The Holy Trinity: In the long history of sports all over, we have found many partnerships that have left its mark through the sands of time. Football has especially been a great promoter of partnerships and has seen these poetic alliances run shows in this great game.
Iconic pairs have ruled the game in every generation. But along the years it can be traced, players of kin attract each other to form a great fellowship. Similar traits in mindset and imbibing a philosophy in the team, the guaranteed success which went on to be etched in the pages of football history.
Know about the interesting story of Barcelona’s Holy Trinity
Three boys starting from the training grounds of La Masía ended up revolutionising football. Xavi Hernández, the only player to record assists in two Euro finals, Andrés Iniesta, the player to seal World Cup glory for Spain and Lionel Messi, hailed as the Greatest Of All Times – three individuals of mesmerizing brilliance, became the most formidable TRIO of All Times.
Xavi Hernández made his first appearance in the Blaugrana in 1998, four years before Andrés Iniesta. Lionel Messi turned up for the first team in 2004 – who knew the greatest triplet in the history of the game reached completion.
Xavi idolised Pep Guardiola, the flag bearer of Cruyffian football. To play alongside him was a dream come true. Although it was ironic, Pep Guardiola’s injury in 2000 paved the way for the start of sheer midfield dominance by Xavi. Pep, the then-captain famously said to Xavi, you’re going to retire me, this lad is going to retire us all” — that lad was Andrés Iniesta.
Andrés Iniesta became a mainstay in the team in 2004 and started to show glimpses of greatness alongside Deco, Ronaldinho, Edmilson among others. Come 2004, Lionel Messi entered the first team as a child prodigy, and soon under the tutelage of Ronaldinho started becoming the beast he is today.
In the 2008-09 season, Frank Rijkaard vacated the head coaches seat and the job went to Pep Guardiola. This started the new era. Pep identified the potential of La Masía and started a brand of football called Tiki Taka and banking on 3 players predominantly – Xavi, Iniesta and Messi. This marked the rise of the legendary trio.
These three would telepathically know the field as a map and reach positions and get the ball at certain times that defied the laws of science. The trio along with renowned players like Henry and Eto along with prodigies like Busquets and Bojan took this brand of football to the level of a cult. Messi was already hailed as the next big thing in world football and Xavi and Iniesta established themselves as world-class midfielders.
Ball possession never was seen as such a vital factor in the game of football. These three would play passes among each other for hours and just like that a sudden burst of Messi or a sudden physics-defying pass from Iniesta or a through ball from some impossible angle from Xavi would change the course of the match, and it remained so.
🗣️ Xavi: “Robert Lewandowski even helps us in the technical staff!” pic.twitter.com/nkWTHxiCd2
— Barça Worldwide (@BarcaWorldwide) August 28, 2022
The club saw Henry, Eto, Villa, Zlatan among the famous players in the Guardiola era, but the limelight always attracted towards these three. Along with a great team effort, these three took the team to win a treble for the first time in the history of the club.
The brand of football changed in the next few years after Guardiola left the Catalan club but the vigour of these three grew day by day. Luis Enrique was another remarkable period in the history of Barcelona and again these three were at the centre of his plans.
Their exceptional vision was something that never could be matched and could cut through any defence in a split second. They could dribble past the best of defenders like training cones at La Masía.
Chelsea legend Frank Lampard once said "I think going to the Camp Nou and attempting to get near them for 90 minutes was very tough. They were absolute naturals on the ball. 11 years from 2004, when Messi played his first game, Xavi left the club in 2015. The last match these three played together was the UEFA Champions League final.
The trio finished their last outing on the field together defeating Juventus to end the season with the second Treble in the history of the club, the only European club to achieve the feat of treble twice. This marked the end of an era, which culminated in calling the Xavi-Iniesta-Messi combination as the Holy Trinity. The Holy Trinity passed on the baton to another iconic lethal trio at FC Barcelona – the MSN, Messi constant as ever with Luis Suárez and Neymar.
Ten years ago today, UEFA named don Andres Iniesta as the Best Player in Europe. pic.twitter.com/INTMvgaLj4Advertisement
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) August 30, 2022
Today Messi continues to wear the Blue and Claret whereas Iniesta plies his trade at Vissel Kobe in Japan and Xavi recently concluded his playing career and started his managerial career at Al Sadd in Qatar. Every Culé dreams of a day, the day the Holy Trinity will again be united at the training grounds of Camp Nou or maybe La Masía, because this their home, this is where they belong, this where everything began.
Because all three were raised by the same ethos – Mes Que Un Club. Força Barça.