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5 greatest attacking trios in the history of football

Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar
Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar
Shambhu Ajith
FEATURED WRITER

The beautiful game has evolved a lot over the course of history but some of the traditional aspects have remained intact because of their effectiveness. The phrase 'if it isn't broken, don't fix it' rings true when it comes to attacking tridents.

Managers often try to build their teams and style of play around their most talented players on the pitch. But what happens when you have plenty of outstanding individuals? Well, you build your team around that.

The greatest players in the history of the game were able to shine because they had an excellent supporting cast around them. This is true of even modern-day legends like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. They played alongside some legendary players who helped them realize their potential.

On that note, let's take a look at five of the greatest attacking trios in the history of football.


#5 Johan Cruyff, Sjaak Swart, Piet Keizer (Ajax)

Piet Keizer and Johan Cruyff
Piet Keizer and Johan Cruyff

Ajax of the 60s and 70s influenced modern football in a way no other team has done in the history of the game. The 'total football' philosophy took its wings around that time and Johan Cruyff is viewed as a central figure in the transformation of the game.

Teaming up with wingers Sjaak Swart and Piet Keizer, Johan Cruyff formed one of the most entertaining and effective attacking trios of all time. Together, the three of them were unstoppable and they transformed Ajax into the strongest team in Europe at the time.

They laid out the blueprint for several of the attacking tridents in football. Cruyff was a forward and Swart and Keizer played on either flank. They led Ajax to six Eredivisie titles, four Domestic Cups and three consecutive European Cups from 1971 to 1973.

#4 Lionel Messi, Neymar and Suarez (Barcelona)

Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi
Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi

The most recognizable of attacking trios to the younger generation, there is no doubt that the MSN belongs up there with the greatest attacking trios of all time. By 2014, Lionel Messi had grown into a creative figure for Barcelona. So it was the perfect time for them to have roped in Luis Suarez, a lethal striker, from Liverpool.

The tricky Brazilian winger Neymar had joined from Santos a year earlier. Putting them together and letting them have their way on the football pitch was not rocket science. The trio went on to do things on the ground that stunned everyone.

They complemented each other perfectly as all three had flair, incredible vision and an insatiable appetite for goals. All three were at the peak of their powers and they steamrollered oppositions routinely.

The MSN scored 364 goals between them for Barcelona in 450 games across all competitions. They helped Barcelona win the continental treble in the 2014-15 season. Unfortunately for Barcelona fans and spectators around the world, the trio broke up quite soon as Neymar left Camp Nou to join Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.

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Edited by Shambhu Ajith
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