How Barcelona Will Use Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi Together

Samuel MarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2014

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 17: Lionel Messi (L) and Neymar of FC Barcelona look on during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on May 17, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

With the signing of Luis Suarez from Liverpool, Barcelona have, potentially, one of the most explosive forward lines in the history of football.

Regardless of whether he should be placed in the same tier as Diego Maradona, Pele and Co., the fact people talk about Messi's name in the same sentence as those former greats displays just how special Barca's Argentine No. 10 is.

Then there's Neymar, whose injury at a World Cup he was lighting up did irreparable damage to Brazil.

And now you can throw in a third South American, too: Uruguayan Suarez. Arriving from Liverpool as a more specific central striker, the owner of the European Golden Boot is expected to help the Catalans recover from an unsuccessful season last time out.

Not everyone thinks having all three is a sure-fire recipe for success, though.

Former Barcelona player and manager of the Dream Team era, Johan Cruyff, has his doubts about all three functioning in Luis Enrique's side.

"I do not understand how the club will play a joined-up game with Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez all in the team," he told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, per SPORT.

Claude Paris/Associated Press

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JULY 12:  An employee hangs a Luis Suarez shirt next to a Leo Messi shirt after printing his name and number on it at the FC Barcelona official store on July 12, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

"All three are individuals.

"Clearly then, this is a club that prefers individuals rather than a team that plays good football."

A too many cooks spoil the broth theory.

Only time will prove Cruyff right or wrong, but it already seems fairly obvious how these three superstars are supposed to dovetail in the Blaugrana line-up.

Neymar has already found a home for himself on the left of Barcelona's three-pronged attack, the very same location where he produces his best stuff for Brazil, although alongside Fred and Hulk, he has not had to compete for the limelight within his country.

He will, of course, you'd imagine, be free to drift and swap positions with Messi and Suarez, but his role on the left seems most clear-cut of the three forwards.

Suarez is tipped to play as the central strikerhe will inherit the No. 9 shirt from Alexis Sanchezwhile that would leave Messi, technically, as the right forward in Enrique's attack.

That's slightly misleading, as Messi will not be expected to add width and crosses; those things should arrive from the full-backeither Dani Alves, if he stays, or Juan Cuadrado, if he's signed.

Michael Sohn/Associated Press

Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press

Instead Messi will tuck in and in all probability will spend phases of matches as the main striker himself.

President Josep Maria Bartomeu has called on Messi to "lead" the Barcelona revolution, per SPORT, and it is up to new manager Enrique to ensure he finds a position for him where he will be comfortable to do just that.

TalkSPORT journalist Lee Roden made a good point in a recent article when he compared Barca's new attack to their old one, the one which first earned Pep Guardiola so much success.

Back then it was Thierry Henry on the left, as Neymar, Samuel Eto'o through the middle, as Suarez, and Messi on the right, as Messi:

All three bought into Pep Guardiola’s new ethos of defending from the front and ran tirelessly to regain possession. They were rewarded in front of goal. Lionel Messi scored 38, Samuel Eto’o 36, and Thierry Henry 26. All scored big goals in big games.

On paper, Barca's new version should be able to do the same, although they need to make sure no individuals become bigger than the team, which is, admittedly, easier said than done.