Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated world football throughout their entire careers, and given their quality, you’d be forgiven for assuming that they do it all on their own.
They might look like Gods among men on the field most of the time, but in reality, they’re just like everyone else in that they rely on other talented players around them to get them the ball.
Messi and Ronaldo have grabbed all the headlines for years, but in that time, far less praise and thought has gone out to all of those players who have served them so well.
And with that in mind, a Twitter user called ‘altinademaj_’ has done a noble deed and used the goldmine that is Transfermarkt to give those players all of the credit they deserve.
Specifically, he’s used data from Transfermarkt to compile two definitive top-six lists of the players who have assisted Messi and Ronaldo the most throughout their illustrious careers.
Let’s start with Lionel Messi, who has scored 689 goals over the course of his incredible career. Here are his top 6 providers:
6. Pedro – 32 assists
There’s a reason that Chelsea were so keen to bring him to the Premier League.
5. Xavi – 35 assists
Everyone who has played for Barça in recent years has Xavi to thank. To the surprise of no-one, his partner is a little further down.
4. Neymar – 36 assists
Still one of the best players in the world, Neymar is the first and not last golden trident member on this list.
3. Dani Alves – 43 assists
Primarily a right-back, it’s testament to Alves’ attacking quality that he’s so high up on this list.
2. Andres Iniesta – 44 assists
Given that he’s one of the best passers of all time, we’re sure you could have predicted this one.
1. Luis Suarez – 54 assists
We knew Barcelona’s golden trident were good, but for goodness sake, Suarez has been directly responsible for one in every 13 Messi goals! That’s absolutely ridiculous.
Now turning to Cristiano Ronaldo, let’s have a look at the top 6 players responsible for many of the 725 goals the Portugal man has scored in his career:
6. Ryan Giggs – 20 assists
Ronaldo burst onto the scene at Manchester United in an epic way. This statistic doesn’t quite reflect the role Giggs had to play in that.
= 4. Marcelo – 25 assists
The Brazilian hasn’t quite managed to supply as many assists to Ronaldo as Dani Alves has to Messi, but still, this statistic is superb for a full-back.
= 4. Angel Di Maria – 25 assists
He’s had a bumpy ride since, but Ronaldo has a lot to thank Di Maria for.
3. Mesut Özil – 31 assists
Another player who has gone a bit off the boil since his time at the Bernabeu, but we should never forget how pivotal the German playmaker was in that Real side.
2. Gareth Bale – 32 assists
Given that he’s been so in-and-out of the Real Madrid side in recent years, it’s very impressive that Bale has recorded this many Ronaldo assists.
1. Karim Benzema – 47 assists
Credit to the Frenchman, he’s streaks ahead of everyone else on this list.
Take a look at the thread attached to the original tweet below for more information about Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's own assist records.
And Ronaldo and Messi, if you're reading, we think you’d better use this time in lockdown to send a few thank-you messages!
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