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Iniesta hails Barcelona hot shots after seven-goal salvo

Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar are "the best in the world in their position" according to Andrés Iniesta, who briefly eclipsed the 'MSN' with a wonder goal of his own against Celtic.

Andrés Iniesta celebrates his own masterstroke with Neymar
Andrés Iniesta celebrates his own masterstroke with Neymar ©AFP/Getty Images

It was for electric, spirit-raising, joyous nights like this that football was invented.

When Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar produce invention, thrills and devastating displays of technique they grace the UEFA Champions League. A Messi hat-trick – his sixth three-or-more-goal haul in this competition – two from Suárez, one from Neymar, plus one of the goals of his life from Andrés Iniesta made this a dazzling spectacle.

Iniesta knew exactly how to describe the chemistry which fizzes between the 'MSN' – also known as the 'Tridente' – of the Argentinian, Uruguayan and Brazilian.

Highlights: Barcelona 7-0 Celtic
Highlights: Barcelona 7-0 Celtic

The midfielder, a second-half substitute, told UEFA.com: "They are the three players in the world who are the best in their position and one of them is unique. 'Leo' just keeps proving that in football terms he's unique. As a team we play and work to make sure the three of them are happy, that they get chances. All we can hope is that they keep scoring like that."

When Celtic's video analysts prepare a version of this seven-goal Group C defeat, the biggest European loss in the Scots' history, it may be that Brendan Rodgers sees things that irk him about their display.

But the stark reality is that the result stemmed from these remarkable strikers, playing with a verve and pace not seen at the Camp Nou since Josep Guardiola's Bayern München were beaten 3-0 in the 2015 UEFA Champions League semi-final.

Iniesta continued: "It was key to score such an early goal after starting at a great tempo. We then passed the ball around at a really high speed, we created a numerical superiority in the areas of the pitch where we'd planned to – and we also put the ball over the top of their defence when it was right to.

"When we are as switched on as this, as quick, precise and efficient as this, we're really difficult to defend against. We just tire teams out."

Iniesta delight at 'effective' Barça
Iniesta delight at 'effective' Barça

Suárez added that having had to wait months to play together as a trio, the 'Trident' simply burst out of the blocks and never dropped their ferocious pace.

"It's ages since the three of us were able to play together from the off – we've missed that ability to enjoy ourselves. The summer break, the Olympics and then Neymar's holidays got in the way. Today we really enjoyed being back in tandem."

The final word, though, went to Iniesta whose 59th-minute goal was perhaps the pick of the bunch. "The pass [from Neymar] landed perfectly for a volley. I didn't think – luckily I hit it perfectly. That kind of effort either bursts the net or ends up in the third tier."