The top 10 players with the most assists in Europe's top five leagues this decade

Lionel Messi delivered more assists than anyone else this decade!

We all know goal scorers are heralded as the big heroes in football.

Putting the ball in the back of the net wins games and trophies, but none of the world's elite marksmen could do it without their creative partners supplying them.

Assisting is just as important as scoring and some players even prefer setting up their teammates to actually scoring themselves.

Cesc Fabregas, Kevin De Bruyne and Mesut Ozil have all previously said that their favourite thing to do on a football pitch is create.

And that aforementioned trio clearly love assisting - a lot - because they all feature in the top 10 assisters of the decade in Europe's top five leagues.

Opta have crunched the numbers and provided the data, with a familiar face at number one...

THE TOP 10 ASSISTERS OF THE DECADE

How on earth does Lionel Messi do it?! Twenty-eight more assists than his nearest competitor, Angel Di Maria.

Perhaps the biggest surprise on the list is Cristiano Ronaldo with 95 assists, as the Portuguese is often labelled as more of a selfish goal scorer rather than a creator.

Guess that disproves that theory.

Ronaldo and Messi both make the top 10

Thomas Muller's haul of 103 is mighty impressive too, while Luis Suarez's 90 is all the more remarkable given the fact he's the only out-and-out striker on the list.

So with creativity on the mind, what about the players with the most chances created this decade? Don't worry, Opta have got you covered there as well.

Yes, Messi does feature once again...

THE MOST CHANCES CREATED OF THE DECADE

But the little Argentine doesn't take top spot, that crown belongs - surprisingly - to Marseille's Dimitri Payet with 974 chances created!

It's a sensational achievement by the Frenchman, given the fact he's spent the decade playing at Lille, West Ham and Marseille.

Ozil (916) Eden Hazard (830) and David Silva (812) all sit ahead of Messi as well, but the Argentine's goal scoring and assist numbers mean his fifth-place finish here isn't exactly a disaster.

Further evidence that the Barcelona star is simply the most complete player to have ever laced up a pair of boots.

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