpool but I do feel that Villa is the better of the two. Whether he would do much better at a big team is yet to be seen although it’s more than plausible that he would. Whether he would do well in England is another matter, we do not know and it’s unclear whether we’ll find out or not – it all depends on where Villa’s future lies. Maybe he couldn’t adapt to foreign life like Torres has, he is more reluctant to leave Spain after all. Player versus player though, Villa is, in my opinion, the better striker. Coincidentally, Spain have one hell of a strikeforce…