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Messi Neymar Suarez: The magical Barcelona trio that shattered records

The Messi, Neymar, Suarez triumvirate lasted from the 2014-15 La Liga season to the 2016-17 campaign, where the South American trio had played 450 games across all competitions and scored an unbelievable 364 goals averaging 0.81 goals per game. They had also registered 173 assists during this period.

The era came to an end in the summer transfer window of 2017 when Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint Germain bought Neymar Jr for a world record fee of £198 million, thus breaking FC Barcelona‘s most dangerous attacking threat.

Messi, Neymar, Suarez: Goal Tally by Seasons

SeasonTotal No. of GoalsMessiNeymarSuarez
2014-15122583925
2015-16131413159
2016-17110542036

The MSN era: Records and Titles

FC Barcelona needed a change in player recruitments after celebrated manager Pep Guardiola had decided to step away from the Catalan club following an incredible few seasons where the club had won three La Liga titles, became UEFA Champions League winners twice, won two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA World Club Cups as well.

New manager Tito Vilanova had taken over the reins in the 2012-13 season and although that Barcelona team had gone on to win the Spanish league again, their attacking trio of David Villa, Lionel Messi and Alexis Sanchez didn’t have that goal threat going up.

Boasting of goalscorers like Thierry Henry, Samuel Eto’o, Ronaldinho and more in the past, Barcelona had to bring in supreme reinforcements to return to that level of playing football. With archrivals Real Madrid riding high on the attacking threat of the trio of Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, Barcelona had to raise the bar as well.

It was at this time that the management had decided to rope in 21-year-old Brazilian superstar Neymar Jr ahead of the 2013-14 season. However, whether it be Vilanova’s tactics or Neymar’s inability to adapt in Spain rapidly, the promising winger had an underwhelming season with 15 goals in 41 appearances with Barcelona’s only title in 2014 coming in the form of Supercopa de Espana.

The club underwent significant changes ahead of the 2014-15 season. They roped in Luis Enrique as their new manager for the campaign and had a mass exodus headlined by big names like Alexis Sanchez and Francesc Fabregas moving to the English Premier League. The list of arrivals was long as well with two names outshining the rest – Luis Suarez from Liverpool and Ivan Rakitic from Sevilla.

Luis Suarez was evidently the missing piece of the puzzle as manager Enrique found out later in the 2015-16 season. The Uruguayan was asked to slot in as the number 9 with Messi shifting to the right-wing and Neymar continuing on his preferred left-wing. Interestingly, the trio’s first match was an El Clasico where rivals Real Madrid had thrashed them 3-1.

Not many would have believed then that an in-transition Barcelona team would finish the 2014-15 season with a continental treble – winning the La Liga, Spanish Cup as well as the UEFA Champions League – for the first time since the famed 2008-09 season. They are also the only European team to win this continental treble twice.

The trio ended the 2014-15 season with a brilliant 122 goals across all competitions with Lionel Messi bagging 58 goals, Luis Suarez 25 and Neymar 39 goals.

Those assuming the 2014-15 season to be fluke was in for a painful realisation the very next year when the trio bettered their goal tally with an incredible 131 goals with Messi scoring 41 goals, Suarez 59 and Neymar 31. Barcelona had successfully defended their La Liga and Copa del Rey titles and went on to win the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup as well. Suarez had outscored Messi in this season and was awarded the Pichichi award for being La Liga’s top scorer.

The third and the final season of the MSN era wasn’t as productive as the previous two although the trio combined to score 110 goals with Messi bagging 54 goals, Suarez 36 and Neymar 20 goals. Barcelona could only win the Copa del Rey and Super Copa de Espana with the La Liga and UEFA Champions League titles being won by Real Madrid.

MSN Stats
  • FC Barcelona had won 77 per cent of their games across all competitions whenever Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar played together
  • The win percentage of the Catalan club dropped to 73.7 whenever one or two of the players of the Barca trio weren’t playing, although the points per game surprisingly remained the same at 2.4.
  • The trio of MSN played together in 113 matches together and scored 253 goals for the Spanish club.
  • Lionel Messi’s goal ratio was slightly less than one per game when the trio played together in the team.

How Messi, Suarez, Neymar fared against Benzema, Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo

The other attacking trio coming close to being compared to Barcelona’s MSN was Real Madrid’s BBC – Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo – mostly because of their insane achievements at the club and continental level. Under Zinedine Zidane‘s management, the Real Madrid team had won three consecutive UEFA Champions League titles – a feat no other club has achieved so far.

However, their goal tally comes nowhere near to what the Barca trio achieved. In the 409 games that MSN has played together, they have scored 344 goals and 157 assists. BBC, on the other hand, has played together 329 matches scoring 240 goals and 95 assists.

A major reason for the dip in BBC’s form has also been the number of matches they played together. Quite unbelievably, there have been 16 matches where Messi, Neymar and Suarez have all scored goals. That number drops to just 8 for Benzema, Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.

FAQs

What are the Messi, Neymar, Suarez stats?

The Messi, Neymar, Suarez stats read 364 goals and 173 assists for Barcelona in 450 games between 2014 to 2017. Barcelona had won everything – La Liga, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, Copa del Rey, FIFA Club World Cup and Super Copa de Espana – in these three seasons.

What are the Messi, Neymar, Suarez Champions League stats?

Messi, Neymar and Suarez have won one UEFA Champions League title for Barcelona in three seasons. They have jointly scored 62 goals and 27 assists in the UEFA Champions League from 2014-15 to the 2016-17 season.

What was the Messi, Neymar Suarez formation?

Luis Suarez’s transfer to FC Barcelona late in the summer of 2014 had seen manager Luis Enrique shifting Barcelona’s successful false 9 Lionel Messi to the right-wing, while Suarez was asked to position as the traditional number 9.

What was Messi, Neymar, Suarez’s best season?

Messi, Neymar and Suarez’s best season came in the 2015-16 campaign when the trio had combined to score 131 goals with Messi scoring 41, Suarez 59 and Neymar 31 goals.

What were Messi, Suarez, Neymar stats in 2015?

Messi, Neymar and Suarez had jointly scored 131 goals in the 2015-16 season as Barcelona went on to win the La Liga, Copa del Rey, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. Suarez was awarded the Pichichi award for ending the season as La Liga top scorer.

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