Best Attacking Force Ever in Football?
As I sat there at the Olympia stadium in Berlin, to enjoy the Champions league final (Barcelona Vs Juventus at the weekend) I could not help but admire and confirm why they are probably the deadliest striking force ever to play club football!
Earlier in the just concluded season, it was all talk of how Messi did not deserve the 2014 world cup best player award, by some, Neymar’s injury, Suarez’s biting skills and almost nothing as regards how deadly this combination Barcelona was putting in place could be.
The negative clamoring got louder as the season kicked off with Suarez struggling to shake off match rustiness (after he served the 4 months worldwide ban, off his biting incident at the world cup) coupled with his being used on the right wing of attack and Messi was fighting tax evasion claims and reported fallout with new coach, Luis Enriqué.
Today they closed the season with an alarming 122 goals between them! Why are they so deadly you may ask and what makes them so special?
Strikers need to score goals, thus the tag “attackers”, they need to be able to create goals and danger out of nothing, they need to keep the opposing defense so busy as to deter them from attacking and in modern day soccer, and they need to be able to defend!
These three strikers do the above, arguably better than most strikers, worldwide. Individually they are technically so endowed that ball manipulation and mastery is not only executed at the highest level possible but with so much pace and facility!
This makes it near impossible to stop them from eliminating opponents at ease and scoring goals.
Physically, what you will not see on television (as the TV coverage always follows the ball) is the physical input they bring to the Barcelona game plan. They chase defenders or opponents deep into their own halves defensively for the cause of the team, when need be.
Tactically, they are so well educated in the art of positioning on and off the ball it boils down to their out of norm intelligence. The runs they make on and off the ball is not only intelligent but timed often to perfection. Interchanging positions to force packed defenses to break apart is their strongest weapon.
In fact it was one of these quick interchanging runs coupled with quick passing combinations, initiated by Messi that tore the Juventus defense apart for the First goal scored by a supporting midfielder, Ivan Rakitic.
Would you dare not follow Messi, Suarez or Neymar when they makes those runs as strikers? What happens to the space they leave behind?
Just by attacking ferociously as they do, they defend for their team as Juventus and any other team they play are forced to, not only keep at all times three defenders to police these three strikers, but add a spare defender to assure numerical superiority. This is where the game is lost to this three before it even starts.
With a team built around ball jugglers including the goal keeper, Marc-André Ter Stegen,the opponent (thanks to this three strikers) is always inferior in numbers and playing catch me if you can!
Speed! Speed!! Speed!!! You can teach a player everything in soccer to improve from 20 to 80%, but the only aspect of a player’s game you can improve only on a minute basis is his speed in running.
These three strikers are not just fast but alarmingly explosive when they go forward with Messi being faster on the ball as without it. About the only player in the world to possess this quality though.
After all is said and done we cannot help but take note of the most important factor that makes them the world’s best: Mental state of Mind.
They are so well mentally rounded that they understand each other with just bare looks and get along as well as friends with a common purpose that it makes them selfless and team players.
There is constant gestures of encouragement between them, it is unfortunate the TV coverage omits this to the detriment to the education of young and upcoming footballers!
The statistics speaks for itself: 122 goals scored in all competitions, league , FA Cup and Champions league titles in one calendar year and almost certain actors in the next Ballon D’or race for world player of the year.
Never in the history of club football has this scenario existed and these reasons are, why I feel these are the best strikers ever to play club football: Messi, Suarez and Neymar A.k.a. MSN.
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