Offense is what excites viewers. Offense is what fans will get in the Champions League final with both Juventus and Barcelona featuring a bevy of offensive stars at the peak of their powers.
Which side boasts the better forward group? The answer is not a shocker, but the losing side in this competition is not far off and certainly competent enough to push its team through.
The MSN trio, comprised of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, is the most potent offensive juggernaut in the world. It is as simple as that.
The numbers speak for themselves. The three have combined for a whopping 119 goals this season, the most by any attacking trio in all history. The previous record holders were Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema, who managed 118 goals in 2011-12.
Messi is the leader of the pack with 58 goals and 27 assists this season. He has transformed himself into a player not only capable of finishing and creating but also starting the offense. He has done so by switching himself into a winger to allow Luis Suarez free reign as a forward. The results have been fascinating.
Suarez has been unstoppable as well with 24 goals and 17 assists in 36 games for Barcelona; he scored 31 goals and 12 assists in his big year for Liverpool in 2013-14 in 33 games as the main offensive player of the squad.
Neymar has been having the best year of his life with a stunning 39 goals and seven assists in 44 games for Barcelona.
Admittedly, the Italian side does not have as potent an offense as Barcelona does. The team scored just 72 goals in Italian competitions, and none of its forwards scored more than 30 goals on the year.
That said, the team possesses some lethal options up front with Carlos Tevez undeniably being the main man. The Argentine scored 20 goals in the domestic league but managed 29 in all competitions as well as eight assists.
After him the team has two major options to use. Fernando Llorente is a big body capable of doing damage in the air. He scored nine goals and one assist in 39 games this year. Not imposing numbers, but he is capable of opening up space for Tevez with his large frame.
He will likely see the bench however as Alvaro Morata gets the nod. The 22-year-old has scored 14 goals and five assists in 40 games for Juventus. He is not a hulking presence but he holds the ball better than Llorente and is more capable of making key passes to Tevez. His finesse will be more vital against a Barcelona team that will likely retain possession throughout the match.
By the numbers
Barcelona’s trio has scored 119 goals on the year; Juventus’ trio maxed out at less than half that number with 52 goals on the year. Barcelona’s MSN has produced 51 assists on the year; Juventus’ trio produced 14 assists.
Edge: Isn’t it obvious? Having Messi alone would make Barcelona’s offense superior to Juventus’ respectable corps. But Neymar and Suarez make this arguably the greatest attacking trio in the history of the game.