Lionel Messi must be every strikers dream to play aside, not only because the Barcelona forward scores a ridiculous amount of goals himself, but because his vision and unselfishness often creates goal scoring opportunities for his team mates (unline Cristiano Ronaldo:). Many players don’t have the mental capacity to go past two/three players and have the composure to make the correct decision with the final phase but Messi is one of the few individuals who does a majority of the time. He has been at Barcelona his whole career and has played alongside some of the world’s greatest strikers. Here are the top 6 strike partners that the best ever player has teamed up with;
Despite coming from Argentina’s rival country, Brazil, Messi and Ronaldinho forged a very close relationship on and off the field. Ronaldinho realised just what a talent the little genius could be and took him under his wing to handle the pressures of having to deliver match after match. Ronaldinho to Messi is very similar to what Messi is now trying to establish with Neymar, a mentor that guides them in the right direction to become a Barcelona legend. Ronaldinho was the star player at Barcelona when Messi made his way into the first team and Ronaldinho made the transition a very settled one. Messi was also to inherit Ronaldinho’s No.10 jersey when the Brazilian left the club in 2008.
Eto’o is one of them strikers that thrived on the brilliance of Messi countless times in the 5 years he was at Barcelona. Eto’o scored an incredible 108 goals in 145 La Liga games for Barcelona. This included 30 goals in the 2008/2009 campaign which also saw Messi score 23 goals for Barcelona. Pep Guardiola was the manager who was fortunate enough to see the partnership blossom between Eto’o and Messi which also clinched the treble (La Liga, Champions League and Copa Del Rey). The Cameroon centre forward has made no qualms about what a brilliant player Messi was and that he was simply the best player he’s ever played with.
As mentioned previously, Neymar arrived to Barcelona with Messi looking to adopt the ‘father figure’ type role where he steered Neymar into the right path to become a Barcelona great. Neymar is a very similar type of player to Lionel with both being able to run with the ball at frightening pace. Many believed that these two players were too similar and that they wouldn’t be able to play together but despite a tricky debut season as a new partnership, they’ve certainly gone on to become one of the most feared attacking duos. After having a season to get used to one another, both players have enjoyed a very successful start to their new season under Luis Enrique as manager who seems to have got the best out of the two players.
Henry joined Barcelona in the latter stages of his career having enjoyed a long spell at Arsenal. Henry joined in 2007 and left in 2010 but in the 3 years he was at Barcelona he forged a formidable trio with Messi and Eto’o. In three years at the club Henry won 2 La Liga titles and although he didn’t figure as often as he wanted to, he still scored 35 goals in 80 La Liga games. The French centre forward was one of the most natural goal scorers that Messi played alongside as more often than not he’s played alongside forwards who are of a similar ilk to him but Thierry was a centre forward who certainly knew where the back of the net was.
Suarez arrived at the Nou Camp after a successful spell at Liverpool and completed the record-breaking MSN attacking trio. MSN scored 103 goals (even though they missed 10/20 penalties) on the way to a treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and the Champions League title. Suarez was the missing piece of the attacking triangle. When all forwards are firing the Catalans are unstoppable.
Their relationship off the field wasn’t the most endearing but Ibrahimovic will be one of the best talents Messi will play with. Zlatan is a very controversial centre forward and his ego is certainly unrivalled. Ibrahimovic wasn’t the star of the show at Barcelona as he was at his previous employers which unsettled the Swede and it was clear that he was behind Messi in the ‘favourites’ section of Pep Guardiola. Messi voiced his opinion to Guardiola about the signature of Ibrahimovic as his style of play isn’t one which you would normally associate with Barcelona. Ibrahimovic had just one full season at Barcelona and it’s a partnership which could’ve had real potential with the ‘big man & little man’ combination but it was clear that Ibrahimovic would never warm to Guardiola and Messi.
So what did you think of the Lionel Messi 6 best strike partners?
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