Assists have become an important currency in competitions like the Premier League and Champions League.
Footballers are being put under more statistical scrutiny than ever in the modern game with fans and reporters alike trawling through page after page of goal and assist statistics.
While, yes, we can never lose sight of the importance of judging a player by the eye-test alone, we'd be lying if we didn't find it fascinating to see who the data reveals to be the best in the business.
Importance of assists
We use Messi as our example because the mercurial 33-year-old is the prime example of somebody who mixes providing goals for his teammates with scoring them himself.
And now, there has arguably never been a better way to appreciate the assists of top players than the fantastic graphics from Twitter user @Gegenpressing91 that have been going viral recently.
However, we've found the statistical analyses so fascinating that we didn't want to end the showcase there and wanted to put some of their other creations under the spotlight.
Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
Thierry Henry (Arsenal)
Angel Di Maria (All clubs)
Dani Alves (Barcelona)
Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)
Francesco Totti (AS Roma)
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal)
Can we get a round of applause for De Bruyne, ladies and gentlemen?
It's no secret that the Manchester City general is one of the best in the business when it comes to assists, equalling Henry's Premier League by turning provider 20 times last season.
But his penchant for world-class passes and crosses has arguably never been clearer than with a wonderful graphic that highlights the astonishing range of his goal-deciding deliveries.
However, don't let the Belgian magician take away from equally astonishing outputs from the likes of Totti, Alves and Giggs, who plied their trade at huge European clubs for years on end.
At the end of the day, though, there's no right or wrong way to interpret the graphs, it's just another excuse to appreciate world-class players and footballing legends who we've all come to love.News Now - Sport News