It is fair to state that football’s name has taken something of a pounding this past week. Ever the optimist Ger Deegan brushes it down and reminds us all of what a glorious genius-laden era we’re fortunate to live in.

We often get bogged down in the ‘Messi vs Ronaldo’ debate on social media, down the pub with our peers or over Sunday lunch in the company of grandad. And for a long time, it looked as if these two superstars were the only humans on the planet who could kick a ball straight. Everything they touched (and to be fair, still touch) turned to gold.

It has been an absolute privilege to watch over the last number of seasons. Watching someone perfect their craft in a way that has produced so many wonderful moments has been great. It really has. But isn’t it getting a little tedious? Surely there’s more out their capable of going toe to toe with these mastodons of the game? Finally, the answer is yes, there is.

In this present moment not only have we the privilege of watching Lionel Messi in his prime at Barcelona, but we have the opportunity to watch one of the greatest attacking trios ever.. Messi, Neymar and Suarez. Three South Americans with so much ability between them, they can’t help but dazzle.

The individual brilliance of each so enigmatic, engrossing and enthralling. The fluidity and cohesiveness as an attacking threesome which so eloquently carves it way through a back four is literally poetry in motion to watch.

It might be a little daft to say that seeing all three sweeping forward in attack is the greatest thing I’ve ever witnessed, but ah well; it is the greatest thing I’ve ever witnessed. Perfection.

We’re used to celebrating the brilliance of individuals that come once in a lifetime..

Maradona, Muller, Cantona, Ronaldo, Henry. We wait decades for one to come along. Imagine having them all come at once.

Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez and Neymar. All in one league. Three at one club. The brilliance on show is nothing if not spectacular. And I’ve only referred to Spain so far.

All we have to do is switch on our TV’s, change to any channel covering live European football and are bound to be fascinated by the quality on show.

We really are spoils for world class strikers in the present day. If it’s not ‘La Liga’ that takes your fancy, it doesn’t really matter. You will simply not have to look far in the modern game to find talent. There is a flourishing array of it that refuses to go away.

In the Bundesliga under the guidance of Pep Guardiola – Robert Lewandowski. The polish striker is a joy to watch. He’s been a revelation in his time in Germany. Presently at Bayern Munich where he has scored 19 goals in 19 games this season. Before making the switch to Bayern Munich he scored an impressive 74 goals in 131 games for their bitter rivals, Borussia Dortmund. Clinical.

Lewandowski: A clinical joy to watch.

Lewandowski: A clinical joy to watch.

Waiting in the shadows at the ‘Westfalenstadion’ for Lewandowski to make his big money move was Gabonese international, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Since the departure of his former team mate, Aubameyang has excelled.

He has since become the star of this Dortmund team and with a goal tally of 20 goals in 20 games in the league this season, you can see why. His lightning quick pace, cool finishing and willingness to get into dangerous positions has been a catalyst for his goal scoring achievements this season. He has been one of the players of the season in Germany.

Having bagged a brace which sent Dortmund through to the semi-finals of the ‘DFB Pokal’ in midweek you can see why the 2016 African footballer of the year is capturing so much attention from the elite clubs.

In England, there is one man who stands above the rest. Sergio Aguero. The sharp and muscular Argentine with his low centre of gravity is the best player in the league. He often gets mentioned in the bracket of Messi and Ronaldo but injuries over the past couple of seasons have hindered him slightly. When fit, Aguero is unplayable, and Manchester City must keep him fit if they are to progress further in this year’s Champions League.

While Aguero on form is the top player in England the resounding form of Harry Kane at Tottenham and Jamie Vardy at Leicester City must have the English mouths watering ahead of Euro 2016 in France. Their form added with the experience of Wayne Rooney who has returned to form (netting 6 in 6) for Manchester United, gives them a fighting chance in France. Or so the English media will no doubt try have you believe.

Another career resurgence has come in the form of Gonzalo Higuain this season.  Yet another Argentine .Who, at Napoli, looks like he has found a home. Somewhere he is clearly enjoying his football. His goals this season have fired the Neapolitans to the top of Serie A. All in Naples will be hoping he continues in this fashion as they travel to Turin this weekend, to take on reigning champions Juventus.

Last but not least we go to France, where a familiar name reigns supreme once more. That name is Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The swede is now thirty four years old and some may have thought he was beginning to wind down. For anyone that knows anything about the man, Zlatan was never going to just find a club, quieten down, and disappear into the distance. In fact, the self-proclaimed prophecy is in the best form of his career. Having scored 32 goals in 33 games, in a season where Paris St Germain have yet to be defeated, he is as influential as ever. His prowess forever in abundance.

Last Sunday evening, he scored the pivotal opening goal in PSG’s 2-1 win over arch rivals Marseille. His goal after three minutes calmed the nerves before OLM got back into the game. Zlatan then had a part to play in setting up Angel di Maria for what turned out to be the winner for the ninth consecutive time in ‘Le Classique’. A fixture he is yet to taste a loss in.

Spoilt is the term that comes to mind when reminded of the fantastic range of talent on or doorsteps at the moment. Players in all corners of Europe who will go down in the history books.

In 20 years’ time when the new breed of world class come to our attention, we will then be comparing them to what we are seeing now, it’s what we do. If they keep producing, we’ll keep watching. So saviour it. Drink it in. It’s a special time in this games beautiful history.

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