If this weekend’s action is anything to go by, it’s that there is a simply terrifying trio of forwards in world football. At which club you might ask? Well, there may not be an answer just yet. One thing remains, however, and that is the simple fact that there are three forwards out there at several different clubs that are all vying for the position of the best front three in football.
There may be no better place to start than in England with Liverpool Football Club, and their deadly threesome of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah. The Reds’ front three drove their club to the Champions League final last season with all the pace, guile and ability in the world, with their team work and selflessness crucial to Liverpool’s success last season and indeed in the current campaign.
All three have got their accounts opened for the season, none more so than Mane, whose four goals have sent a warning to all other strikers in the Premier League. It was indeed the Brazilian Firmino and his fiery teammate Mane who found the net for the Reds this weekend as they edged past Leicester, proving that the club don’t just rely on their Egyptian talisman for all their joy going forward.
Liverpool’s fellow Champions League finalists have a similar weapon within their arsenal, in the form of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio. The star trio showed their class in Madrid’s latest La Liga encounter, a 4-1 victory over Leganes. An ever-expectant Bernabeu crowd were treated to a top-class display from their frontmen, with Bale opening the scoring before a Benzema brace, with Sergio Ramos adding a fourth from the penalty spot. With another assault on the Champions League incoming from Los Blancos this season, several clubs will be weary of the threat that these three pose, with Bale aiming to firmly cement his superstar status in the absence of former teammate and indeed competitor Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese international incredibly once again missed out on a first league goal for Juventus in their 2-1 victory at Parma, yet it was his fellow frontman Mario Mandzukic who provided the goal and assist for the Old Lady. The third and perhaps most underrated spike in their damaging three-pronged attack lies in the guile of Paulo Dybala, who at just 24 years of age completes yet another fearsome front three in European football.
Madrid’s La Liga counterparts Barcelona perhaps undoubtedly stole the headlines in Spain, however, and their front three must also be frontrunners for the best trio in football, with Lionel Messi (2), Luis Suarez (2) and Ousmane Dembele all finding the net in their 8-2 destruction of Huesca. Their relationship has only improved in recent weeks, with the youngest of the three in Dembele certainly finding his feet now more than ever, while the Argentinian and Uruguayan continued their enviable connection this weekend with the former handing the latter a last-minute penalty to boost his confidence ahead of another gruelling season.
The incredible talents of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe cannot go overlooked in such a debate, regardless of what football viewers around the world may say about the standards of Ligue 1. The formidable front three have proven themselves to the footballing world for both club and country, with their stunning trickery, passion and raw ability perhaps second to none in the current beautiful game, aptly named for the talents of the three earning their trade at French powerhouses Paris Saint Germain. All three were on target in the side’s latest 4-2 victory at Nimes, and all three will be aiming to take on all of Europe this season under the guidance of Thomas Tuchel, who may just have the three best forwards on the planet at his disposal as he begins his Champions League assault with an intimidating evening under the lights at Anfield.
A similar story lies with German giants Bayern Munich, who have an almost embarrassing array of talent at their disposal going towards goal, with Robert Lewandowski spearheading an attack that boasts Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben on either side, who are both more than capable of turning it on when required. It was the deadly Polish striker who was on target for the Bavarian side in their 3-0 victory at Stuttgart this weekend, with all three front men undeniably set to play a major role in another highly-anticipated campaign for the German champions, both domestically and in Europe.
Equally alarming is the strength in depth not only within these clubs, but within their attacking options. Each side has a reserve list of forwards that would be warmly welcomed into countless clubs across the top five European leagues, a tough fact to take for many, but a fact that simply cannot be refuted. The red half of Merseyside can rely on the likes of proven goal scorer Daniel Sturridge, new signing Xherdan Shaqiri and the quick feet of Adam Lallana among an imposing selection of youthful talents, should their starting trio ever need a weekend of rest and recuperation, while Champions League holders Real Madrid’s seemingly endless list encompasses Isco, Mariano and wonderkid Vinicius Jr.
Meanwhile if the attacking threat of Bayern Munich’s preferred three cannot manage, panic is quite simply the last emotion within the camp, with Corentin Tolisso, Serge Gnabry and James Rodriguez among a handful of others ready to step in and prove their worth, while the Catalan club have Munir, Malcom and even Philippe Coutinho should they choose to eventually start the destructive Arturo Vidal in midfield.
Julian Draxler, combined with the lesser known yet equally effective Christopher Nkunku and Timothy Weah, are those next in line and ready to impress in Paris, while the Italian champions have the small matter of Federico Bernadeschi, Juan Cuadrado and Douglas Costa in reserve should Ronaldo continue his barren spell in front of goal in his debut Serie A season, thus completing a seriously destructive compilation of exactly what Europe’s elite has within their ranks.
Whatever happens this coming season in England, Germany, Italy, France and Spain, and indeed throughout the Champions League campaign, there is sure to be goals, and plenty of them. There will be no shortage of attacking thrills and lethal finishing on display, leaving defenders of all clubs all over the globe frightened for their lives as they prepare themselves to deal with the best of what Europe has to offer.