UCL: Top 5 Players With Most Assists As Di Maria Moves Close to Messi and Ronaldo

UCL: Top 5 Players With Most Assists As Di Maria Moves Close to Messi and Ronaldo

Elijah Odetokun
updated at December 13, 2023 at 10:28 AM
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  • Angel Di Maria scored one and assisted another goal in Benfica’s win over Salzburg
  • The 3-1 win helped Benfica secure a Europa League playoff spot over their opponents
  • The Argentine winger breaks into the top 3 of the Champions League's all-time assist list

Angel Di Maria was the star of the night for Benfica to help the Portuguese champions finish third and secure a UEFA Europa League spot over RB Salzburg.

The Argentine winger scored one goal and assisted another to help Benfica beat their opponents 3-1, including an Olimpico - a goal directly from the corner kick.

Angel Di Maria, RB Salzburg, Benfica, UEFA Champions League.
Angel Di Maria celebrated after scoring directly from a corner kick. Photo by Kerstin Joenssen/AFP.
Source: Getty Images

He moves into the top 3 of the Champions League all-time assist list, behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Per UEFA.com, who are the top five?

UCL's top 5 assist makers

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

He is called Mr Champions League for a reason. Like he has the most goals in the competition, 141, Ronaldo also has the most assists with 42, spread across the three teams he played for - Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus.

2. Lionel Messi

Unsurprisingly, he comes in second place with 40 assists while appearing a bit low for a player with excellent playmaking ability. His tally in the competition were at Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. Per Marca, his time in Europe is over after an unsuccessful attempt to return to Spain in the summer.

3. Angel Di Maria

The 35-year-old is only one behind his compatriot and national team captain Messi with 39 assists. Unfortunately, he will not be able to add to his tally this season after the Portuguese club dropped to the Europa League.

4. Neymar Jr

Neymar was a joy to watch during his time in European football. He played for Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, providing 33 assists. His time in Europe could be over, as he will unlikely return to the continent when his time with Al-Hilal is over.

5. Ryan Giggs

The Manchester United legend and a two-time competition winner comes in fifth place with 31 assists. His position on the list is astonishing, considering he retired in 2014 after playing in the UCL for about two decades.

FC Barcelona former player and current coach Xavi Hernandez comes in sixth place with 30 while Andres Iniesta, Karim Benzema and Thomas Muller are tied on 29.

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Five most underrated footballers

Sports Brief previously named Di Maria as an underrated footballer in the list of players who did not receive the credits that their careers deserve.

The former Real Madrid star has scored in all the finals of competitions he has played for Argentina, including the 2022 World Cup final triumph over France.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.