Messi, Ronaldo, Xavi: Which player had the most assists in each season in the 21st century?

Lionel Messi & Xavi have both contributed 30+ assists in a season

Lionel Messi is widely regarded as one of the greatest goalscorers the sport of football has ever seen.

But as well as rippling the back of the net for fun, the little Argentine genius has also produced a staggering number of assists throughout his illustrious career thus far.

In fact, the 34-year-old has contributed ore more of them in a single season on two separate occasions in the 21st century - the only player to achieve that feat.

Since the turn of the millennium, a total of 30 assists in all competitions while representing a team in Europe's top 15 leagues has only been surpassed on five occasions.

So, without further ado, let's take a look at the player who setup the most goals for teammates in every single completed season in the 21st century, with all the stats sourced from the ever-reliable Transfermarkt.

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2000/01 - Luis Figo (Real Madrid)

Games: 48

Assists: 27

2001/02 - Ze Roberto (Bayer Leverkusen)

Games: 50

Assists: 24

2002/03 - Thierry Henry (Arsenal)

Games: 55

Assists: 28

Henry with Arsenal

2003/04 - Deco (FC Porto)

Games: 44

Assists: 29

2004/05 - Frank Lampard (Chelsea)

Games: 58

Assists: 21

2005/06 - Alex (Fenerbahce)

Games: 43

Assists: 26

Alex with Fenerbahce

2006/07 - Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

Games: 53

Assists: 22

2007/08 - Steffen Hoffman (Rapid Vienna)

Games: 38

Assists: 25

2008/09 - Xavi (Barcelona)

Games: 54

Assists: 31

Xavi with Barcelona

2009/10 - Mesut Ozil (Werder Bremen)

Games: 46

Assists: 29

2010/11 - Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid)

Games: 54

Assists: 29

2011/12 - Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Games: 59

Assists: 31

Messi in 2011

2012/13 - Juan Mata (Chelsea)

Games: 63

Assists: 35

2013/14 - Kevin Kampl (Red Bull Salzburg)

Games: 51

Assists: 27

2014/15 - Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Games: 57

Assists: 31

Messi in 2014

2015/16 - Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Borussia Dortmund)

Games: 52

Assists: 32

2016/17 - Neymar (Barcelona)

Games: 45

Assists: 26

2017/18 - Dimitri Payet (Marseille)

Games: 47

Assists: 23

Payet with Marseille

2018/19 - Hakim Ziyech (Ajax)

Games: 49

Assists: 24

2019/20 - Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Games: 44

Assists: 27

2020/21 - Dusan Tadic (Ajax)

Games: 51

Assists: 26

Tadic with Ajax

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Messi is the only player to finish top of the pile three times, with Ozil the only to do so twice.

But while that pair feature on multiple occasions, neither of them can match Mata's total of 35 assists in 2012/13, which is comfortably the highest number on the list above.

Well played, Juan.

Ronaldo's place on the list may surprise a few people, but it must be remembered that he was a totally different player for much of his first spell at United.

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While he scored a lot of goals in 2006/07, the Portuguese was far more of a traditional winger, rather than the free-scoring striker we see in the present day.

Quiz: Can you name the footballer based on their Wikipedia page?

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Wikipedia Page No.1

Who moved from Barcelona to Real Madrid in 2000?

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