Messi, Neymar and Suarez will struggle together according to former Barcelona legend

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Dutch legend Johan Cruyff, believes the signing of Luis Suarez from Liverpool, will see a shift in Barcelona's football philosophy to a more individual approach, as new manager Luis Enrique attempts to accommodate three of the biggest names in football, as reported by the Marca.

The dawn of a new era is on the horizon at the Camp Nou, as the club attempts to rebuild following a season that brought no silverware.

New era

A new manager in former player and captain Luis Enrique, wholesale changes in personnel and the most valuable attacking line-up in world football, suggest the Catalan club is about to embark on another exciting new era, however a former player and manager does not believe this will be the case.

Total Football

Dutch legend Johan Cruyff, considered to be one of the most influential players in the history of the sport, does not understand why his former club brought in the troubled Uruguayan striker, as he doesn't see how the player will fit in with their two big stars and the essence and style of Barcelona that we have become accustomed to under the previous influence of Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola.

Cruyff, an attacking midfielder is a player synonymous with: "Total Football," a system which allows players with creativity to roam out of position, but get replaced by another to allow the team to retain a structure, the style we have seen from Barcelona in their pomp over the last 10-years.

The Dutchman remains an iconic figure at the club after winning the League title during a five year spell as a player, and then followed that up with a further four titles and a European Cup, amongst others, during a successful eight year spell as manager at the Camp Nou.


With the departure of players like Puyol, Valdes, Xavi, Sanchez and others that are still expected to leave, coupled with the £75 million arrival of another brilliant individual player in Luis Suarez, it is understandable that Cruyff is concerned about his former club going forward.

"I don't know how they plan to play free-flowing attacking football with Messi, Neymar and Suarez in one team.They are all players who rely on their individual actions." 

"In signing him, the club are showing a preference for individual genius over a team that plays great football."

"The style of play they developed under Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola is being abandoned."

"That feeling has only gotten stronger with the signing of Luis Suarez. He is a great player, but has a complicated character."

Related links

- All change at the Camp Nou
- Vertonghen on the verge of joining Barcelona
- Suarez to form a formidable partnership with Messi and Neymar

It is clear to see where Cruyff is coming from. For the best part of a decade, Xavi, Iniesta and Messi have had this: "Total Football," understanding which has seen them dazzle world football with 20 major trophies during an unprecedented period of success.

However the reality is that at some stage change comes about as players approach the end of their careers and move on to new challenges, which is what Barcelona are now facing.

Real Madrid's philosophy has always been about going out and buying the best and then hope they will create an understanding over time, something Enrique will now have to do.

Johan Cruyff one of the all-time greats

German success

Bayern Munich seem to have taken over the mantle of: "Total Football," hardly surprising with Pep Guardiola now at the helm.

With the resources he has available, this style seems the perfect fit for the Bavarian giants, which is what we have seen transformed onto the international stage with the World Cup success achieved by Germany in Brazil, clearly something that Cruyff admired.

"I am happy that Germany won the World Cup. They are playing the kind of football that Barcelona are distancing themselves from," said Cruyff in his column for Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

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