Ronaldinho & Kaka: The 20 most prolific attacking midfielders of the 21st century

If you love football, you love Ronaldinho.

The Brazilian magician is one the sport’s most legendary figures and he’s the main reason why many young people fell in love with the game.

Ronaldinho was an artist out on the pitch, regularly performing jaw-dropping skill moves and running the show with a great big smile on his face.

And as well as being one of the sport’s great entertainers, Ronaldinho was seriously productive as a player.

At Barcelona, the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year scored and assisted goals for fun. In the 2005/06 season alone, the fleet-footed maestro contributed to 50 goals (26G, 24A) in 45 appearances.

Those are some serious numbers and after digesting them, it’ll come as no shock to learn that Ronaldinho has been crowned the most prolific attacking midfielder in the 21st century.

The folks over at PopFoot have provided all the necessary figures, with Ronaldinho sitting atop a 20-man list.

He’s also 102 goal contributions ahead of the man in second place…

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The 20 most prolific attacking midfielders in the 21st century

20. Keisuke Honda – 251 goal contributions (144 goals, 107 assists)

19. Rafael van der Vaart – 265 goal contributions (196 goals, 69 assists)

18. Mathieu Valbuena – 270 goal contributions (104 goals, 166 assists)

17. Michael Ballack – 277 goal contributions (185 goals, 92 assists)

16. Pavel Nedved – 278 goal contributions (165 goals, 113 assists)

15. Dimitri Payet – 289 goal contributions (139 goals, 150 assists)

14. Andrei Arshavin – 294 goal contributions (151 goals, 143 assists)

13. Juan Mata – 295 goal contributions (150 goals, 145 assists)

12. James Rodriguez – 295 goal contributions (145 goals, 150 assists)

11. Marek Hamsik – 296 goal contributions (167 goals, 129 assists)

10. Christian Eriksen – 312 goal contributions (145 goals, 167 assists)

9. Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 341 goal contributions (217 goals, 124 assists)

8. Juan Roman Riquelme – 344 goal contributions (148 goals, 196 assists)

7. Wesley Sneijder – 349 goal contributions (184 goals, 165 assists)

6. Zinedine Zidane – 351 goal contributions (156 goals, 195 assists)

5. Mesut Ozil – 352 goal contributions (118 goals, 234 assists)

4. David Silva – 355 goal contributions (155 goals, 200 assists)

3. Kevin De Bruyne – 358 goal contributions (143 goals, 215 assists)

2. Kaka – 398 goal contributions (236 goals, 162 assists)

  1. Ronaldinho – 500 goal contributions (313 goals, 187 assists)

So. Many. Legends.

De Bruyne’s numbers are quite remarkable, especially when you remember the fact that he’s still only 30 and already ahead of Zidane, Riquelme and a whole host of other all-time greats.

But the Belgian superstar is really going to struggle to match Ronaldinho’s enormous haul of 500 goal contributions before hanging up his boots.

Ronaldinho’s stats are just out of this world and the fact goal contributions make up perhaps a quarter of his footballing greatness tells you everything you need to know about him.

The word ‘legend’ doesn’t do the man full justice.

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