Sam May argues that Barcelona’s deadline front-line of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar are the greatest trio of all time.
If you look up nuclear in the dictionary, you will find a picture of Messi, Suarez and Neymar smiling back at you. Many clubs have been marked by the presence of great forwards, but the fundamental question is – Barcelona’s current front three, are they the best attacking trio, world football has ever seen?
From Alfredo Di Stefano, Franciso Gento, Ferenc Puskas (Real Madrid 1955-60), Gerd Mueller, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Uli Hoeness (Bayern Munich 1974-1978) to George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton (1964-1969), Europe has been decorated with some of the most colourful and talented trio’s in the game over the years.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez were arguably the best trio during the 2007-2008 season, under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson. Manchester United won the Premier league and Champions League. Ronaldo scored 31 goals, Tevez got 14 and Rooney reached 12.
Diego Milito, Wesley Sneijder and Samuel Eto. The trio spearheaded Inter Milan’s attack during the 2009-10 season under Jose Mourinho. It was the best season in the history of the I Nerazzurri. Dutchman Sneijder’s silky skills helped the two deadly attackers, with Argentine Milito scoring 30 goals that season. To think Eto’o had played alongside Messi and Henry a year earlier. Milan also overcame Barcelona and Bayern Munich to win the Champions League too.
Nevertheless, It’s hard to forget, the incredible threesome who helped Los Blancos to La Decima in 2013, beating arch rivals Atletico Madrid 4-1 after extra time. It wasn’t just the work of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo that was evident on the night – but during the season. The trio racked up an astonishing 108 goals for the season. Ronaldo grabbed 56, Benzema 28 and Bale 24. The Welshman managed to score in the Copa Del Rey final and Champions League final. Ronaldo also bagged a goal in Lisbon, but scored in the UEFA Super Cup as well at the Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi.
Bayern Munich had their chance to see a fine trio in action. In 2012 Thomas Mueller, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery stole the headlines. It was in 2013 when the Bavarian Giants won the treble – Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League. The attacking prowess of Mueller saw him score 23 goals that season. His favoured false nine position is unquestionably his own, but people still don’t understand whether he is a midfielder or forward.
There have been many trios’ in recent years amongst Europe’s elite, but none of them match Barcelona’s South American superstars. The magical trio outscored PSG, Real Madrid and Manchester City last season, with over 130 goals between them.
The Blaugranes will never forget the formidable trio of Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto, who capitulated everything in its path, helping the Catalan Giants to secure a historic treble in 2009. The powers of Pep Guardiola has played a huge part over the years. The triumvirate of Messi, Pedro Rodriguez and David Villa were also breath taking to watch – vital in securing La Liga and the Champions League in 2011.
The fact is, the tantalising trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, outscore most teams in Europe is breath taking. It’s their insatiable appetite, scoring 125 goals in 2015, which guided them to the treble and had fans jumping off their seats. This campaign has seen them notch up 109 goals already and they will look to emulate last seasons astonishing record. Luis Enrique is arguably very fortunate to have the attacking trident, but he must take some of the plaudits too, having suffered a tough start in 2015, only for his team to go on and win five trophies.
Europe’s terrifying trio helped Barcelona claim the treble last season. Undoubtedly, it’s the most talented footballer to wear the Barcelona shirt, the Rosario born genius and four-time Ballon d’Or winner, Messi, who makes every football fan dream of having him in their team. It’s the 28-years old’s, cold-blooded approach he expresses in front of goal, as well as his exquisite technique and fascinating dribbling skills, which have all stemmed back from the day at the famous La Mascia in 2000. It’s his teammates attitudes that enhance their individual game that make him the best, but the fact is, they all learn from the man himself.
Meanwhile, we must not forget the impact of Luis Suarez. He was instrumental in Liverpool’s title charge two seasons ago, scoring 31 goals in 33 appearances during his time on Merseyside. Player of the season for 2013-14, this seen him share the Golden Boot with Cristiano Ronaldo. These are the main reasons Barcelona splashed out €81 million. He has been a shining star since his arrival into Spanish football and long may it continue.
Amongst the Barca faithful, Neymar, has become a fan favourite since his €57million arrival from boyhood club Santos, where became Brazilian Player of Year at the age of 20. It seems Messi has been the catalyst to help the pair adapt to life in Catalunya, on a personal and professional level. It’s the time spent away from the spotlight, which has also played a huge factor in their rise, the close family bonding of the trio.
Their partnership is only going to get better and will only strengthen further. They must remain fit, hungry to succeed and motivated. The fact is they are the most successful trio. This week’s 8-0 triumph against Deportivo only proved this further, with Suarez scoring 4 goals and assisted on 3.