Providing the final pass before a goal is scored, an assist is vitally important in football. While strikers relish goals, it is often the players creating chances who control matches. This article will count down the top 15 footballers with the most assists in football history of the beautiful game.
1. Ferenc Puskás (404 assists)
Ferenc Puskás (404 assists) Ferenc Puskás was a Hungarian football legend and one of the greatest players of all time. He was the first international superstar in football. He led Hungary to the final of the 1954 World Cup and helped them win the gold medal at the 1952 Olympics. While playing for Real Madrid, he won 4 Pichichis (La Liga top scorer) and 3 European Cups. In 719 total appearances, he scored an amazing 708 goals and made 404 assists, making him the player with the most assists in football history.
2. Pelé (369 assists)
Many people consider Pelé to be the greatest player in football history. He was a hard-working team player and a complete forward. He had exceptional vision and intelligence, as well as brilliant passing skills. He was able to link up with his teammates and provide them with assists.
Pelé is Brazil’s all-time leading goalscorer, with 77 goals in 92 games. He led Brazil to win 3 FIFA World Cups (1958, 1962, and 1970). At club level, he is Santos’ all-time top goalscorer with 643 goals from 659 games. During a golden era for Santos, he led the club to win the 1962 and 1963 Copa Libertadores and the 1962 and 1963 Intercontinental Cup.
Pelé’s statistics of goals and appearances vary between sources, mostly due to friendly games. However, he is still the second player with the most assists of all time, with 369 assists.
3. Johan Cruyff (358 assists)
Johan Cruyff was one of the greatest players in football history and also one of the best managers. He is considered to be one of the most influential figures in modern football. As a player, he won the Ballon d’Or three times (1971, 1973, and 1974). In his career, he made 720 official appearances and scored 403 goals. He also made 358 assists, which ranks him third on the all-time assists list.
4. Lionel Messi (358 assists)
Lionel Messi is considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time. He is a complete attacking player who can do everything perfectly. Not only does he score lots of goals, but he also provides many assists.
Currently, he is ranked fourth on the all-time football assists ranking, with 339 assists. He is still playing and may eventually break into the top 3 at the end of his career.
Messi holds many records, including the most goals in La Liga (474), most in a La Liga and European league season (50), most hat-tricks in La Liga (36), and the UEFA Champions League (8). He also has the most assists in La Liga (192), a La Liga season (21), and the Copa America (17). In addition, he holds the record for most international goals by a South American player (90).
So far, Messi has made 1016 career appearances, scored 806 goals, and made 357 assists. He has consistently been one of the best passers and playmakers in football.
5. Thomas Muller – 296 assists
Thomas Muller is often considered to be the most underrated forward of all time. Despite his mediocre goal tally, he has had a very successful career and helped Germany win the World Cup in 2014.
Muller may not have any breathtaking qualities, such as speed or skill, but he has a great work ethic and an eye for a pass. He is known for his intelligence on the field, which is why every manager he has played under has praised him. Being second on the all-time assists list is no small feat, and he is likely to break the 300 mark in the coming seasons.
6. Luis Figo (283 assists)
Luis Figo is next on this list, with 283 assists. He was known for his creativity and ability to get past defenders on the wing. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wingers of all time. His 106 assists are the second-most in La Liga history, only behind Lionel Messi.
Figo won the Ballon d’Or in 2000 and the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2001. During his career, Luis Figo made 919 appearances and scored 169 goals.
7. Ryan Giggs (277 assists)
Ryan Giggs is one of the most successful footballers of all time. He spent his entire playing career at Manchester United, where he won many titles, including 13 Premier League titles (more than any other player in history), 4 FA Cups, 3 League Cups, 2 UEFA Champions Leagues, a FIFA Club World Cup, Intercontinental Cup, UEFA Super Cup, and 9 FA Community Shields.
At his best, he could play on either flank and take on opposing defenders. His crosses led to many goals for his teammates. Ryan Giggs played 1,027 matches, scored 180 goals, and provided 277 assists.
8. Cristiano Ronaldo – 268 assists
Cristiano Ronaldo is known to many young people today as a selfish, goal-obsessed player who spends most of his time in the penalty box. While this description is somewhat true based on his recent seasons, many people forget that Ronaldo was once a winger who provided for others as well as scoring goals himself.
