Top 10 Footballers With The Most Assists In Football History

Find out the Footballer with the most assists since the creation of the game.
Footballers With The Most Assists

The ultimate aim on the football pitch is to score goals, which is why strikers and other attacking players are very cherished. But the role of creative players who provide assists can not be overlooked.

These creators — mostly attacking midfielders and wingers — play integral roles in the success of a team. This is most obvious in modern times when teams have a structured system of play.

In this article, we bring to you the top 10 footballers with the most assists in Football History.

Table of Contents

What is an Assist?

The final touch (pass, pass-cum-shot, or any other touch), which results in the recipient of the ball scoring a goal, is what Opta defines as an assist in football.

The initiator only receives credit for a goal assist if the receiving player would have likely received the ball absent the opposition player's deflection of the final touch (as indicated in bold).

An assist is not given for own goals, directly taken free kicks, direct corner goals, or penalties

We will use statistics from the Opta criteria to compile our list of the football players who have handed out the most assists in football history.

Top 10 Players With Most Assists In Soccer History

Football is a team sport that relies heavily on the coordination and skills of its players. While goals often steal the spotlight, assists play a crucial role in setting up those goals.

Assists not only showcase a player's vision and passing ability but also contribute significantly to the success of their team. In this article, we will explore the top 10 footballers with the most assists in football history, highlighting their remarkable contributions to the beautiful game.

1. Ferenc Puskás (404 assists)

Ferenc Puskas, a football icon from Hungary, is widely considered as one of the game's all-time greats and the sport's first global celebrity.

He led Hungary to the 1954 World Cup final and the Olympic gold medal in 1952.

Puskás earned four Pichichis (La Liga's top scorer) and three European Cups while a player for Real Madrid.

Ferenc Puskas miraculously recorded 708 goals and 404 assists in 719 matches, making him the football player with the most assists ever.

2. Lionel Messi (390 assists)

Arguably the greatest footballer of all time, Lionel Messi is a complete attacking player who can do everything that an attacker does perfectly.

The Argentine maestro does not only score goals (lots of them!) but also provides assists abundantly.

On the all-time football assists ranking, Messi currently sits 4th, with 339 assists. Still playing, he may eventually break into the top 3 at the end of his career.

Lionel Messi holds the record for 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).

In La Liga (192), a La Liga season (21), and the Copa America (17), he has the most assists.

He also holds the record for the most goals scored outside of South America (90).

Messi has played in 1016 games in his career so far, contributing 357 assists along with 806 goals.

One of the best passers and playmakers in football over the course of his career has been Lionel Messi.

3. Pelé (369 assists)

Pelé was a dedicated team member and a complete forward who is regarded by many as the best player in football history.

His mind and vision were remarkable. He also possessed exceptional passing abilities and the capacity to connect with teammates and aid them.

With 77 goals in 92 appearances, Pelé is Brazil's all-time leading scorer. The Selecao won three FIFA World Cups under his leadership (1958, 1962, and 1970).

With 643 goals from 659 games, he holds the record for most goals scored at Santos.

He guided Santos to the 1962 and 1963 Copa Libertadores and the 1962 and 1963 Intercontinental Cup during a prosperous period for the team.

Pelé’s statistics of goals and appearances differ between sources mostly due to friendly games.

Nevertheless, he is the second player with the most assists of all time, with 369 assists.

4. Johan Cruyff (358 assists)

Johan Cruyff is considered one of the greatest players in the history of football, as well as one of the best managers ever.

He is also widely regarded as arguably the most influential figure in modern football.

As a player, he won the Ballon d’Or three times (1971, 1973, and 1974).

In total, Johan Cruyff made 720 official appearances in his career and scored 403 goals. His total of 358 assists ranks him third on the all-time assists list.

5. Luis Figo (283 assists)

With 283 assists, Luis Figo comes in next.

Figo is recognized as one of the best wingers of all time and is renowned for his inventiveness and ability to elude defenders.

Only Lionel Messi has more assists in La Liga history than he does with 106.

