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2022 World Cup forwards power rankings: Matchday 1

Some of the usual suspects as well as some surprise stars have treated us to some thrilling attacking football at this World Cup.

Here are 90min‘s top 10 forwards from the first round of fixtures.

Cody Gakpo

Living up to the hype / ANP/GettyImages

Plenty of hype surrounded Gakpo heading into this tournament and he delivered in the opening match, being the Netherlands’ most threatening player and getting their opening goal with an excellent header.

Kudus was involved in everything good Ghana did against Portugal, setting up a goal and coming close to scoring twice. The decision to take him off was a baffling one.

Salem Aldawsari, Saleh Alshehri, Nawaf Alabid

A celebration worthy of the goal / Stefan Matzke – sampics/GettyImages

Al-Dawsari didn’t do much against Argentina, but he did win Saudi Arabia the match with an absolute stunner and that alone was good enough for him to make it into our top 10.

Takuma Asano

A stunning substitute appearance / Marvin Ibo Guengoer – GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

It would be unfair to his team-mates to say that Asano single-handedly turned things around for Japan against Germany, but he played as big a part as anyone, getting a goal and terrorising the German backline after coming off the bench.

Enner Valencia

This World Cup’s first goalscorer / James Williamson – AMA/GettyImages

Many were surprised to see that Valencia is still playing, and even more surprised to see that he’s still good. He got two goals against Qatar, the second of which was a great header, and would’ve had a hat-trick if not for a controversial VAR call.

Ferran Torres

Torres started his tournament in style / Richard Sellers/GettyImages

Gary Neville said this Spain side lacked a goalscorer, and Torres seemingly took that personally, backing two against Costa Rica.

Kylian Mbappe

France’s star man / FRANCK FIFE/GettyImages

Unlike at PSG, Mbappe gets the spotlight all to himself for France with Karim Benzema out and he enjoyed it in the opening match, tearing Australia apart time and time again.

Richarlison

So that’s why he starts for Brazil / Alex Livesey – Danehouse/GettyImages

Tite’s decision to play Richarlison up front rather than Gabriel Jesus would’ve confused some before the match against Serbia, but not by the end of it. The Spurs man got two goals, the second of which will surely be in the conversation for the goal of the tournament.

Bukayo Saka

Saka delivered on his World Cup debut / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

Saka showed why Southgate picked him ahead of Phil Foden for England’s opening match, getting two goals and setting up a few chances too.

Olivier Giroud

France’s all-time top scorer / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Watching Giroud against Australia, you couldn’t help but think that Benzema’s injury could be a blessing in disguise for France. He held up the ball well, played in his team-mates and got a brace to become his nation’s joint all-time top scorer. Something tells us he’ll surpass Thierry Henry in a few days.

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