FC Barcelona’s front three are the key to Spanish squad’s success this season

Despite a slow start – a start delayed further after his fourth-month ban for biting Italy and Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup – the Uruguay forward has contributed 24 goals in his debut season at Barcelona. The side is now tantalizingly close to repeating its 2009 Spanish league, cup and Champions League treble.

BERLIN (AP) –  The most fearsome attack in world football has fired Barcelona to the verge of its fourth Champions League title in a decade. Still only 23, the Brazilian is in his second season at Barca and seems to have toned down flamboyance for greater efficiency. “The main factor is our friendship on and off the field and I think that helps. The delicate touch he displayed to control the ball before firing Barcelona to victory over Madrid in March illustrated why the Catalan side took a chance on the immensely talented but controversial player.

It was the decision to switch Messi to the right and give Suárez more room in front of goal that helped turn Barcelona’s season around. I think that’s why things are going well for us.”

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“It was very crowded so the decision was taken to move Leo further out,” Barcelona defender Gerard Pique said.. All the players are necessary. Despite not playing as an out-and-out forward the Argentine has bagged an incredible 58 goals alone in this campaign. The club was in turmoil after a 1-0 defeat at Real Sociedad on Jan. The latter certainly uses his low center of gravity to his advantage, as Diego Maradona, another Argentine great, did before him.

The crisis helped Enrique turn things around with the realization that Messi and Suárez playing together up front left little room for either to operate.

Neymar too appears to have matured. He has scored 38 goals this season, including decisive goals in important games, not least the injury time-strike against Bayern Munich that gave Barca one foot in the Champions League final with a 3-0 semifinal first leg result. 4 capped a series of uninspired results.

Suárez is the tallest of the forwards, yet is hardly a giant at 1.81 meters (5-foot-11). If he scores again against Juventus on Saturday Messi will be the first player to score in three Champions League finals, having also found the net in Barca’s 2009 and 2011 triumphs.

“We have the best player in the world in Leo, and Neymar and Suárez are magnificent players,” Enrique said.

Not only do they score goals, they create them too, and it is the nature of their unselfish play that has seen them reap the rewards and cause havoc to opposing defenses.

In contrast to the famed “BBC” of Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo at Madrid, Barcelona’s trio work together to create space in which the others thrive.

Messi remains the undisputed star, though. Sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta was sacked the same day, his assistant Carles Puyol left, and president Josep Bartomeu called for early elections.

Suárez is arguably the missing piece Barcelona was looking for after a trophyless season in 2013-14 under Gerardo Martino.

The 27-year-old’s mere presence causes consternation in opposing defenses, which often resort to man-marking, sometimes with more than one defender. “But we wouldn’t be able to get so far with just three players. One of those losses came in the second leg of the semifinal against Bayern and was inconsequential as Barcelona still advanced on aggregate. Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar have scored 25 of Barcelona’s 28 goals on the way to the final and few are betting against them leading the club to a record second treble on Saturday.

Messi missed training the following day, prompting talk of a rift with coach Luis Enrique. We face matches as a team.”

With one game still to play, the Barca trident has scored 120 goals in all competitions this season, bettering the mark of 118 set by Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain in 2012.

Suárez has been the main beneficiary. He scored twice again in the second leg for a 5-3 aggregate win.

Messi duly obliged by leading Barcelona on a run that included 30 wins, two draws and two defeats. Neymar is 1.75 meters (5-foot-9) and Messi is 1.69 meters (5-foot-6). This is turn creates more space for his companions and very often proves futile in any case as the elusive Messi always looks capable of gliding past defenders.

“Leo and Luis are two extraordinary players,” Neymar said when asked about the front three’s prowess on Friday

Posted August 11th, 2015 in Uncategorized.

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