Barcelona looking to 'MNS' to eclipse Real's 'BBC'
Barcelone is confident Messi, Neymar and Suarez could be as lethal as Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema.
BARCELONA - While Real Madrid's fearsome attacking trio of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema has become known collectively as "BBC" in Spain, Barcelona are confident "MNS" can be at least as lethal.
Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez could play a competitive game together for the first time in the La Liga 'Clasico' at Real Madrid's Bernabeu stadium on 25 October, the day after Suarez's four-month ban for biting an opponent at the World Cup expires.
Messi and Neymar have been unable to keep up with Ronaldo's incredible haul of 13 goals in six La Liga outings this term but have the same number between them and the return of Suarez should boost Barca's already formidable scoring rate even further.
The exploits of the three South Americans on international duty this week prompted crowing headlines in the Barcelona-based sports papers, who suggested Messi, Neymar and Suarez were shifting into top gear at exactly the right time.
Messi struck twice for Argentina as a second-half substitute against Hong Kong, Suarez netted a double for Uruguay against Oman and Neymar cracked four goals past Japan.
"An explosive cocktail threatens the Bernabeu," wrote Sport. "Barca sharpens its aim before the 'Clasico'," added Mundo Deportivo.
To be sure, all three matches were friendlies against weak or weakened opponents and the trio will be up against defenders of a far higher quality in the 'Clasico'.
Ronaldo and Bale, meanwhile, were instrumental in important wins for Portugal and Wales respectively in qualification for Euro 2016, while Benzema netted the opening goal in Saturday's 2-1 friendly victory for France against the Portuguese.
If Suarez does make his competitive Barca debut against Real, the coach of the Madrid club, Carlo Ancelotti, and his players will have to work out how to thwart three players who like to roam across the forward line.
Ancelotti's Barca counterpart, Luis Enrique, must come up with a plan to snuff out Real's devastating counter attacks.
Barca typically seek to play their way through stubborn defences with intricate passing, while Real tend to be more direct, with Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema using their pace and strength to burst through on goal.
"Some people see me as a centre forward and others as a forward, but even if I play at centre forward I never stay there all the time," Suarez said this week.
"When we have the ball, I like to move all around the attack. I don't just want to be in the penalty area," added the 27-year-old, who scored 69 league goals in 110 appearances for previous club Liverpool.
"But you have to listen to what the coach wants and asks for and try to help the team however you can."
While Suarez is still waiting for his chance to net his first goal for Barca, Messi is just two short of matching the La Liga scoring record of 251 goals held by Telmo Zarra.
His next chance to add to his tally is Saturday's game at home to Eibar but the prospect of the four-times World Player of the Year matching or beating the record at the Bernabeu, the home of their arch rivals, is a mouthwatering one for Barca fans.
Barca are two points clear of Valencia at the top of La Liga after seven matches.