Top 5 Barcelona forward trios since 2004
Barcelona have been playing with a 4-3-3 formation since 2004, and have more or less stuck to it. A slight deviation was made by Luis Enrique in 2017, when he made Barca play with a 3-4-3 formation, but that was temporary, and Barca again switched to a 4-3-3 after a while.
The past decade and a half has been glorious for Barca, as they have won 4 UEFA Champions Leagues and a host of LaLiga titles in the said period.
Not surprisingly, this golden period in Barcelona’s history coincided with the rise of Lionel Messi, quite possibly the greatest footballer of the modern era. Messi has been a constant part of a Barca attacking triumvirate since his debut for the senior team in 2004. He has won 5 Ballon d’Ors himself, and scored 569 goals in 655 matches for Barca. He has also had to play with different front-line teammates in his career.
Here we rank the top 5 Barca attacking trios of the last 14 years.
#5 Coutinho, Messi, & Suarez
Since Phillipe Coutinho’s signing from Liverpool in 2018, he has mostly been a part of the Barca attacking trio also featuring Messi and Luis Suarez. He is much younger and less experienced than both of them, and has had to alter his playing style a bit to adjust.
Coutinho is more of a central attacking midfielder cum playmaker, but has had to start on the left wing for Barca. He has warmed the bench at times too, as players like Dembele and Rafinha have also started for Barca this season.
However, Coutinho has often dropped down to the midfield to collect the ball and create moves. Messi has moved to a central position more often than not, and Suarez has played as the centre forward who keeps moving to the flanks.
Coutinho’s return of 4 goals in 13 matches is also a reason behind Barcelona’s top position in the league table this season. Barca have also topped their group in the Champions League, and are among the favourites to win the title. The forward trio are likely to serve Barca for at least 2-3 seasons more.