In 2000, he received the Ballon d'Or, and in 2001, FIFA named him World Player of the Year.

Throughout his career, Luis Figo made 919 appearances and scored 169 goals.

6. Ryan Giggs (277 assists)

One of football's all-time most decorated players is Ryan Giggs.

He played at Manchester United for the entirety of his playing career, where he amassed 13 Premier League championships (the most of any player in history), four FA Cups, three League Cups, two UEFA Champions Leagues, a FIFA Club World Cup, an Intercontinental Cup, and nine FA Community Shields.

Due to his mobility, he could play on either wing at his best and would challenge the opposition defense. Many of his teammates' goals were the result of his crossings.

Ryan Giggs participated in 1,027 games, scoring 180 goals and dishing out 277 assists.

7. David Beckham (259 assists)

David Beckham is one of the best football set-piece specialists of all time. His range of passing, vision, crossing ability, and set-piece mastery enabled him to create lots of chances for teammates.

Beckham played 810 matches in his career and netted 144 goals. He 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.

The Englishman also scored a lot of free-kicks and is one of the footballers with the most free-kick goals in history.

In the Madrid derby, he provided one of his most well-known assists by setting up a goal for Ronaldo.

He is recognized as one of football's all-time great passes.

8. Angel Di Maria (258 assists)

Angel Di Maria frequently goes unappreciated because of the caliber of players he consistently teams up with. He has shared the field with players such as Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema, Neymar, and Cristiano Ronaldo, among others.

The fact that Di Maria never seems out of place when he plays with these luminaries is a testament to his brilliance. He actually gives them a lot of assistance.

Angel Di Maria has made a total of 810 games, 179 goals, and 253 assists while playing for Juventus.

Unquestionably, the Argentine is one of his generation's best wingers.

9. Neymar (251 assists)

Neymar is one of the top players in the world because of his imagination, vision, passing, finishing, dribbling, feints, touch, and technique.

Despite not reaching the heights that many predicted he would as a talented child, Neymar has achieved success in his career.

The Brazilian has 690 appearances, 430 goals, and 250 assists to his credit.

10. Luis Suarez (248 assists)

Luis Suarez is regarded as one of the best players of his generation and one of the greatest strikers of all time.

Incredibly, he won 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 at. His peak years were spent at Liverpool and Barcelona — where he warmed his way to the hearts of the fans of both clubs.

Not only can the Uruguayan score goals, but he can also provide assists. He formed brilliant attacking partnerships at all the teams he played — 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.

Top 10 Active Football Players With The Most Assists (2023)

  1. Lionel Messi: 357
  2. Ángel Di María: 258
  3. Neymar: 251
  4. Luis Suárez: 248
  5. Kevin De Bruyne: 247
  6. Cristiano Ronaldo: 236
  7. Thomas Müller: 237
  8. Dušan Tadić: 236
  9. Cesc Fàbregas: 233
  10. Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 212.

Final Thoughts on Top 10 Footballers With Most Assists In Football History

Assists are a crucial aspect of football, and the players on this list have demonstrated their exceptional playmaking abilities over the years. From Messi's mesmerizing dribbles to Beckham's trademark crosses, these footballers have left an indelible mark on the game. As the beautiful game continues to evolve, we can expect more players to join the ranks of the top assist providers in football history.

Remember, football is not just about individual brilliance but also about teamwork and creating opportunities for others. So, next time you watch a match, keep an eye out for those moments of brilliance when a player sets up a teammate for a goal. It's moments like these that truly make football the beautiful game that it is.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who has the most assists in football history?

Actually, the player with the most assists in Football History is Lionel Messi who now counts a total of 390 assists.

Who has the most goals and assists in football history?

It will come as no surprise that Lionel Messi tops the list. Having recently won the World Cup, Messi further cemented his immortal legacy on the international stage.

Who has the most assists in Premier League history?

Ryan Giggs has the most assists in Premier League History with a total of 162 assists in the Premier League.

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