UEFA Euro 2020

The big target men of Euro 2020 - ranked

Ross Jackson
Wout Weghorst has starred for the Netherlands so far
Wout Weghorst has starred for the Netherlands so far / ANP Sport/Getty Images
facebooktwitterreddit

Euro 2020 is already proving to be well worth the wait and one of the best things to come out of the tournament so far has been the re-emergence of the big man - not Sam Allardyce, we're of course referring to proper target men.

A whole host of sides have opted to play with a big lump of a centre-forward (some of whom even have decent feet) leading the line and it's difficult to fathom why the noble art of the target man ever went out of fashion.

With that in mind, 90min has taken a look at some of those tasked with providing a focal point to their side's attack - with the additional bonus of some who haven't even been handed their tournament debuts yet - as we rank Euro 2020's big frontmen.


15. Lyndon Dykes

Lyndon Dykes challenges for a header
Lyndon Dykes challenges for a header / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Height: 6ft 2in
Resemblance to ultimate Euros 'big man' Jan Koller: 1/10 (too Aussie)


Sorry Lyndon.


Scotland's resident Aussie forward may look absolutely ravishing with that peroxide blonde hair that's rumoured to have been the inspiration behind Phil Foden's new hairdo, but in terms of actual quality the big man is sorely lacking.

Dykes' work rate and willingness to graft for the good of the team can't be knocked, but to be considered as real top target man you need to have the technical ability to bring others into play as well as finish chances when they come your way - and he's just not quite at that level.


14. Andreas Cornelius

Andreas Cornelius playing for Denmark
Andreas Cornelius playing for Denmark / Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Height: 6ft 5in
Resemblance to ultimate Euros 'big man' Jan Koller: 2/10 (too pretty)


Andreas Cornelius is clearly viewed as more of a 'Plan B' by Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand, and so far he's had to make do with cameo appearances from the bench.

The former Cardiff man is definitely a handful for defenders, though similarly to Dykes there isn't a great amount of quality in his link-up play and so he ultimately just ends up looking a bit like a battering ram - great fun to watch but not worthy of a spot towards the top of our list.


13. Aleksandr Sobolev

Aleksandr Sobolev's international career has got off to a decent start
Aleksandr Sobolev's international career has got off to a decent start / Epsilon/Getty Images

Height: 6ft 5in
Resemblance to ultimate Euros 'big man' Jan Koller: 6/10 (too benched)


Aleksandr Sobolev is unfortunate in so much as there's another Russian striker - who may or may not feature later in this list - who is the perfect target man.

The Spartak Moscow forward certainly has the physical attributes needed and his goalscoring record at both club and international level is impressive, so he's likely to be a key figure in Russia's squad in a few years but for now he'll have to make do with substitute appearances.


12. Bruno Petkovic

Bruno Petkovic is yet to be handed a start this tournament
Bruno Petkovic is yet to be handed a start this tournament / Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Height: 6ft 4in
Resemblance to ultimate Euros 'big man' Jan Koller: 3/10 (too hairy)


It wouldn't be a surprise at all to see Bruno Petkovic given a much bigger role in the Croatia team in the upcoming games than he was for their first outing against England.

Zlatko Dalic's side looked toothless up front and caused England very few problems, and the addition of a player like Petkovic would at least give them an out ball when the opposition are looking to build pressure.

Petkovic has started to add more goals to his play in recent seasons but he's still some way off being a top target man.


11. Christian Benteke

Christian Benteke hasn't made a Euro 2020 appearance yet
Christian Benteke hasn't made a Euro 2020 appearance yet / Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

Height: 6ft 3in
Resemblance to ultimate Euros 'big man' Jan Koller: 3/10 (too short)


It's easy to forget that Christian Benteke is actually a really good forward on his day.

Not only does the Crystal Palace man have the height and strength to hold off defenders, he's also got a decent touch and has been prolific in spells throughout his career.

Benteke hit double figures for leagues goals last season despite the relentless questioning of his performances and he could have a big part to play for Belgium later in the tournament.


10. Sasa Kalajdzic

Sasa Kalajdzic, Marko Arnautovic
Look at him tower over 6ft 4in Arnautovic / Christian Hofer/Getty Images

Height: 6ft 7in
Resemblance to ultimate Euros 'big man' Jan Koller: 3/10 (too skinny)


The two-metre Austrian enjoyed a breakout season in the Bundesliga in 2020/21, scoring 16 goals in total for Stuttgart - mostly with his bonce.

Despite his towering height, Kalajdzic is relatively slight and has drawn comparisons with Peter Crouch for his combination of technical ability and aerial presence.

So far at the Euros, he has failed to show his club level form, however.


9. Kieffer Moore

Kieffer Moore's presence has been key to Wales' play
Kieffer Moore's presence has been key to Wales' play / Marcio Machado/Getty Images

Height: 6ft 5in
Resemblance to ultimate Euros 'big man' Jan Koller: 5/10 (too bloody)


Now we're talking!

Kieffer Moore is absolutely everything you want from a target man and his performances for Wales so far this tournament have been absolutely superb.

If the pictures of him with blood streaming down his face after just 15 minutes of Wales' opener weren't enough to warm your heart then you're frankly a lost cause.

Moore's header against Switzerland in the first round of matches was absolutely brilliant and if he could add a few more goals to his game he'd slowly creep his way up this list.