It wasn’t until a serious knee injury in 2014 that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner had to change his game completely. After this injury, Ronaldo became a center-forward and continued to score at similar rates for a few years, although his assist numbers decreased.
The fact that he has 268 assists along with his 834 goals is amazing when you think about it. He is a true great of the game and second only to Lionel Messi in the all-time debates.
9. David Beckham (259 assists)
David Beckham was one of the best set-piece specialists in football history. His range of passing, vision, crossing ability, and set-piece mastery allowed him to create many chances for his teammates.
Beckham played 810 matches in his career and scored 144 goals. He also made 259 assists. He was known for his ability to deliver crosses and free kicks with pinpoint accuracy, which often resulted in goals for his teammates.
Beckham also scored many free-kicks and is one of the players with the most free-kick goals in history. One of his most famous assists came in the Madrid derby when he set up a goal for Ronaldo. He is considered one of the best passers in football history.
10. Angel Di Maria (258 assists)
Due to the calibre of players he always plays with, Angel Di Maria regularly gets underrated. He has played alongside Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe, among others.
Credit to Di Maria’s brilliance is the fact that he never looks out of place when he plays with these stars. In fact, he supplies them with loads of assists.
Currently, on the books of Juventus, Angel Di Maria has made a total of 810 appearances, scored 179 goals, and provided 253 assists.
The Argentine is undoubtedly one of the greatest wingers of his generation.
11. Neymar (251 assists)
Neymar is one of the best players in the world due to his creativity, vision, passing, finishing, dribbling, feints, touch, and technique. Although he didn’t reach the heights that many expected him to as a young player, Neymar has had a successful career. The Brazilian has made 690 appearances, scored 430 goals, and provided 250 assists.
12. Luis Suarez (248 assists)
Luis Suarez is considered one of the best players of his generation and one of the greatest strikers of all time. He has won many awards, including two European Golden Shoes, an Eredivisie Golden Boot, a Premier League Golden Boot, and the Pichichi Trophy (La Liga Golden Boot).
Suarez excelled at all the clubs he played for, with his peak years spent at Liverpool and Barcelona. Not only can he score goals, but he can also provide assists. He formed brilliant attacking partnerships at all the teams he played for, with the best being the MSN (formed alongside Messi and Neymar at Barcelona).
Suarez is Uruguay’s all-time leading goalscorer and has scored a total of 524 goals in 875 appearances in his career so far, providing 246 assists.
13. Cesc Fabregas (234 assists)
Cesc Fabregas was the perfect fit for teams that played “total football” or “tiki-taka” style. He developed his excellent passing ability at the Barcelona academy before joining Arsenal. After years of showcasing his abilities in the Premier League, Barcelona brought him back from London because he was exactly the kind of player they were looking for.
Although things didn’t go exactly as planned, Fabregas’ career wasn’t affected and he later shone with Chelsea. As an elegant midfielder, Fabregas’ outstanding technique was crucial for his country. Of all his assists, the one we will never forget was his pass to Andres Iniesta that gave Spain their first ever FIFA World Cup in a dramatic final in 2010.
14. Xavi (230 assists)
Xavi Hernandez was the ultimate team player. In an era when Messi took much of the spotlight because he finished the plays, true soccer fans knew that Xavi (along with his partner-in-crime Andres Iniesta) was key to Barcelona’s success.
The midfielder provided countless assists for the Blaugrana, including the cross for Messi’s game-winning header in the 2008-09 UEFA Champions League final against Manchester United. But Xavi also made history for his country, providing the perfect assist for Fernando Torres in the Euro 2008 final to give Spain their first continental title since 1964.
Four years later, Xavi once again helped Spain win the European Championship with two assists in the 4-0 win over Italy in the final.
15. Franck Ribery (228 assists)
Franck Ribery was one of the greatest wingers in French football history. During his successful time at Bayern Munich, he formed one of the most powerful offenses in Europe. Although he always created chaos on the left side of the field, Ribery was never much of a top scorer (although he has 151 career club goals). Instead, he mastered the art of assisting his teammates. Of the 228 assists he provided throughout his career, perhaps the most iconic one came in the 2013 UEFA Champions League final when his backheel pass set up Arjen Robben’s game-winning goal.
They are the top 15 footballers with the most assists in football history. From masterful playmakers to dynamic wingers, their contributions have enriched the football game and continue to inspire players and fans around the world. You can find more information about these players on websites such as Chelsea FC Players.