Words: Josh Millar
Image: Offside Sports Photography
It’s quite easy to think that your favourite number 10 might have looked good on the pitch, but what did he ever actually do? Here are the numbers to back you up.
Football data analyst Neil Macdonald has compiled all of the goals and assists stats since the 94–95 season to show us which attacking midfielders have the most goals and assists, and numbers literally can’t lie. Andreas Möller spends the second half of the nineties streaks ahead of his peers, and Zinedine Zidane might be good at skills, but he didn’t score or set up as many as Andreas during that period.
Since 1994/95 these are he Attacking Midfielders with the most Goals + Assists (data from transfermarkt) pic.twitter.com/vd69kALDa9— Neil Macdonald (@NeilMac555) March 27, 2019
By 2001, Rivaldo has come out of nowhere, and Zidane makes a last-minute push during his Galáctico days to get himself over the 200 mark by the end of his career. During the same period, Ronaldinho and Rafael van der Vaart appear at the beginning of their European careers and make huge pushes for the top. The Dutchman falls short, ending up sixth at the time of writing, while Ronnie is way ahead of everyone on 349.
Current honourable mentions include the very nice Spanish duo of Juan Mata and David Silva in the top 9 of all time, while ‘literal fraud’ Mesut Özil occupies third position—maybe he’s not so bad?