While scoring is a major determinant of which team wins the game of Football, there are other aspects that are recognized by the Football authorities. The effort it takes players to score a goal is another aspect that is just as important as the goal itself. Players who assist their teammates to score goals are just as recognized as the goal scorers themselves. Without further delay, we’ll be diving into details about the meaning of assist and the most assists in Football history.
What is an Assist in Football?
Before we provide an extensive list of the most assists in Football history, let’s start by explaining the meaning of assist in football. A football assist is a contribution made by a footballer, which supports scoring a goal.
Traditionally, the award for assists is given to players who make the last pass before a goal gets scored. An assist is awarded to players even if they passed the ball unintentionally.
However, what is termed an “assist” varies depending on the league and the country, which makes precise comparison difficult.
The documenting of assists only became official about two decades ago, so this means that only the assists from the last two decades have been recorded.
While numerous players in the past may have contributed greatly to plenty of assists, their many contributions are lost to history.
The Most Assists in Football History
From the player with the most assists in football history to the player with the least assist, here’s a rundown of what you should know:
1. Lionel Messi—387 assists
Arguably one of the greatest footballers, Lionel Messi remains on top of the assists chart with a total of 387. Having led Argentina to a World Cup victory in Qatar in 2022, Messi has attained great heights in the game of football.
Not only has he been crowned one of the greatest goal scorers in history, but he has also retained the crown of the most assists in football history for years now.
2. Thomas Muller—291 assists
Thomas Muller has rightfully earned celebrated status at Bayern Munich because of his immense contribution and tireless service to the success of the club. The German player broke the Bundesliga record for the highest number of assists in a season by giving 21 assists in just one season. Known as the ‘space interpreter’ by many of his fans, Muller has become one of the smartest footballers in the modern era.
The 33-year-old player continues to perform very well for his club, Bayern and his country, Germany. He has accumulated a total of 291 assists for his club and country.
3. Luis Suarez—283 assists
Luis Suarez is considered one of the greatest strikers of this generation. However, he is far more than an ordinary striker. The 36-year-old player is one of the best forwards who can do wonders with or without the ball. Nicknamed El Pistolero by his fans, Suarez is well known for his passing, comfort, and finishing with the ball.
At the peak of his career, Suarez was a great force to reckon with and has won numerous awards for his efforts. The 36-year-old has racked up 283 assists to his name for both his club and home country. This is a remarkable number for a striker.
4. Angel di Maria—277 assists
Arguably one of the most underrated players, Angel di Maria is one player who has played well for some of the biggest football clubs in Europe. His extraordinary talent was displayed when he played a vital role in Argentina’s World Cup victory in Qatar last year.
Well known for his impeccable passing ability, vision, deft footwork, and shooting range, Di Maria lives up to expectations in his current club Juventus. Not even age is a limiting factor when it comes to Angel di Maria. He has racked up 277 assists to his name for both his club and country.
5. Kevin de Bruyne—268 assists
Kevin de Bruyne has been regarded as one of the best midfielders you can find in football currently. He has the extraordinary ability to locate his teammates and make strategic passes in and around the box from even difficult angles.
The Belgium player has registered a total of 17 assists in just 29 games across all the competitions slated this season. De Bruyne’s skillfulness on the ball is outstanding and he has raked in a total of 268 assists to his name so far.
6. Cristiano Ronaldo – 268 assists
Arguably, the greatest goal scorer in the history of football, C. Ronaldo is also one of the greatest assist providers. The remarkable scoring ability of Ronaldo is one thing that leaves his fans in awe. When it comes to him, age is just a number as he still performs excellently even at the ripe age of 38 years. He is rated better and outscores most younger players. Talking about assists, the Portuguese football legend has raked up 268 since the inception of his career. Ronaldo currently plays for Al Nassr.
7. Mesut Ozil – 258 assists
Without any doubt, Mesut Ozil is one of the greatest players of this generation. The German player commenced his career in 2003 with FC Schalke. In 2008, he was transferred to SV Werder Bremen, before Real Madrid signed him in 2010. In 2013, Ozil was sold to Arsenal after he ended his contract at Real Madrid. Ozil currently plays for Süper Lig club İstanbul Basaksehir FK.
The 34-year-old player has accumulated a total of 253 assists throughout his football career. Although he may not be at the peak of his career anymore due to age, he still had an excellent career overall.
8. Cesc Fabregas – 248 assists
Cesc Fabregas is another player that has played well for some of the biggest and most reputable clubs out there. Whether it be Chelsea, Barcelona or Arsenal, the 35-year-old Spanish footballer has succeeded everywhere. Out of the 248 assists he has accumulated, 114 of them came during his time in the Premier League.
9. Franck Ribery – 246 assists
Franck Ribery, the former Bayern Munich winger, rightfully earned his celebrated status at the club because of his tireless efforts and immense contribution to their massive success. The 39-year-old contributed to the club by providing a total of 124 goals and a whopping 182 assists. Subsequently, he went ahead to provide more assists and racked up a total of 246 before retiring.
Ribery is currently retired but played as a left winger for his last club, US Salernitana.
10. Xavi – 237
Xavi is the last on this list and has a total assist record of 237. The Spanish player spent 17 years in Barcelona and played more than 500 matches for them. His relentless years of hard work for 17 years have made him one of the most awarded players in the world. He spent only four years with Al Sadd Sports Club before he retired as a player and entered a managerial position in 2019.
Assists form the basis for prestigious football awards such as the Premier League Playmaker of the Season. Hence, its importance cannot be underestimated. Also, players who provide assists regularly will have a higher transfer value, so assists are an integral part of football that most players strive to conquer. Although Lionel Messi is currently awarded for the most assists in football history, we can’t tell what the future holds. This record may change a few years from now because more new players are rising to the challenge.
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