Barcelona’s MSN & PSG’s new front three – ranked

Lionel Messi is on the verge of sealing a sensational ‘free’ transfer to Paris Saint-Germain (the ‘free’ is doing a lot of heavy lifting).

The man who’s become so synonymous with Barcelona is finally leaving Camp Nou after the club admitted defeat in their attempts to tie him down to a new contract which kept them in line with La Liga’s salary cap rules.

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He looks set to team up with his good buddy Neymar in the French capital, ironically after several years of the Brazilian superstar pining to return to Barça. And football fans will look on in wonder – once they find a way to see past their seething anger at how PSG can afford such a deal – as the best player of the last decade teams up with potentially the best player of the next in Kylian Mbappe.

PSG could have one of the most deadly trios in the history of the sport spearheading their attack, but how does it compare to the forward line that Messi and Neymar were apart of at Barcelona alongside Luis Suarez? It’s time to rank the components of Barça’s famous MSN and PSG’s new MNM (patent pending).

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Neymar

Sorry, Ney Ney / Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Signature move: Doing rainbow flicks against Dijon
Classic Premier League equivalent: Georgi Kinkladze

There won’t be many times where you read a list of players ranked by how good they are and the guy that’s bottom is Neymar. But hey, it’s a stacked set of strikers, someone’s gotta lose.

Since his €222m move to PSG in 2017, Neymar has desperately struggled with injuries – he’s yet to feature more than 20 times in a single Ligue 1 season. In 18 league games last year, he only registered four non-penalty goals.

Neymar is obviously still a world class player, someone who can and will torment any defence in world football, but his recent woes mean he’s propping up this list rather than headlining it.

Neymar, Kylian Mbappe

Mbappe’s reaction to being fifth on this list / Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Signature move: Stealing Carlos Vinicius’ celebration
Classic Premier League equivalent: Arsenal-era Nicolas Anelka

Can tell that PSG fans are really going to be happy about this one.

Mbappe is the heir-apparent to Messi as football’s standard setter, already leading his country to a World Cup and bagging 132 goals in 171 games for Les Parisiens.

He’s still only 22 and coming off the most disappointing season of his career – yet Mbappe is still considered one of the five best players in the world. By the time his spell with PSG is over, he could be at the other end of this ranking.

Neymar

Tough crowd for this guy / David Ramos/Getty Images

Signature move: Ab-flexing
Classic Premier League equivalent: Damien Duff

Is it acceptable to call Neymar ‘bottom half fodder’? Because that’s exactly what he is on this list.

Suarez’s arrival at Camp Nou coincided with Neymar taking his game up another level, rubbing shoulders with two of the best co-stars he could possibly wish for.

But Messi and Suarez were in their absolute primes, and the Brazilian was still on the way up. He had more responsibility in his last couple of seasons in La Liga, but ultimately not enough to leapfrog either of his pals in these standings.

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Messi led Argentina to Copa America glory this summer / CARL DE SOUZA/Getty Images

Signature move: Getting the hump with Barcelona
Classic Premier League equivalent: Joe Cole

He’s 34, he walks around the pitch for 90% of the game, his last season with Barcelona saw them endure miserable La Liga and Champions League campaigns, and yet this current version of Messi is still an all-time player.

Is it Messi’s fault that his 27 non-penalty goals and nine assists couldn’t lift one of the most uninspiring Barça outfits ever to more than 79 points? Probably not. Could he have scored a penalty at Parc des Princes to keep their hopes of a sequel to La Remontada alive? Probably. Does he deserve a spot on this podium of phenomenal forwards? Absolutely.

Luis Suarez

Suarez was worth the huge fee Barcelona paid for him / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Signature move: Updating his ‘controversies’ section on Wikipedia
Classic Premier League equivalent: Luis Suarez

The only players that had higher peaks than Suarez in the 2010s were Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. There, I said it.

He broke the duo’s hold on the European Golden Shoe (twice) and is the only other player to register 40 goals in a top five league. At his best, Suarez was a selfless yet ruthless forward who belongs in the pantheon of the greatest strikers to ever kick a football.

His incredible talent and work ethic is often overlooked because of his many misdemeanours. Which is, y’know, the right thing to do. Carry on.

Lionel Messi

Simply the best / David Ramos/Getty Images

Signature move: Goal
Classic Premier League equivalent: Juninho

You know that old Football Manager press conference line of ‘I’m running out of superlatives for him’ after your star man drops a 9.3 rating with two goals and an assist? That was made with Messi in mind.

He’s obviously top of this list, and ranks third in 90min’s greatest players of all time (hey, take your complaints up with Jack Gallagher, not me). But I’m sure Leo will be delighted to find out that he’s redeemed himself by finishing first here.

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Author: XenBet

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