8. Roman Yaremchuk

Roman Yaremchuk scored Ukraine's winner against North Macedonia
Roman Yaremchuk scored Ukraine's winner against North Macedonia / Vadim Ghirda - Pool/Getty Images

Height: 6ft 3in
Resemblance to ultimate Euros 'big man' Jan Koller: 6/10 (not bald enough)


Roman Yaremchuk's goal against North Macedonia was everything you wouldn't expect from a target man as he peeled away from the last man before slotting home.

But don't let that strike deceive you. The Ukrainian forward is a huge threat in the air and is the focal point of his team's attack with the likes of Andriy Yarmolenko and Ruslan Malinovskiy playing off him.

His bullet header against the Netherlands in Ukraine's opening game showcased exactly what he can do as he found a yard of space before powering the ball home.


7. Burak Yilmaz

Burak Yilmaz has featured in both of Turkey's outings
Burak Yilmaz has featured in both of Turkey's outings / Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Height: 6ft 2in
Resemblance to ultimate Euros 'big man' Jan Koller: 3/10 (not enough chest passes)


Even at 35 years of age Burak Yilmaz is still a quality target man.

The frontman's goal record at club and international level is staggering and most importantly his all-round play as a forward is fantastic. Yilmaz's partnership with Jonathan David was one of the main reasons Lille triumphed in Ligue 1 last season and his impact on the national team is just as great.

Qualifying for the knockout rounds looks a huge ask for Turkey right now but if they are to do it then Yilmaz will no doubt be central to their efforts.


6. Wout Weghorst

Wout Weghorst's hold-up play has been vital in the Netherlands' opening two games
Wout Weghorst's hold-up play has been vital in the Netherlands' opening two games / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Height: 6ft 6in
Resemblance to ultimate Euros 'big man' Jan Koller: 7/10 (now we're cooking...)


If you hadn't heard of Wout Weghorst prior to Euro 2020 then where have you been?

The Netherlands frontman has been bagging for fun in the Bundesliga and despite having just five caps to his name prior to the start of this summer's tournament, Frank de Boer is building his side's attacking play around the big man.

Weghorst towers above just about every one of his international teammates and coupled with his intelligent play he's a quality frontman.


5. Artem Dzyuba

Artem Dzyuba battles for the ball against Finland
Artem Dzyuba battles for the ball against Finland / Anton Vaganov - Pool/Getty Images

Height: 6ft 6in
Resemblance to ultimate Euros 'big man' Jan Koller: 8/10 (almost perfect...)


The man we alluded to earlier as being the reason Aleksandr Sobolev can't get a kick? Yep, it's this guy.

Artem Dzyuba seems to have been scoring goals for Russia for about the last 45 years and even in the twilight of his career he shows no signs of slowing down - probably a poor choice of phrase given his lack of speed but you get the point.

Dzyuba's heading ability is almost second to none, and he's also got the quality to be able to drop into midfield and feed the ball into those around him.

Oh and he also looks like he's made of tractors.


4. Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud is another who is waiting for his Euro 2020 debut
Olivier Giroud is another who is waiting for his Euro 2020 debut / Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

Height: 6ft 4in
Resemblance to ultimate Euros 'big man' Jan Koller: 2/10 (ffs way too pretty)


It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that Olivier Giroud's game time at Euro 2020 is likely to be limited following Karim Benzema's return to the squad, but that doesn't mean he's not a great target man.

France arguably play better with him in the side than with Benzema as the Chelsea man's quality touch and aerial ability brings others into the game, and if his side are ever in need of a goal you can guarantee Didier Deschamps will turn to him.


3. Alexander Isak

Alexander Isak starred for Sweden against Spain
Alexander Isak starred for Sweden against Spain / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Height: 6ft 4in
Resemblance to ultimate Euros 'big man' Jan Koller: 2/10 (too technical)


Alexander Isak isn't a player who necessarily jumps off the page at you as being a target man, but that's more down to the fact he's brilliant at everything rather than him being no good at leading the line.

The Sweden forward is pacy, tricky and most of all an absolute unit, and he's already shown in this competition just how much of a handful he can be to even some of the best defenders.


2. Robert Lewandowski

Lewandowski will be key to Poland's chances at Euro 2020
Lewandowski will be key to Poland's chances at Euro 2020 / MB Media/Getty Images

Height: 6ft 1in
Resemblance to ultimate Euros 'big man' Jan Koller: 2/10 (too short, too hairy, too good)


When was the last time you saw a list of decent strikers and Robert Lewandowski wasn't in the number one spot?

Very much in the same way you wouldn't immediately consider Isak to be a frontman, the Poland striker's prolific goalscoring record means he's almost too good to be classed as a target man, but his physical attributes often fly under the radar.

Lewandowski's link-up and aerial play is one the of the main reasons Bayern Munich are as good as they are and it goes without saying that he carries the hopes of his national side.


1. Romelu Lukaku

Lukaku is in fine form this summer
Lukaku is in fine form this summer / Wolfgang Rattay - Pool/Getty Images

Height: 6ft 3in
Resemblance to ultimate Euros 'big man' Jan Koller: 3/10 (nope, Dzyuba was the one)


The reason Lewandowski isn't in the number one spot is because of this man.

Sure, the Poland forward might be a little more prolific, but in terms of being able to shield the ball, win aerial duels and bring others into play there's no-one better than Romelu Lukaku.

The Belgium forward's game has developed massively since moving to Inter and his trickery, strength and link-up play in the build-up to Belgium's second goal against Denmark the other day was honestly one of the finest pieces of forward play you are ever likely to see.


facebooktwitterreddit