Lists

10 Greatest Playmakers in Football Since 2006

Mudeet Arora
Messi and Kevin De Bruyne make the list of the best playmakers in last 15 years
Messi and Kevin De Bruyne make the list of the best playmakers in last 15 years / Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images
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Football is nothing without the players who put in the most effort in creating chances for their teammates and ensuring that their team plays in the best possible manner on the field.

Playmakers are the heartbeat of any football team and over the years, we have seen some pretty special footballers play that crucial role for their respective teams.

IFFHS has ranked the top 10 playmakers since the start of 2006 till date and today we take a look at them in detail.

1. Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is the greatest playmaker in the world
Lionel Messi is the greatest playmaker in the world / Alex Caparros/Getty Images

There wasn't any doubt about this, was there?

While Messi is an incredible goal-scorer, he also has incredible vision and passing range which absolutely makes him the best playmaker the world has ever seen in football.

2. Andres Iniesta

Iniesta is one of the greatest midfielders of his generation
Iniesta is one of the greatest midfielders of his generation / Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

It's debatable whether Xavi or Iniesta should be second but we selected the latter of the former simply because Iniesta has come up with more BIG moments in his career than Xavi.

Scoring in the Champions League semi-final, World Cup final and coming up with a man of the match performance for his gameplay in Euro final isn't for everyone.

3. Xavi

Xavi is considered to be one of the greatest players in Barcelona history
Xavi is considered to be one of the greatest players in Barcelona history / Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Definitely the greatest midfielder FC Barcelona has ever produced, Xavi Hernandez was a true wonder in his very own way.

He may not have come across as the most flashy or stylish player but the way in which he dominated and kept the ball moving in midfield was a sight never seen before in football.

Together with his midfield partner Iniesta, Xavi formed the best midfield pairing the world of football has ever seen.

4. Luka Modric

Luka Modric came 4th in the rankings of the best playmaker in football
Luka Modric came 4th in the rankings of the best playmaker in football / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Modric came third in this very list when it was released by IFFHS with regards to the best playmakers of the decade 2011-2020.

The Ballon d'Or winner was at his very peak at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia as he led Croatia to the final.

Over his incredible career, Modric has won every trophy there is to win at club level.

5. Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne came 5th in the rankings of the best playmaker in football
Kevin De Bruyne came 5th in the rankings of the best playmaker in football / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

This list would not be complete without the inclusion of Manchester City's heartbeat Kevin De Bruyne.

The Belgian playmaker is the best in the world when it comes to dominating the midfield and will definitely be top of this list in the years to come.

6. Toni Kroos

Toni Kroos came 6th in the rankings of the best playmaker in football
Toni Kroos came 6th in the rankings of the best playmaker in football / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Luka Modric's midfield partner Toni Kroos comes in at sixth.

The German sniper, who is also a World Cup winner is one of the greatest midfielders in modern day football and has won almost every trophy there is to win in his incredible career.

Kroos has also been a consistent name in the top 10 of the Ballon d'Or and The Best nominees as well as the team of the year.

7. Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil came 7th in the rankings of the best playmaker in football
Mesut Ozil came 7th in the rankings of the best playmaker in football / OZAN KOSE/Getty Images

Such was his impact in the first half of last decade that Mesut Ozil still makes this list.

At his peak, Ozil was an absolute treat to watch. His performance at the FIFA World Cup in 2014 was critical for Germany on their journey to lift the cup and his performances for Arsenal for most part of last decade was pretty special.

Ozil excelled at link-up plays and was the orchestrator of some epic moments at Arsenal.

8. Andrea Pirlo

Andrea Pirlo came 8th in the rankings of the best playmaker in football
Andrea Pirlo came 8th in the rankings of the best playmaker in football / Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

The Mozart of football, Andrea Pirlo was pure art when it came to midfield play.

The Italian World Cup winner is one of the few footballers who were gifted enough to find a player a manage any pass, anywhere on the football field.

Pirlo believed in playing in pockets of space and if you saw him play, you could almost never see him run much but he still dominated games all on his own.

And, we don't need to remind you of some of the absolute scorchers he has scored in his illustrious career.

9. Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard came 9th in the rankings of the best playmaker in football mostly for his time at Chelsea
Eden Hazard came 9th in the rankings of the best playmaker in football mostly for his time at Chelsea / Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

There is no doubt that Eden Hazard would not be in this list if we consider his performances only for Real Madrid.

But, in the last decade, during his time at Chelsea specifically, Eden Hazard was one of the best players and playmakers in the world.

The best aspect about Hazard's gameplay was how effortless it all looked. The Belgian genuinely gave football fans a treat to cherish in his prime.

10. Neymar

Neymar is ranked 10th in the top 10 playmakers list
Neymar is ranked 10th in the top 10 playmakers list / Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

Surely one of the top 3 footballers in the world right now, Neymar has been ranked 10th in the list of best playmakers since 2006 and we are sure he will be much higher when this list is revisited again in the coming years.

The Brazilian maestro is incredible on the ball and on his day, is virtually unplayable.

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