Analysis

Ranked! The 10 best attacking trios of the 21st century

Neymar, Cavani and Mbappe are tearing up Ligue 1 – but how do PSG's dynamic front three stack up against the great modern-day attacking trios? 

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10. Pedro, Diego Costa, Eden Hazard

Chelsea, 2016-17

Plenty of plaudits (rightly) went to N’Golo Kante in midfield as Chelsea won the Premier League last season, but the influence of Antonio Conte’s rejuvenated front three should not be ignored. The trio had struggled together the previous season, but things clicked after Conte’s arrival.

Eden Hazard recaptured his best form; Pedro turned back into the player we all knew from his days at Barcelona; while Diego Costa was... well, Diego Costa. The trickery and pace of Hazard and Pedro out wide, combined with Costa’s bullish approach through the middle, proved a combination that few sides were able to stop.

9. Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens, Jose Callejon

Napoli, 2016-current

Napoli became the highest-scoring team in Serie A since the Juventus squad of 1959/60 when they ploughed in 94 goals last year. Of that total, Italy’s Insigne, Belgian Mertens and Spain international Callejon contributed 60. Despite their fantastic form, however, the Partenopei were still unable to win a first league title in nearly three decades.

This season, they are hoping things will be different. Picking up where they left off, Napoli's top trio have managed 34 goals between them across all competitions as their team sit top of Serie A – one point ahead of holders Juventus with 15 games to play. Bellissimo.

8. Hulk, Radamel Falcao, Silvestre Varela

Porto, 2009-11

An unlikely combination thrown together from various corners of the world. Colombian Falcao arrived from Argentina, Brazil’s Hulk came via Japan, while Varela hailed from Portugal. Yet the continents combined in sublime fashion when these three led the line for Porto between 2009 and 2011.

In their second season together, the trio scored a whopping 86 times between them. That fired Porto and a young Andre Villas-Boas to a treble of trophies (Primeira Liga, Taca de Portugal and Europa League), with the team also going the whole league season undefeated. Power, ruthless finishing and pace from left to right made Porto’s front three a frightening prospect.

7. Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski, Marco Reus

Borussia Dortmund, 2012-13

Runners-up in both the Bundesliga and Champions League, it was a leaky defence that ultimately let down Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund side of 2012/13. In a season of ‘almosts’ for Die Borussen, their one huge positive was the attacking triumvirate which destroyed defences Germany and Europe-wipe.

Klopp’s tenacious front three produced some of the most impressive and energetic attacking football seen in Europe – most famously, that 4-1 demolition job of Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final first leg, where Robert Lewandowski grabbed all four goals.