Football is a team sport that requires coordination, chemistry, and creativity among the players.
Some of the most successful teams in history have been built around a formidable trio of players who complement each other’s strengths and cover each other’s weaknesses.
In this article, we will look at some of the best trios in football history based on their achievements, skills, and impact.
1. Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Neymar Jr. (MSN – Barcelona)
MSN Trio pic.twitter.com/gTOBUpmEYW
— Rowan (@mr_rfs) March 18, 2023
Dubbed the “MSN” trio, this triumvirate was one of the most lethal attacking forces in football history.
Between 2014 and 2017, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Neymar Jr. scored 364 goals for Barcelona, leading the club to two La Liga titles and a Champions League triumph.
Messi’s creative genius, Suarez’s clinical finishing, and Neymar’s trickery and speed made them an unstoppable force feared by defenders across the globe.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and Gareth Bale (BBC – Real Madrid)
Crazy to think that 4 of these trio (BBC, KCM & MSN, XIB) played in the same team and then against each other for arguably two of the biggest clubs and rivalry in football, Real Madrid & Barcelona. El Clasico was a different level then. We really had it all dint we https://t.co/bWah5tiBj0
— Ujjwal Mohindra (@ujjwalmohindra) April 25, 2023
This trio of Real Madrid stars formed the team’s core that won three consecutive Champions League titles from 2016 to 2018.
Ronaldo was the ultimate goal machine, who could score from anywhere and with any technique.
Benzema was the selfless striker who sacrificed his numbers to create space and opportunities for Ronaldo. Bale was an explosive winger who could run past defenders, cross the ball and score spectacular goals.
Together, they scored 442 goals in 486 games for Real Madrid, winning four Champions League titles, two La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey titles, three UEFA Super Cups, and four FIFA Club World Cups.
3. Rivaldo, Ronaldo, and Ronaldinho (RRR – Brazil)
This trio of Brazilian wizards formed the most entertaining and talented attack in international football. Rivaldo was a creative midfielder who could play on the left wing or behind the strikers.
Ronaldo was a phenomenon who could dribble past defenders, outrun them and score goals with both feet and his head.
Ronaldinho was a magician who could do things with the ball that no one else could imagine. Together, they won the 2002 World Cup for Brazil, scoring 15 goals out of the team’s total of 18.
4. Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, and Frank Rijkaard (AC Milan and Netherlands)
Oui le FC Barcelone a eu un trio magique Iniesta-Xavi-Messi.
Mais est ce que le FC Barcelone a eu quatre trios magiques? pic.twitter.com/wDDu3GG37Q
— Romino☠️ (@Romino_7) April 26, 2023
This trio of Dutch legends formed the backbone of the AC Milan team that dominated European football in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Van Basten was a prolific striker who could score from any angle and with any body part. Gullit was a versatile midfielder who could play as a playmaker, a winger, or a second striker.
Rijkaard was a defensive midfielder who could also be a sweeper or a centre-back. Together, they won three Serie A titles, two European Cups, two UEFA Super Cups, and two Intercontinental Cups with Milan.
They also led the Netherlands to their first and only major international trophy, the 1988 European Championship.
5. Alfredo Di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas, and Francisco Gento (Real Madrid)
In the 1950s and 1960s, Real Madrid dominated European football, partly thanks to their legendary attacking trio of Alfredo Di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas, and Francisco Gento.
Di Stefano was the team’s talisman and creative force, while Puskas was a goal-scoring machine who netted 242 goals in 262 games for the club.
Gento was a lightning-fast winger who could outrun any defender in Europe. Together, they won five consecutive European Cups between 1956 and 1960, cementing their place in football history.
6. George Best, Denis Law, and Bobby Charlton (Manchester United)
Busby now signed another youngster, George Best, to partner Charlton and Denis Law in a trio that would be the best football has ever seen. Having been a great goalscorer from inside forward, Charlton moved into a deeper midfield role, where he’d play during his finest years. pic.twitter.com/dzWW3piJTU
— Informative Football Opinions (@InformativeFO16) April 15, 2022
This trio of Manchester United legends formed the nucleus of the team that became the first English club to win the European Cup in 1968. Best was a genius who could beat defenders with skill, speed, and balance.
Law was a lethal striker who could score with both feet, his head, and even his back heel. Charlton was a midfield maestro who could dictate the game’s tempo, pass the ball and shoot from long range.
Together, they scored 665 goals in 1,399 games for Manchester United, winning two First Division titles, one FA Cup, and one European Cup.
7. Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, and Sergio Busquets (Barcelona)
This trio of Spanish midfielders formed the heart of the Barcelona team that revolutionized football with their tiki-taka style of play under Pep Guardiola.
Xavi was the mastermind who controlled the game with his vision, passing, and intelligence. Iniesta was a magician who could dribble past defenders, create chances, and score important goals.
Busquets was the anchor who protected the defence, recovered possession, and distributed the ball with accuracy.
Together, they won six La Liga titles, three Copa del Rey titles, four Champions League titles, three UEFA Super Cups, and three FIFA Club World Cups with Barcelona
8. Johan Cruyff, Johnny Rep, and Rob Rensenbrink (Netherlands)
The Dutch national team of the 1970s was one of the most exciting teams in football history, with Johan Cruyff, Johnny Rep, and Rob Rensenbrink forming a formidable attacking trio.
Cruyff was the captain and creative force, while Rep and Rensenbrink were the two lethal finishers who could score from anywhere on the pitch. Together, they led the Netherlands to the World Cup final in 1974, where West Germany narrowly beat them.
9. Michel Platini, Alain Giresse, and Jean Tigana (France)
During the 1980s, the French national team had one of the most exciting attacking trios in football history.
Michel Platini was the captain and creative force, Alain Giresse was the attacking midfielder, and Jean Tigana was the defensive midfielder who could also score goals.
They led France to the Euro 1984 title, with Platini scoring nine goals in the tournament and cementing his place as one of the greatest players ever.
10. Pele, Jairzinho, and Tostao
One of the greatest trios in football history is undoubtedly the Brazilian trio of Pele, Jairzinho, and Tostao.
These three players helped Brazil win the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, with Pele scoring four goals and providing six assists, Jairzinho scoring seven goals, and Tostao adding four goals. The trio was known for their incredible skill, creativity, and ability to score goals at will.
These are some of the best trios in football history who left a mark on the game with their skill, chemistry, and understanding of each other’s game.
They were instrumental in the success of their teams, dominating the opposition with their attacking prowess and leaving a legacy that will be remembered for generations to come. Which is your favourite trio in Football? Comment and let us know.
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