Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has highlighted Luis Suarez as the glue holding Barcelona's attacking trio together and said he will know after their match on Tuesday whether the Uruguayan, Lionel Messi and Neymar are the best forward line ever.
Per the Daily Mail's Kieran Gill, he said: "Camaraderie. I believe Suarez gives that to a team. He did it at Liverpool. He did it for Uruguay playing with [Edinson] Cavani and [Diego] Forlan. They played together and it worked. Suarez is the kind of guy who manages to create that spirit in teams."
The Frenchman also admitted Barca's "MSN" are on a level with Real Madrid's famed strike force from the 1950s—Alfredo Di Stefano, Francisco Gento and Ferenc Puskas. He said: "Yes. [Raymond] Kopa, Di Stefano, Gento, Puskas. It's difficult to compare with this team. I believe that apart from the individual talent the three have, they have a good understanding and cohesion. They have a great solidarity."
On whether Messi, Suarez and Neymar are the best the sport has ever seen, he said: "I'll give you the answer on Tuesday."
Football journalist Rafael Hernandez believes the trident are well on their way to being remembered as such:
Rafael Hernández @RafaelH117
Messi, Suárez and Neymar are just playing what one day might be considered the best attacking trio of all time, and people look for issues.2/15/2016, 4:57:17 PM
Despite the Catalan giants winning their last two outings—3-1 at Sporting Gijon and 2-1 at Las Palmas, with the trio supplying all five goals—Hernandez believes the MSN were not at their best but is relishing the prospect of them taking on Arsenal:
Rafael Hernández @RafaelH117
I’m looking forward for the Arsenal match. Promising contest, MSN dragging after two tough away matches, now for the real test.2/20/2016, 5:01:11 PM
Indeed, that all three players can get on the scoresheet even when failing to put in their best showing is a worrying sign for Arsenal.
Suarez in particular is on an outstanding goalscoring run, per Squawka Football:
Squawka Football @Squawka
*Look away now Arsenal fans* Luis Suárez's form for Barcelona this season (all competitions): Games: 37 Goals: 41 https://t.co/Fa2rrriwGq2/21/2016, 9:01:33 AM
The difficulty the Gunners will face—as do all of Barca's opponents—is that stopping one or even two of them isn't enough. Wenger recognises as much, adding: "Individually all their players are difficult to stop. We have to find a way to do it collectively."
Arsenal have produced mixed results in their big clashes this season, with encouraging wins over Bayern Munich and Manchester City balanced out by defeats to Chelsea and the 5-1 thrashing Bayern dished out in their second encounter.
With world-class talents at both ends of the field thanks to the likes of Petr Cech in goal and Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in the final third, the Gunners arguably have their best squad in years.
However, even that may not be enough against the inexorable Barca and their array of attacking talent, who are enjoying a 32-match unbeaten streak.
Arsenal are certainly capable of producing a strong performance as they did against Bayern at the Emirates, but they could just as easily be on the end of another humiliating scoreline if Suarez and Co. are even close to their best.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!