Real Madrid or Barca: Who has the better strike force?

Let us start by saying that, in our view, Lionel Messi is the best football player ever. But, at a time when he has lost some of the lightning pace that was so vital to his slaloming past opponents, Cristiano Ronaldo is now at the peak of his physical powers, although a year older.

Few would argue that Ronaldo is the best on the planet right now. But, given the choice, would you take Real Madrid or Barcelona’s front three? Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale or Messi, Neymar and Suarez?

At present the momentum is with Real Madrid. They beat Barcelona in El Clasico and look like the finished article. We have never seen them appear quite so balanced or flowing in their football. Even the best teams need luck but Real Madrid have to be hot favourites to retain The Champions League in May.

And they also have the amazing talents of James Rodriguez in the hole behind the front three. This addition makes them irresistible.

But we have to say that, given the choice, we would take Barca’s front line. Real Madrid’s strike force has such balance and power. But Barcelona’s players are more skilful on aggregate. And they are utterly interchangeable. All three could operate equally well in any berth across the front line. They are all quick, intelligent and highly technical footballers.

Barcelona’s problem is that they need to improve in other areas of the park. But when Suarez settles and these three click we may witness one of the best front lines of all time. It’s a mouth-watering prospect.

So who would you take?