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Once again, there’s two familiar names in the world goalscoring charts that’ll be well-known to football audiences around the world.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo both set 2018 alight, hitting the back of the net for fun this calendar year.
But while the Barcelona man pipped his Juventus rival, recording a remarkable 51 strikes in 54 appearances for club and country this year, he’s NOT been the world’s most prolific striker.
Instead, that honour goes to Algerian striker Baghdad Bounedjah, who had 59 goals to his name in just 40 games.
Bounedjah, 27, plays in the Qatar Stars League for Al Sadd, and the Doha side currently sit top of the table.
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They’re the same side that Spanish legends Xavi and Gabi are earning massive pay days at as the curtain draws on their wonderful careers.
However, it’s Bounedjah who is earning all the plaudits on the pitch ahead of those luminaries, and rightly so.
He finished the leading scorer in the Asian Champions League – his 13 goals helped Al Sadd reach the semifinal.
And he also earned a hero’s ovation early in the season when he scored a remarkable seven goals in a 10-1 demolition of Al Arabi.
Amusingly, he didn’t get his first in the match until the 43rd minute – and that was a penalty too.
But the next six came in a 42 minute spell in which Bounedjah just ran riot.
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And it’s just his club form that’s been impressive, Messi take note.
For Algeria, Bounedjah has struck up a great understanding with Man City’s Riyad Mahrez ensuring the Fennec Foxes qualified for the 2019 African Nations Cup.
His six goals in eight games in 2018, showed that he has the ability to transfer his goalscoring prowess onto the international stage.
And it’s definitely got scouts in the Premier League and Championship interested.
Last summer, Bounedjah was a reported target for Leeds United. Incoming manager Marcelo Bielsa wanted the technical striker to lead his forward line and spearhead the Yorkshire giants’ Premier League promotion bid.
However, the deal didn’t quite materialise because it was said that the Elland Road outfit couldn’t match Bounedjah’s salary demands.
Since then, and with the January transfer window now open, Leeds may return and they could also face competition from Leicester City who are reportedly primed with a £10m bid.
It would come as no surprise if Bounedjah did head to European shores, after all he’s said that’s his destiny.
In an interview with Onze Mundial back in June, he reiterated his desire to test himself at the highest level.
“I have the desire and ambition to go to Europe one day, it’s clear,” he revealed.
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“If I receive interesting offers this summer, I will study them. For the moment, I remain calm.
“There are already opportunities available to me, but I prefer to take my time and make the right choice.”
He added: “My ambition is Europe. I want to measure myself against others.
“Then I aspire to participate in the World Cup 2022 with Algeria. I have not had the chance to compete in a World Cup and it’s a dream for any footballer.”