The tournament has been host to some of the top players in football.

Over the years many stats besides goals have sprung up. xA (expected assists), xG(expected goals) and many more. However, assists have become highly rated these days, some even consider them as important as goals. 

Both scoring a goal and assisting one in the World Cup are quite a merit. Let’s take a look at the top 5 players with the most assists in the FIFA World Cup history.

5. Toni Kroos (Germany) – 4 assists

The Real Madrid midfield maestro has played in three World Cups. Kroos spent much of the 2010 WC on the bench and his journey ended against Spain in the semifinals. However, Kroos made an instant impact in the 2014 World Cup.

Germany relentlessly beat Portugal 4-0 in which Kroos bagged two assists, but this was not their best victory. The German side beat Brazil 7-1 brutally in the semifinals. Kroos bagged an assist and two goals against Brazil. Overall the German midfielder has four assists to his name, all coming in the 2014 World Cup. He even won the IFFHS Playmaker of Year Award back in 2014.

4. Juan Cuadrado (Colombia) – 5 assists

Top 5 players with most assists in FIFA World Cup history
Juan Cuadrado has 5 assists to his name in World Cup history. (Courtesy: SkySports)

The Colombian winger has made quite a reputation for himself over the years. Cuadrado is very versatile and can play as a midfielder and winger as well attributed to his pace and dribbling skills.

Cuadrado has a direct approach to the game which combined with his excellent decision-making ability puts him on this list. He has garnered five assists in the World Cup. The Colombian just like many other players on the list performed extremely well at the 2014 World Cup. He provided three assists in two group stage matches and one against Uruguay in the Round of 16. But his team fell short against Brazil in the quarter-finals.

3. James Rodriguez (Colombia) – 5 assists

Yet another Colombian on the list alongside Juan Cuadrado. Rodriguez has played for big clubs like Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. The best moment of his career was at the 2014 World Cup where he was undoubtedly the best player of the tournament. The sublime volley that Rodriguez scored against Uruguay is one of his best goals ever. Unfortunately, his last goal came against Brazil in a 2-1 defeat which saw them out of the tournament.

Rodriguez won the Golden Boot at the 2014 World Cup. He scored six goals in five matches. The Colombian midfielder has provided five assists in the three World Cups he has played at.

2. Lionel Messi (Argentina) – 9 assists

Lionel Messi has recorded six assists at the World Cup. (Courtesy: Sporting News)

It is not surprising to see Messi on this list. Lionel Messi has won the IFFHS playmaker of the decade award. Messi is an excellent playmaker and goalscorer as well. The Argentinian has the most assists overall in the history of football. 

Lionel Messi has garnered nine assists through the 5 World Cups he has played. Messi’s journey at the World Cup has been a rollercoaster ride. The Argentinian came close to winning the 2014 edition but Mario Gotze’s goal ended Argentina‘s hopes. Unsurprisingly, Messi won the golden ball at the 2014 World Cup.

The PSG forward provided two assists at the 2018 World Cup, both against France in the RO16. Unfortunately, Argentina lost 3-4 to France but it goes down as one of the best matches in the World Cup history. The forward recorded 3 assists in the FIFA World Cup 2022.

1. Pele (Brazil) – 10 assists

Many consider Pele as the greatest player of all time. This is all down to his extraordinary stats. No player bar Messi and Ronaldo can be compared to the Brazilian legend.

Pele has played in four World Cups and has the most assists (10). He has set up many incredible records which have not been broken so far. He provided just three assists in his first three World Cups. However, the Brazilian was in the extraordinary form at the 1970 World Cup in which he scored seven goals and provided seven assists. He provided three assists at two finals as well (1958 and 1970), where Brazil won the World Cup.

For more updates, follow Khel Now on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

**This article was last updated on 18 December 2022.