Batistuta or Shearer? You decide...
Batistuta represented Newell's Old Boys, River Plate and Boca Juniors in his homeland, but it was a 1991 move to Fiorentina that proved his platform to superstardom. Indeed, by the time he left La Viola nine years later, he had become the club's - and one of Serie A's - record all-time marksmen and had a life-size statue erected in his honour. One prize that eluded Batigol in Florence was the scudetto, but it is something he put right in the 2000/01 season during a subsequent spell at Roma.
Batistuta also excelled at international level. He finished as the top scorer at the Copa America 1991, posting what proved to be the winner in the final against Colombia, and his second-half double in a 2-1 defeat of Mexico ensured Argentina retained their title two years later. He also appeared in three FIFA World Cups™, posting ten goals in 12 matches, and registered an unequalled 56 goals in 78 caps for his country.
Shearer made immediate headlines on his full debut as a 17-year-old, netting a hat-tirck for Southampton in a 4-2 victory over Arsenal. He moved to Blackburn Rovers in 1992, where he was on target 130 times in 171 games and inspired their capture of the league title in 1995. He joined his boyhood idols Newcastle United the following year, in a then-world-record transfer, and his monotonous prolificacy in the black-and-white stripes cemented him as the club's and Premier League's record all-time scorer. Moreover, he was named the competition's Overall Player of the Decade for the 1990s.
Shearer made 63 appearances for England, scoring 30 goals, and won the Golden Boot at UEFA EURO 1996. He was on target twice in four games at France 1998, and was later inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame.
Batistuta and Shearer were outstanding No9s, instinctive predators with exceptional long-rang shooting ability. It's over to you to decide which one was greater. Click 'Add your comment' to make your opinion known, remembering to keep your posts clean, respectful, on-topic and in English.