2022 World Cup forward power rankings: Matchday 3

Hwang Hee-chan fired South Korea into the knockout stages
Hwang Hee-chan fired South Korea into the knockout stages / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Which strikers stole the show when it mattered most in the World Cup group stages?

Well, that's what we're about to find out. With all the storylines now played out and focus turned to the heavyweight football that comes with the knockout stages, it's time for some power rankings for the top 10 strikers of matchday three.

10. Hwang Hee-chan (South Korea, new entry)

Heechan Hwang
Hwang came up with the goods / Stuart Franklin/GettyImages

Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

Hwang popped up at the death and fired South Korea to a shock victory over Portugal, that also secured them a place in the last 16. Goals don't get bigger than that.

9. Dani Olmo (down 1)

Dani Olmo
Olmo was quiet against Japan / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Lacked the spark that has made him stand out so far in Qatar in Spain's defeat to Japan, but Olmo can still be counted on to deliver in the knockout stages.

8. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Serbia, new entry)

Aleksandar Mitrovic
Mitro is a menace / Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

It all came too late for Serbia, but we got a glimpse of what they were capable of against Switzerland - and it was glorious.

Mitrovic scored an absolute peach of a header by getting on the end of a stunning cross. Give this man service and he will provide.

7. Dusan Vlahovic (Serbia, new entry)

Dusan Vlahovic
Vlahovic silenced the haters / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Watching Vlahovic's performance against Switzerland leaves you scratching your head as to why Serbia didn't go with a two-striker system from the off.

The guy is an absolute animal and marked his only start in Qatar with a tru striker's finish. Elite.

6. Jamal Musiala (Germany, -)

Jamal Musiala
He'll be back / BSR Agency/GettyImages

The teenager couldn't stop Germany from crashing out of a second successive World Cup, but he did show the world what he's capable of.

It's scary to think how good Musiala could be by the time 2026 rolls around.

5. Marcus Rashford (England, new entry)

Marcus Rashford
Rashford has found his stride again / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Afforded a rare star by Gareth Southgate, and made the absolute most of it with a brilliant brace.

Rashford is in a terrific groove right now since being revived at Manchester United and is strutting his stuff for club and country. Could be a huge asset if England go deep into the tournament.

4. Lionel Messi (Argentina, up 1)

Lionel Messi
Messi was impressive against Poland / Richard Sellers/GettyImages

Yes, he missed a penalty. But we know Messi isn't very good at those.

We can probably let him off, considering just how good he is and was against Poland, even without scoring. It was like a flashback to the past. Messi looked well and truly on it.

3. Kylian Mbappe (France, down 2)

Kylian Mbappe
Mbappe is the key / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Mbappe sits out and France lose. Do the maths.

Defeat in matchday three serves as a reminder to Les Bleus that they are in fact human after all. To be in with a chance of doing the unthinkable, they need the near superhuman Mbappe leading the charge.

2. Cody Gakpo (Netherlands, up 7)

Cody Gakpo
Gakpo is enjoying himself / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Three games, three goals. Left foot, right foot, header.

The group stages couldn't really have gone any better for Gakpo, who looks to be doing everything in his power to incite a bidding war for his services in January.

1. Alvaro Morata (Spain, up 3)

Alvaro Morata
Morata is thriving / Jam Media/GettyImages

Who would've thought? Probably not even Morata himself.

The man who has been scapegoated just about wherever he has been is firing his way to a World Cup golden boot charge. For all of the beautiful football Spain try to play, Morata is the anti-hero that they need.