For a long time, the International Federation of Football History and Statistics, known as the IFFHS, has been putting together an annual ranking with the best playmakers of the year.
Based on the lists they published between 2011 and 2020, they made their TOP 20 with the best game creators of the decade. How did they score? As follows: if a player closed a year at 1st on the IFFHS list, he received 20 points; if a player finished a year in 2nd on the IFFHS list, he received 19 points; and so on until the end of each annual list (they repeated the process with each classification of the last 10 years).
The leader, the recognized one, was Lionel Messi. And it could not be another. The Argentine genius won this award in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019. In addition, he finished second in 2011, 2014, 2018 and 2020. The second ranked was Don Andrés Iniesta, who was the best game builder in the world in 2012 and 2013 and, Added to that, it obtained good positions throughout the evaluated period.
Who completes the honor roll? Lukita Modric, another player who came to be at the top of this list (2018) and who managed to be well positioned in periods in which he did not win.
Messi, Iniesta and Modric were on the podium, but it is also worth highlighting game artists such as Kevin De Bruyne, Toni Kroos, Eden Hazard, Neymar Júnior, Mesut Özil, Andrea Pirlo, Yaya Touré, Xavi, and even Cristiano Ronaldo, who, although he has been focusing more on completion, generates and produces more than many midfielders (especially at the beginning of the decade).
The TOP that you will read next was formed with the point system mentioned above. But the preparation of the annual exercise is carried out by journalists and historians from the 150 countries that are represented in the Federation.
THE 20 BEST PLAYMAKERS OF THE DECADE (2011-2020)
- Lionel Messi (Argentina): 174 points.
- Andrés Iniesta (Spain): 127 points.
- Luka Modric (Croatia): 113 points.
- Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium): 103 points.
- Toni Kroos (Germany): 90 points.
- Eden Hazard (Bélgica): 77 points.
- Neymar (Brazil): 71 points.
- Mesut Özil (Alemania): 69 points.
- Andrea Pirlo (Italy): 63 points.
- Yaya Touré (Ivory Coast): 60 points.
- Xavi (Spain): 55 points.
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal): 54 points.
- David Silva (Spain): 52 points.
- James Rodríguez (Colombia): 42 points.
- Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany): 40 points.
- Christian Eriksen (Denmark): 38 points.
- Riyad Mahrez (Argelia): 38 points.
- Paul Pogba (France): 35 points.
- Thiago Alcántara (Spain): 33 points.
- Isco Alarcón (Spain): 25 points.
Undefeated data. Lionel Messi registers 719 goals and 302 assists in 894 official matches in his professional career. The art of playing and making play in its purest form.
Did you know…? Kevin De Bruyne has been the top assistant in 3 of the last 4 Premier League seasons. As if that were not enough, in Germany with Wolfsburg, he was also the leader of assists. Crack.
Undefeated Data. Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are the only indoor duo to have won a consecutive three-time UEFA Champions League title. Period midfielders.
Did you know…? Mesut Özil is the only footballer who can say that he has been an assists leader in the Bundesliga, the Spanish League, the Premier League, the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League, the World Cup and the European Championship. Almost nothing.