In recent years, most sports – including football – have kept track not only of the goal-scorers but also of their team-mates who provided them with chances to score. Understandably, scoring goals is great, but assisting others is just as important – and today, FOX Sports Asia takes you through the top-five list of assist providers from the past decade (2010-2019).
5. Mesut Ozil (Werder Bremen, Real Madrid, Arsenal)
Mesut Ozil is the fifth in the list, having recorded 168 assists in 427 matches this decade. Having started his senior career at Bundesliga club Schalke, Ozil moved to Werder Bremen in 2008 – and remained there until August 2010 when he signed for Real Madrid. He played 159 matches for Los Blancos and recorded 80 assists for them, before moving to Arsenal in 2013.
To this date, he remains at the Emirates and has already played 245 matches for them, providing 76 assists so far.
4. Luis Suarez (Ajax, Liverpool, Barcelona)
Luis Suarez is the only centre-forward in this list, and much to everyone’s surprise, he is at the fourth place – even above Ozil! Between 2010 and 2019, the Uruguayan recorded a total of 171 assists from 445 club appearances.
After excelling for the Uruguayan side Nacional and the Dutch club Groningen, Suarez earned a move to Ajax in 2007 and that is where his career started to take shape. On the last day of the winter transfer window in 2011, he completed his move to Liverpool and nearly three years later, he joined Barcelona.
The 31-year-old provided 47 assists in Liverpool colours and at Barcelona, he has already crossed the 100 assists-mark. His combined goals+assists tally for the past decade (270+ goals, 171 assists) make him one of the best footballers of the past decade.
3. Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)
Thomas Muller has never played for any club other than Bayern Munich. The 2014 FIFA World Cup winner has already crossed the 500 appearances-mark for the Bavarians, providing 180 assists so far.
Out of these 180 assists, 172 came in the decade between 2010 and 2019, making him finish at the third place in this list. He has also scored 190 goals for Bayern Munich so far, thereby proving that he is one of the best attackers in modern-day football.
2. Angel di Maria (Benfica, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Paris Saint Germain)
Argentina star Angel di Maria played in four different clubs between 2010 and 2019 – but his form has remained consistent throughout the decade, proved by the 188 assists he provided during this time.
Di Maria played for Benfica between 2007 and 2010, after which he moved to Real Madrid. Four years later, he moved to Manchester United and a year later, Paris Saint Germain signed him. The 31-year-old has recorded 85, 81 and 12 assists respectively for Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain and Manchester United respectively so far.
1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Yet another space for Lionel Messi to write his name on the top – that is all what this list actually is. With 205 assists from 521 appearances this decade, the Argentine G.O.A.T and six-time Ballon d’Or winner is also the only footballer to record 200 or more assists between 2010 and 2019.
Having started his senior footballing career at Barcelona, the 32-year-old was already one of the world’s best footballers of his time. The ten years between 2010 and 2019 further cemented his place among the all-time greats of the game, as he also finished as the leading goal-scorer of the decade above arch-rivals like Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.