Top 10 Players With the Most International Assists in the 21st Century

Top 10 Players With the Most International Assists in the 21st Century

Fred Kennedy
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
English Premier League logo
ENG Premier League
England
Lionel Messi logo
L.Messi
Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior logo
Neymar
Al-Hilal Saudi FC logoFBrazil logo
Cristiano Ronaldo logo
C. Ronaldo
Al Nassr FC logoFPortugal logo
Eden Hazard logo
E.Hazard
-FBelgium logo
  • Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Cristiano Ronaldo have enjoyed impressive careers in their respective countries
  • The trio are among the players who have recorded the most international assists since the start of the new century
  • Neymar is leading the way with an incredible 59 assists to his name for Brazil

Inter Miami ace Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr, and Al Nassr superstar Cristiano Ronaldo are among the players with the most assists in international football since the turn of the new century.

The trio has enjoyed an illustrious career with their respective countries, with Messi helping Argentina win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Messi and Ronaldo have dominated the football scene for the last two decades, with the pair winning an incredible 12 Ballon d'Or awards between them.

Neymar Jr reacts prior to a match between Brazil and Colombia as part of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers at Neo Quimica Arena. Photo by Alexandre Schneider.
Neymar Jr reacts prior to a match between Brazil and Colombia as part of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers at Neo Quimica Arena. Photo by Alexandre Schneider.
Source: Getty Images

While much of their success has come at club level, they have made equal contribution to the success of their countries at the international level.

Their contribution ranges from goals to providing leadership both on and off the pitch, as well as helping their teammates score.

According to stats compiled by PopFoot, the duo are among the leading players with the most international assists.

Sports Brief takes a look at the top 10 players with the most assists for their respective countries:

10. Dries Mertens (Belgium) - 33 assists

Dries Mertens has formed a huge part of the Belgium squad over the years.

During this period, he has played as both a forward and attacking midfield player, helping him rack up 33 assists thus far.

9. Eden Hazard (Belgium) - 36 assists

Mertens' former international teammate, Eden Hazard, ranks 10th on the assist list.

Hazard, who recently called time on his international career, bagged 26 assists for the Red Devils.

8. Luis Suárez (Uruguay) - 39 assists

The former Barcelona and Liverpool forward has enjoyed an illustrious career with Uruguay.

Despite his advancing age and failure to make the 2022 World Cup squad, Suarez is yet to retire from international football.

7. Thomas Müller (Germany) - 40 assists

The Bayern Munich legend has formed a huge part of the Germany national team over the years.

Muller has made over 120 appearances for his country, racking up 40 assists in the process.

6. Mesut Ozil (Germany) - 40 assists

Famously known as the assist king, Mesut Ozil ranks sixth on this list with 40 assists to his name for the Germany national team.

Ozil's last appearance for the country was during the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

5. Alexis Sanchez (Chile) - 41 assists

Despite his troubled football journey after his Old Trafford career, Sanchez has had a pretty decent career at the international level with Chile.

Give Me Sport reports that the winger is still going strong for his national team as they look to try and qualify for the 2026 World Cup.

4. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) - 45 assists

Cristiano Ronaldo is often known for his goalscoring capacity.

However, the forward assists as much as he scores. Ronaldo boasts an incredible 45 assists for Portugal and is bound to add more to the tally as he is actively playing.

3. Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium) - 49 assists

The Manchester City midfield maestro has been incredible for Belgium, with 49 assists to his name for the Red Devils.

De Bruyne missed out on a chance to add to the numbers during the Euro qualifiers with an injury.

2. Lionel Messi (Argentina) - 56 assists

While many would have thought Messi would rank top on this list, the Argentine actually sits second.

The forward has recorded 56 assists for the South American football powerhouse.

1. Neymar (Brazil) - 59 assists

A surprise - but not a surprise.

Neymar Jr is leading the way among the players with the most assists at the international level since the turn of the new century.

How much money do Ballon d'Or winners get?

Sports Brief has also reported that the award is one of the few trophies that doesn't include a monetary value attached to it. In fact, there is no known prize from the French magazine for all the previous winners.

Just like half-time performers at the Super Bowl aren't paid in the same vein, the benefits that come with winning the Ballon d'Or are massive.

Authors
Fred Kennedy photo
Fred Kennedy
Fred Kennedy has a Bachelor's degree in journalism (Daystar University), currently working as a Sports Editor. He has more than five years of experience in digital journalism.