Messi-Mbappé-Neymar, challenge to the legend

Before becoming a trio in fact, having even debuted together and being able to consider a minimum continuity in time – the future of one of the partners (Mbappé) is not clear- the triplet Messi-Mbappé-Neymar (MMN) or Messi-Neymar-Mbappé (MNM), still without a fixed origin denominator, already challenges the best forwards in history.

Few tools survive over time in life in general and in sport in particular, like comparisons. And in this case the machinery is already running without taking into account that all the paragons should contemplate minimum security measures. Not all are worth it. The circumstances are different in both time and space and must be placed within a context.

From Messi, Mbappé and Neymar together, you can only hope for the best. It will be difficult for the technician to delimit the occupation of the spaces of each one of them. All three are modern, dynamic, fast-moving strikers who can swap positions and roles without compromising team performance. Everyone plays everything and for everyone.

It is possible to think that Messi, by stars and prestige, could be the one who will have the most freedom, but restraining a Neymar used to doing what he wants on the pitch will not be easy. Mbappé aims, in any case, to be the most advanced of the three, to be the offensive reference of the team. He will contribute, if he stays, the speed, the depth, the game to the space, while Messi and Neymar will play at their own pace, more on the foot, as they are used to.

The closest reference in time to the MMN or MNM are the BBC of Real Madrid (Bale-Benzema-Cristiano) and the MSN of Barcelona (Messi-Suárez-Neymar), Although the HBC will always be kept in mind, the trident formed by Higuaín-Benzema-Cristiano who scored unprecedented scoring records.

The Madrid of 121 goals.

In the 2011-12 season with Mourinho as coach this trio scored 89 of the 121 goals Real Madrid scored. A figure that still maintains its validity as the best performing brand in the history of the League. Neither before nor after, never before have three forwards from the same team scored more than 20 goals in the League, with 20 victories by more than three goals apart..

Another fact to take into account is that Higuaín (18 games as a starter and 17 as a substitute) and Benzema (26 and 8) shared the ownership and they did not usually play together from the beginning, because the team played with a 1-4-2-3-1 where there was only room for a reference striker and three half points behind (Di María-Ozil-Cristiano).

The BBC, five years together.

From the 2013-14 season with the arrival of Bale to the 2017-18 season, Cristiano’s last. They won 13 titles. Between the three they added 442 goals of the 784 scored by their team, 56.4 percent and 2.7 per game. The Portuguese reached 249 goals (165 in the League); the French, at 105 (72); and the Welshman, at 88 (70). The BBC played 293 games together and won 210, up 71.7 percent.

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Tactically, Bale used to start from the right wing, Cristiano from the left and Benzema occupied central positions, but much more behind. The space that he left free was constantly occupied by his teammates who were playing with a different leg and looking for their best profile for the auction.

The Frenchman, over time, well defined the role of each member of the BBC: “You had a rocket, which was Bale; the scorer, who was Cristiano, and then there was me, who was the space between the two, the piece for everything to work. I scored goals, but I was more in the construction, in the movement, trying to open spaces. For me, not because you have number 9, you have to be a scorer. “

MSN, three seasons.

The bar at Barcelona was very high. It came from forming galactic forwards. From Laudrup-Romario-Stoichkov of Cruyff’s dream-team to Messi-Eto’o-Ronaldinho with Henry as a replacement for the Brazilian already with Guardiola. The Uruguayan, Luis Suárez, joined the partnership already set up at the Camp Nou between an Argentine (Messi) and a Brazilian (Neymar) in the 2014-15 academic year. And between the fact that he debuted late because he dragged a sanction for biting Chiellini and that in the first games he did not see the door, there was doubt about the compatibility to play the three together.

Time erased the doubts. The triumvirate was broken at the end of the 2016-17 season with the departure of Neymar to PSG. They played 181 games together and won 138, or 76 percent. Of the 519 goals of his team in those three courses, Messi scored 153 (58, 41 and 54), Luis Suárez 121 (25, 59, 37) and Neymar, 90 (39, 31 and 20).

From a tactical point of view, Luis Enrique had to turn the board several times. He began by placing Luis Suárez on the right because Messi preferred to play in the center and Neymar on the left. As the Uruguayan could not see the door, the coach asked the Argentine to return to his primary position, starting from the right to bring the Uruguayan closer to the penalty spot. The goal machinery began to work and, with Leo always as a reference, they shared attack during three seasons in which efficiency and aesthetics went hand in hand. They complemented each other perfectly. Each one in his style and in his role. They won 10 titles.

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