Top 20 players in the 21st century in terms of assists, Cristiano Ronaldo is accustomed to setting records and dominating individual lists of goal scorers, but the Portuguese superstar trails behind in terms of assists.
While the Manchester United star must acknowledge he is still a long way from being the finest creative in football, Cristiano Ronaldo may be in a class of his own when it comes to scoring goals.
After surpassing Ali Daei’s total from the previous year, the Portuguese superstar now owns the record for most goals scored by a football player representing a different country.
He now has a significant lead over Lionel Messi as the highest scorer in the Champions League. For Real Madrid in Spain, he also recorded a return of 450 goals in 438 games, a record that averaged more than one goal per game.
However, the 37-year-old is often backed by others behind him who are generating opportunities since he is the guy for the big event.
Thus, rather than assisting his teammates in scoring, the lethal finisher is the one who is expected to accomplish so.
Messi, Ronaldo’s main competition, may not score as frequently, but some believe that because of his great passing range, the Argentine is more significant in the build-up play.
The same is true for the Premier League, where Ronaldo’s three assists are dwarfed by Messi’s 13 in Ligue 1.
And even if Ronaldo isn’t the most creative passer in the final third, the race to be named football’s assist king is fierce at the top.
Prime9sport ranks Top 20 players in the 21st century in terms of assists using data gathered by PopFoot, with some unexpected names making the list.
- Thierry Henry – 185 assists
To demonstrate his incredible all-around abilities as a striker, Henry contributed one assist for every two goals he scored during his prolific career. Arsenal can only hope that they discover a different version down the road.
- Ryan Giggs – 186 assists.
After 23 seasons at the highest level and with 23 goals, Giggs ended his lengthy tenure with Man United. But the left winger was also a skilled passer.
- Hulk- 189 assists
Former Porto great Hulk enjoyed dominating the Russian and Chinese divisions with Zenit and Shanghai SIPG, respectively. It’s possible that he never received the full appreciation he deserved after declining offers to play in a top five European club.
- Franck Ribery-196 assists
For good reason, some are still upset that the French star was not given the 2009 Ballon d’Or. A footballer of his time with exceptional potential, Ribery spent 12 illustrious years at Bayern Munich.
- Karim Benzema- 202 assists
At Real Madrid, although he was well into his latter years, Benzema, 34, really came into his own in 2021–22, scoring 27 La Liga goals and setting up another 12 as Los Blancos won their 14th European championship.
- David Silva-203 assists
It’s possible that a player with a decade of success at the Etihad would have expected a higher total from himself, but there’s no need for numbers to show that Silva is still one of the finest players to play in the Premier League.
- Dani Alves – 203 assists.
There has been much discussion about how Messi profited from Alves’ rambunctious excursions up the right wing and the statistics that back this up. In all honesty, it’s a shaky criteria, but the Brazilian is the only defender to reach the top 20.
- Xavi Hernandez-207 assists
Deep-lying playmaker Xavi, who worked with Sergio Busquets and Iniesta throughout his playing years at Barcelona, established himself as one of La Liga’s greatest midfielders in history.
- Dries Mertens – 212 assists.
Mertens has led Napoli for the better part of a decade to exceed Diego Maradona’s goal record, thus it is shocking to see Mertens rank above Spanish orchestrators Silva and Xavi.
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic-221 assists
The renowned Swede, who is now 40 years old, has extended his career with AC Milan by signing a new one-year contract after dominating in Italy with the Rossoneri, as well as Juventus and Inter Milan.
- Kevin De Bruyne-222 assists
As he approaches Ryan Giggs’ record of 162 goals, Kevin de Bruyne will undoubtedly soon be acknowledged as the Premier League’s supreme tactician.
- Cesc Fabregas-230 assists
The 35-year-old Spaniard’s career may be coming to an end, but he will go down in history for some amazing assists, the standout of which being his setup for Andre Schurrle against Burnley.
- Luis Suarez-232 assists
The controversial Uruguayan was the primary offensive danger at Liverpool during his prime, creating opportunities and converting on them. He succeeded at Barcelona with Messi and Neymar, amassing 308 goals and assists in just 293 games.
- Thomas Muller-232 assists
Muller, a born and raised Bavarian, has developed a tendency throughout their nine years of collaboration of leaving opportunities on the table for Lewandowski to seize.
- Neymar- 233 assists.
Neymar’s distinctive playing style may have led to the incorrect perception that he is a selfish player, and his reputation as a provider of assists is nearly unheard of. But in addition to his 100 goals for the Parisians since joining PSG in 2017, the Brazilian has averaged 12 goals each season.
- Dusan Tadic-236 assists
The Serbian, who Southampton supporters previously praised, has achieved new heights since joining Ajax in 2018, helping the Dutch champions score 230 goals (108 goals, 122 assists) in the Eredivisie.
- Angel Di Maria-252 assists
After a disastrous stint at Manchester United, Di Maria has been consistently underappreciated in sport. His record at PSG, which includes 72 assists in Ligue 1, places him second all-time behind Payet.
- Cristiano Ronaldo-273 assists
Like Neymar, Ronaldo’s contributions to the club sometimes go unnoticed because of his insatiable need for goals, but his career total of 273 assists and over 800 goals show that he is one of the greatest players in football history.
1.Lionel Messi leads with 331 assists.
But with 58 assists in Messi’s favor, not even Ronaldo can compete with the Argentinean’s deep-lying playmaker, free-kick master, and ultimate No. 10 player.
It will never grow old to see the 34-year-old sweep a pass over the top or slice a defense in half at Camp Nou.
It won’t be long until the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner reaches his finest form in France after leaving Barcelona and joining PSG.