Messi-Xavi-Iniesta voted football’s greatest ever trio

The Blaugrana triumverate finished ahead of AC Milan's Dutch stars Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard in our latest poll

Many of Europe's classic sides have been built upon a core trio of key players and Goal readers have voted Barcelona trident Lionel Messi-Xavi-Andres Iniesta as the best in the history of the game.

The Argentine attacker and his Spanish supporters-in-chief have played an integral role in the Catalans' remarkable success in recent years and they accounted for 36.3 per cent (9072 votes) of the vote.

AC Milan's Dutch triumverate of Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard, who inspired the Rossoneri to back-to-back European Cup triumphs, finished second with 18.4%.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid's 'BBC' (Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo), which has been making waves this season with a string of fine performances both domestically and in Europe, completes the podium with 3746 votes (15%).

They have already racked up 50 goals in La Liga so far this season and will be determined to add to their collective tally at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday when los Blancos host Barcelona in what could very well prove to be a decisive game in this season's race for the Primera Division title.

Of course, Messi, Xavi and Iniesta will be just as confident of proving why so many regard them as the finest trio ever put together.