Play-making is an art in football. If scoring goals is akin to carnage and destruction, assisting is like an artist showcasing his abilities.
A goal can get you off the seat but a sumptuous assist can make you appreciate the poetry of football.
So, here is a list of players who have delivered time and time again, in a calendar year when it comes to assists.
Let’s discuss about players who have the most assists in a single calendar year!
Thierry Henry – Arsenal (23 assists – 2003)
Thierry Henry, the Arsenal striker, is largely regarded as one of the greatest attackers in the game’s history, but he was also capable of providing key assists for his teammates.
At his best, the Frenchman was unplayable, and in 2003, he had 23 assists, demonstrating his versatility.
Angel Di Maria – Paris Saint-Germain (23 assists – 2011)
With the presence of attacking stalwarts like Neymar, Mbappe, and Lionel Messi at PSG, the former Real Madrid talisman is blossoming.
He is well-known for his match-winning talents, having scored numerous bangers and with finesse. However, he still is more of a provider than a goal scorer, and his statistics speak for themselves.
His greatest season came in 2011 when he had 23 assists while playing for Real Madrid.
Thomas Muller – Bayern Munich (30 Assists – 2021)
Many times over his career, the German forward has been the unsung hero, yet he has had just as much influence as any other player on the field. Thomas Muller has had a successful career with Bayern Munich, winning numerous titles.
Despite the fact that Bruno Fernandes and Kevin De Bruyne have created more noise, Muller has remained in the background.
Muller has the most assists in the Bundesliga in a calendar year in 2021.
Lionel Messi – Barcelona (36 Assists – 2011)
In 2011, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner set a new record for the most assists in a calendar year. Lionel Messi enjoyed two of his best seasons to date in 2012, when he set two new world records with 36 assists and 91 goals.
He also received the 2011 Ballon d’Or Award for his outstanding achievements.
The Argentine’s goal total remains unbroken, while Dusan Tadic’s 10-year-old record has been shattered.
Dusan Tadic – Ajax (37 Assists – 2021)
In terms of assists in a calendar year, the Ajax star has surpassed Lionel Messi. He had 37 assists in 2021, including a record-breaking one against AZ Alkmaar.
Dusan Tadic joined Ajax in 2018 for a fee of €13.70 million. In 171 games since then, he has scored 83 goals and supplied 82 assists. However, this has been Tadic’s most entertaining season, as he has eclipsed Lionel Messi’s unbeaten streak.
Tadic has been a key member of this Eredivisie-winning Ajax squad, helping them reach the UEFA Champions League semi-finals in the 2018-19 season. He continues to improve his performances for Ajax, contributing equally to goals and assists.