Henry, Ronaldinho, Messi, Eto'o in same lineup

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/r/ronaldinho_ap.jpg' class='caption'> It looks like a fantasy team formation. Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry. All in the same lineup.

Updated: July 26, 2007 17:21 IST
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It looks like a fantasy team formation.

Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry. All in the same lineup.

Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard can make it happen for real this season - if he dares.

Rijkaard's team surrendered the Spanish league title to Real Madrid last season and that hurt everyone who follows the Catalan club. So Barca went out and added Henry to its already special set of forwards, managing to lure the French striker from Arsenal.

Henry could make his debut in the famous red and blue stripes of Barcelona in the unlikely surroundings of Scottish club Dundee United's Tannadice stadium on Thursday night when the Spanish team prepares for the Spanish league season with some low-key friendlies.

If Henry doesn't make that game, he could play Saturday when Barcelona faces Hearts at the 65,000 capacity Murrayfield rugby stadium.

Messi is not joining the squad in Scotland because he is resting after Argentina's Copa America challenge, where the team lost 3-0 to Brazil in the final a week ago.

When he's back, however, the Barca fans will be screaming at Rijkaard to play all four star forwards in the same lineup.

Will he be listening?

Some of his players would like to see all four starting.

"It depends on the game or whether we're playing at home or not," said midfielder Xavi Hernandez. "It's great to have those four, who are among the five to 10 best players in the world. This range of possibilities is fantastic. It's the most complete team that I've seen here in terms of talent."

Goalkeeper Victor Valdes said Barcelona was strong in all positions.

"We have a team that can cover itself across all positions and the best strike force in the world," Valdes said.

All Rijkaard has said so far is then Henry, who spent much of his final season with Arsenal sidelined with neck, groin and stomach injuries, will play some part in the games in Scotland.

No sign yet whether he will give all four a run together when the season starts.

But could it work? Can these four great players weave together to make the right attacking combination? Or would it be too rich a mixture with players tripping over each other to get to the same pass or arguing over who should take the free kicks?

Clearly the Messi-Eto'o-Ronaldinho combination works well and helped Barcelona win back-to-back Spanish titles and a Champions League.

Argentina star Messi usually operates down the right flank with Eto'o in the middle and Ronaldinho charging in from the left.

That's where there could be a problem.

Henry's best position at Arsenal was attacking from a position wide to the left where he could attack defenders and then exchange passes with his co-striker.

But that's usually what Ronaldinho does.

If Rijkaard is brave enough to field all four and sacrifice a midfielder or even a defender, he has to find a formation that suits them all.

Maybe Henry could attack from the left and Ronaldinho work his magic behind the front three. The thought of the Brazilian master dribbling into the area with the option or laying off passes to Messi, Eto'o or Henry would throw most defenses into a panic.

It's Rijkaard's choice.

While it sounds like he's weakening the rest of his lineup and risking a goal at the other end, there's always the theory that attack is the best form of defense.

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