Lionel Messi has been named the world’s best playmaker of the last decade.
The Barcelona captain, who is known for his stunning scoring stats, has been recognised for unselfishly creating numerous chances for his teammates.
Messi finished top in the International Federation of Football History and Statistics’ points systemGetty Images – Getty
That is according to data produced by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), who determine the winner on a points system.
Messi, a six-time Ballon d’Or winner was IFFHS’ best playmaker in 2015, 2017 and 2019 and has subsequently accumulated 174 over the last ten years.
IFFHS gives 20 points to first place, 19 to second, 18 to third etcetera.
Messi’s former Barcelona teammate, Andres Iniesta, one of the greatest ever midfielders to play the game, came in second with 127 points.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid star Luka Modric, who won the Ballon d’Or in 2018, takes third place having received 113 points.
De Bruyne, who came fourth, is one of the world’s most creative playersAFP
Kevin De Bruyne finished behind Modric with 103 points having created goals for fun for Wolfsburg and Man City.
The Belgium playmaker equalled Thierry Henry’s record for most assists in a single season (20) last term.
Toni Kroos and Eden Hazard make up the top six, while Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil has secured an eighth-placed finish.
The 32-year-old, who recorded 19 assists in the 2015/16 season, has not played a minute of football in almost a year.
The International Federation of Football History & Statistics’ top 20 playmakers from the last decade
Lionel Messi – 174 points
Andres Iniesta – 127 points
Luka Modric – 113 points
Kevin De Bruyne – 103 points
Toni Kroos – 90 points
Eden Hazard – 77 points
Neymar – 71 points
Mesut Ozil – 69 points
Andrea Pirlo – 63 points
Yaya Toure – 60 points
Xavi Hernandez – 55 points
Cristiano Ronaldo – 54 points
David Silva – 52 points
James Rodriguez – 42 points
Bastian Schweinsteiger – 40 points
Christian Eriksen – 38 points
Riyad Mahrez – 38 points
Paul Pogba – 35 points
Thiago Alcantara – 33 points
Isco – 25 points
He has been frozen out of the first-team picture by Mikel Arteta with his last appearance coming in a 1-0 win over West Ham last March.
Elsewhere, Cristiano Ronaldo finished 18th in the playmaking charts, with the Juventus forward known for his goalscoring exploits.