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MY WORD ON SUNDE: Messi, Suarez, Neymar lessons

SHARE   |   Monday, 29 February 2016   |   By Mpho Dibeela

The Barcelona juggernaut riveted at the Emirates Stadium this week and mercilessly mowed down an overawed host - Arsenal. It was a breathtaking spectacle. Hosts brought their best and from every move it showed they were set to cause a major upset. Arsene Wenger’s men did all they should but couldn’t finish off at the last quarter. And they showed little respect for their guests. For close to 70 minutes that is. In one swift move, reality struck. A fumbled attack by Arsenal fell to the most devastating attacking trio of recent memory; it was a testimonial move. Neymar played to the far end for Suarez while he streamed far ahead to receive the ball and Messi tracked right along from the centre of the pitch. When Neymar crossed the ball into the 18th yard Messi was ready and waiting. He had all the time to trap, control and then punish Arsenal; finishing a move that buttressed the attacking trio’s stature as one of the best world football has ever seen.

MSN (Messi, Suarez, Neymar) is an attacking combination that every soccer coach dreams about. It takes half of your work as coach. Luis Enrique without doubt is a world class coach – winner of this Year’s FIFA coach of the Year. But with players like these, he is far from the most troubled of coaches. All he had to do was to patiently work on enhancing the chemistry between the trio (MSN) and once that was achieved, his mission was complete. Now he stands almost like a conductor of an orchestra humming to a choir whose melody is out of this world. When Messi converted a penalty that he had personally orchestrated Barcelona’s work for the day was done. In fact, they have almost rendered the return leg a mere formality. In Messi, the team boosts of the world’s most talented player by far.

He ball control, dribbling and shooting places far ahead of his peers and even those who preceded him. He is the Lord of the Ring in the MSN combination. Neymar provides sheer ball dribbling skills, grittiness and an ability to get dirty and fight for the ball. Suarez is gallant, very intelligent in positioning and often bemuses with converting chances from the most acute of angles. You just have to stand up and bow when these are in parade. Sheer skill; sheer class! They are a lesson in team combination. Coaches anywhere would be best tutored in watching these. And from there, they would be advised to make deliberate particular recruitment of talent to ensure that they get the best results. While there other combinations that work from defence to the midfield, it is the attacking one that often gets the most recognition.

It is simple – it gives the team victories. Botswana coaches are best advised to optimize their talent pool by working to the best of each while emphasizing team work than selfishness. MSN simply tells the story of what working together can do, complementing each other. This is a direct opposite of individualism – any team that thrives on individualism cannot achieve and sustain performance. The result often is when one player scores the other teammate doesn’t celebrate with him – jealous that it was not him. Team goals are shattered this way. One just has to look at the genuineness, honesty and selfless celebrations that MSN exhibits when celebrating a goal, irrespective of who would have scored. They work for each other and rejoice with each other. With this Barcelona, will remain unstoppable.