Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi now has another feather in his cap. He has recently been named as the world’s best playmaker of the last decade. According to the data compiled by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), the Argentina player has been the most productive player of the last decade, and he has managed to accrue an impressive 174 points during the ten-year period, with ex-Barca team-mate Andres Iniesta the closest player to him on 127 points.
This system – which gives 20 points to first place, 19 points to second and so on and so forth – has accumulated each player’s yearly total between 2011 and 2020 to help crown the best 20 playmakers, with Messi winning by a clear margin. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner was also adjudged as the best playmaker in 2015, 2017, and 2019.
Luka Modric, who became the only player to break Messi’s and Cristiano Ronaldo’s stranglehold of the Ballon d’Or trophy in 2018, claimed the final podium place with 113 points. Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne, who is often considered as the Premier League’s best creator, finished in fourth and 10 points adrift of the Croatian.
Toni Kroos secured the fifth position, while his Real Madrid team-mate, Eden Hazard, claimed sixth position, having enjoyed his best years with Chelsea. Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil finished in an impressive eighth place ahead of the likes of David Silva (13th) and Christian Eriksen (16th), who he has been in direct competition as a
playmaker during the last decade.
Cristiano Ronaldo failed to break into the top 10 and could only finish 12th on the list – a point behind Xavi, who retired in 2019. However, Ronaldo recently became the joint-highest goalscorer of all time.
Yaya Toure, Andrea Pirlo, and Bastian Schweinsteiger are other players who retired in the last decade but still made the top 20.