Passing is one of the key elements of the beautiful game, a fundamental requirement of any footballer – unless you’re capable of doing it all on your own.
However, it is an art only few have mastered over the years, primarily the best midfielders we’ve had the pleasure to watch. In this edition, we talk about Top 10 passers of all time.
10. Cesc Fàbregas
One of the most influential playmakers to still grace the game, Cesc makes any pass look simple with his versatile abilities. Having made a real mark at Arsenal, Fabregas moved to Barcelona and then back to Chelsea and now finally to AS Monaco.
The Spaniard is a World Cup winner in 2010 and is still one of the most creative players on the field.
9. Mesut Özil
While Ozil might have had his share of critics in England and Germany, he is by far means one of the best passers in and just outside the box in modern day football. Having outshone the pack at Shalke, Real Madrid lapped him up. He grew to his full potential in Spain and then moved to England with Arsenal.
He’s since won a World Cup and orchestrated the best of the Gunners’ attacks.
8. Steven Gerrard
The Liverpool captain may have never had a Premier League medal to his name, but he’s a Champions League winner by his own right and one of the best Reds ever. Gerrard was always committed to his boyhood club Liverpool and took his game to another level with the Reds.
His skillful passing, great vision and flawless execution made him one of the best of his generation.
7. Wesley Sneijder
The Netherlands international reached the pinnacle of his career at Inter. The versatile midfielder made any team he walked into, a better team instantly with his creative passing and impeccable vision.
He missed out on the FIFA World Cup Winners’ medal in 2010 by a whisker as the Dutch ended up runners-up to Spain.
6. Lionel Messi
The GOAT according to many, Messi is not only a goal scorer but also a creator at his heart. And strikers throughout the Barca dominance have been served with the best of passes and assists by the Argentine magician.
Messi’s dominance on the football pitch is not only because of his finishing but also for his ball control, outstanding vision and the knack of picking out the right person in the box.
Andres Iniesta is probably the complete package that you can ask for. The former Spain and Barcelona midfielder paired up with Xavi in midfield to orchestrate what came to be known as the famous tiki-taka under Pep Guardiola.
He has an outstanding understanding of the game, great vision and flawless short-range dribble-passing skills.
4. Xabi Alonso
If there was a standard for long passing, it would be zero to Xabi Alonso. One of the most decorated players in the history of the game, Xabi represented huge clubs like Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
His long range switches are a delight to watch and he’s done it consistently over the years.
3. Juan Román Riquelme
One of the most underrated players of all time, Riquelme had stints with Barcelona and Villareal, although he spent most of his time with Argentine giants Boca Juniors. Riquelme had the best passing and ball control abilities that one might come across.
Usually playing as a No.10 he used to pull the strings from midfield and make others around him look good.
2. Andrea Pirlo
The Master of the Dead ball, Andrea Pirlo lit up the Italian game in the early 2000s with silky passing, amazing first touches and crazy assists.
The World Cup winner in 2006 represented Italian giants AC Milan and Juventus and was an integral part of the Champions League and World Cup winning sides.
The Spain mastermind behind the 2010 World Cup, 2008 and 2012 Euros and multiple La Ligas and Champions Leagues, Xavi Hernandez is credited with the feat of having completed 100% of his passes in one game.
Truly inhuman range of passing, brilliant game awareness and godly vision make him the best passer of all time.