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Neptune's trident fears not the BBC nor the MSN


This year’s Liga has transformed the traditional Cristiano v Messi duel into a relay race of two trios. The BBC and the MSN. It’s a showdown between Bale-Benzema-Cristiano andMessi-Suarez-Neymar. The BBC is now firing, when it was much more ‘C’ than anything else, and Barça’s three piece wrecking machine is something truly extraordinary. A culé friend of mine asked me recently if I’ve ever seen the like of it in La Liga history. I thought of Garrincha-Vavá-Pelé, a central force flanked by Didí and Zagalo.

Right here in the Spanish campeonato we have a replica in the Real phenomenon of themadridista trident, within which Cristiano has become less of the solo threat and more of the three-pronged collective. Just like Barça, terror has been multiplied by three and both of these holy trinities make goals fall from the sky on the field of play: each one a blessing to the faithful and a biblical curse upon the non-believers. Facing either must be terrifying. Conceding less than 5 should be seen as a worthy day’s work.

There is a third trident lying in wait, however, perhaps not as ebullient, but just as effective. It is formed by Simeone, Oblak and Griezmann: the Atlético ascension with Oblak the vigilant guarantor (13 clean sheets in 20 games) and Griezmann with perfect timing coming up with the winning goals time and time again. It is a less spectacular model, but while not quite as imposing, discretion on the scoreboard doesn’t make a win worth any less and it is Simeone’s side who top La Liga as it stands. Clean sheets won’t win you the Ballon d’Or, butNeptune watches on from his fountain in Madrid, wondering if this year will bring another victory dance of unrestrained merrymaking to his waters.


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