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In the lead up to the 2013-14 season, join us as we count down the best 15 players in the A-League, as voted for by Goal and Sportal.com.au journalists and writers.

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While big international names such as Dwight Yorke, Shinji Ono and Alessandro Del Piero may have hogged the headlines there is little doubt, certainly among Melbourne Victory fans, as to whom the best marquee player in the A-League is and has been.

Having signed with the club for the inaugural edition of the A-League in 2005, Archie Thompson enjoys a cult following on the blue side of Melbourne and would be up there with the best players ever to play in the competition.

The New Zealand-born striker at nearly 35 is certainly of an age when other players start thinking about retirement, however it is hard imagine a Victory side and even the A-League itself without the charismatic number ten.

Archie Thompson

 
Club Games Goals
Melbourne Victory [2005-]
160
69

One of the most likeable characters in the competition, despite playing for perennial heavyweights Victory, Thompson isn't one to take life too seriously, on or off the pitch.

With his cheeky grin never far away, you are left with the impression that Thompson simply loves playing football.

Having represented the Socceroos 45 times since 2001, Archie is joint second-highest goal-scorer in green and gold, with 28 strikes to his name, one behind the record holder, Damien Mori.

Over the previous eight seasons Archie has banged in 67 goals in 155 appearances for the navy blues, with his most productive season coming in 2006-7, when he netted 15 times.

Scoring seven goals last year while the Victory rebooted under Postecoglou, Thompson's style of play looks set to benefit from a revitalised squad who will be pushing for honours this season.

Strengths

Archie's greatest strength is one of the most important aspects of football anywhere - scoring goals. And he simply gets the job done.

Able to evade would-be tacklers at will, Thompson utilises his speed, agility and positional awareness to get into the right areas, often finishing off slick team moves.

His trickery on the ball can also be the catalyst for setting up Victory attacks and he has defenders second-guessing themselves when he is on the ball.

Defining Moment

Holding the record for most goals scored in a single international match [13 against American Samoa] would probably be considered by most players as a defining moment.

However, it was the Grand Final against bitter rivals Adelaide United in 2006-07 for which Archie will be remembered by A-League fans.

The game was billed to be a tight affair but quickly turned out to be entirely one-sided after a five-goal spree from Thompson completely destroyed Adelaide. With Melbourne going on to win 6-0, Thompson had proven himself as one of the deadliest finishers in the competition.

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