A quality playmaker is a must-have requirement for any top side.
The presence of a player who can unlock a defence with a perfectly-timed pass or produce something from nothing when their side is struggling can be the difference between success and failure for a team
World football currently has some incredible talents performing this role on a regular basis, but just who are the top playmakers on the planet?
Here, via 90min.com, is a breakdown of the top 25 creative forces in the game at present.
25. Juan Cuadrado (Juventus)
24. Thiago (Liverpool)
23. Phil Foden (Manchester City)
22. Filip Kostic (Frankfurt)
21. Josip Ilicic (Atalanta)
20. Hakan Calhanoglu (Inter Milan)
19. Rodrigo de Paul (Atletico Madrid)
18. Ruslan Malinovskyi (Atalanta)
17. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
16. Daichi Kamada (Frankfurt)
15. Memphis Depay (Barcelona)
14. Dusan Tadic (Ajax)
13. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
12. Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
11. Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain)
10. Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
The first entry in a top 10 packed with representatives from Manchester-based clubs, the 28-year-old Frenchman proved his creative ability in fine style during the opening game of the Premier League season. Pogba bagged himself four assists as his United side defeated Leeds 5-1.
9. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
Another superstar that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is fortunate enough to have at his disposal, Fernandes is not only an inventive force, but also knows how to find the back of the net.
8. Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)
The mark of a top playmaker is the ability to make something out of nothing – and Neymar possesses that ability in spades. The Brazilian superstar has been leaving defenders trailing in his wake for years now.
7. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Liverpool have lifted both the Premier League and the Champions league since the England international has been part of their ranks. His speed of thought to outfox Barcelona from that corner at Anfield will live long in club folklore. In 182 games for Liverpool in all competitions, Alexander-Arnold has provided an impressive 45 assists.
6. Jack Grealish (Manchester City)
The game-changing potential of Grealish persuaded the reigning Premier League champions to part with £100 million to secure his services from Aston Villa this summer. Fans at the Etihad will be looking forward to seeing him bamboozle opposition back-lines on a regular basis this season.
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5. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Not content with being a predatory finisher, the England captain frequently drops deep in order to help link play for others. His eye for a pass is almost as deadly as his eye for goal. Kane topped both the goals and assists chart in the English top-flight last term.
4. Jadon Sancho (Manchester United)
Sancho has been terrorising defences in the Bundesliga for the last few seasons. Now at Old Trafford following a big-money move in the summer, supporters of the Red Devils are banking on him producing in a similar fashion in the Premier League.
3. Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)
Muller’s ability to find space where none seems to exist has been a trademark of his game for years. Not only can the 31-year-old find that space, but he’s also an expert at exploiting it.
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2. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Few players on planet earth can pick a pass like KDB. No matter the range, the 30-year-old Belgian will typically find a teammate with ease. The sort of player that manager’s dream about having in their dressing room.
1. Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain)
There was only ever one man who was going to top this list, right? The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is a magician with the ball at his feet. Having pulled the strings sublimely at Barcelona for more than a decade, the 34-year-old recently made the move to Paris, where he no doubt thrill crowds with his one-of-a-kind talent.