European Assists King 2023/24: Who has created the most goals?

Carlo Garganese
Carlo Garganese
  • 19 Mar 2024 15:38 GMT
  • 10 min read
Robert Lewandowski, Barcelona, 2023/24

Achieving the most assists in Europe is no easy task, but the departure of Lionel Messi may make the challenge slightly more doable for the top football stars on the continent.

Messi's exit from Paris Saint-Germain to Inter Miami in MLS means the Argentina star, who has been one of the best creative players in Europe's top five leagues for more than a decade, is no longer part of this competition.

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However, Messi did finish on a high in the European Assists King award.

He had 16 assists for PSG in Ligue 1 last season and was the joint winner along with Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne and Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann.

Messi, who has now joined Inter Miami, won this award with PSG
© ProShots - Messi, who has now joined Inter Miami, won this award with PSG

Messi set the all-time record for La Liga assists (192) during his time with Barcelona and remained one of Europe's most creative players at PSG.

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With Messi no longer in the running, De Bruyne and Griezmann will again be among the contenders for success this season, as will former winners Thomas Muller and Kylian Mbappe.

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is another notable player with a good career record for goals created.

Assists are a more variable statistic than goals, so there is a chance a surprise contender emerges once the season begins.

MORE: Who has the most Premier League assists?

The 2023/24 European Assist King award will be won by the player who provides the most assists in the top five European leagues – the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1.

There are no coefficients or scales used for these leagues - just ranking the most goals created by each player in the top-five leagues condensed into a single table.

READ MORE: Manchester United top scorers 2023/24

We will also track the players who produce the most assists in each of those five divisions individually and this page will be updated with the latest standings throughout the campaign.

Who has the most assists in Europe?

Leroy Sane is one of the players with the most assists in Europe for the 2023/24 season, even though he has only created one goal in his last nine Bayern Munich league games. He is level with Alejandro Grimaldo at the top.

Kieran Trippier, Mohamed Salah, Xavi Simons, Pedro Neto, Bukayo Saka and Ollie Watkins are in a group not far behind at the top of the assist rankings, with Wolves star Neto retaining that position despite missing two months of the season through injury.

Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, James Ward-Prowse and Marcus Thuram are among a huge group of players in the chasing pack as the race to record the most assists in Europe continues.

Chris Fuhrich and Robert Lewandowski are also chasing the leaders in the latest European Assists King award standings.

European Assists King 2023/24

Leroy SaneBayern Munich11
Alejandro GrimaldoBayer Leverkusen11
Julian BrandtDortmund10
Kieran TripperNewcastle10
Ollie WatkinsAston Villa10
Pascal GrossBrighton10
Florian WirtzBayer Leverkusen10
Xavi SimonsRB Leipzig9
Mohamed SalahLiverpool9
Pedro NetoWolves9
Alex BaenaVillarreal9
Jan-Niklas BesteHeidenheim8
Niclas FullkrugDortmund8
Olivier GiroudAC Milan8
Nico WilliamsAthletic Bilbao8
Robert LewandowskiBarcelona8
Leon BaileyAston Villa8
Bukayo SakaArsenal8
Son Heung-minTottenham8
Ermedin DemirovicAugsburg8
Julian AlvarezMan City8
Pedro PorroTottenham7
Toni KroosReal Madrid7
Rafael LeaoAC Milan7
Marcus ThuramInter7
Victor BonifaceBayer Leverkusen7
Darwin NunezLiverpool7
Pierre-Emerick AubameyangMarseille7
James Ward-ProwseWest Ham7
James MaddisonTottenham7
Ousmane DembelePSG7
Thomas MullerBayern7
Vincenzo GrifoFreiburg7
Paulo DybalaRoma7
Phil FodenMan City7
Chris FuhrichStuttgart7
Jeremie FrimpongBayer Leverkusen7

Salah and Neto impressed in the same Premier League game, as Liverpool won 3-1 at Wolves in September.

Liverpool star Salah set up two goals in the contest at Molineux, while Neto created the opener scored by his team-mate Hwang Hee-chan.

Salah has also created goals against Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Man City and Brentford so far this season, on top of registering a goal created in both the home and away league matches against Newcastle.

Neto had two in the same game in Wolves' 3-2 loss at Crystal Palace in September and remains in a prominent position despite suffering an injury that ruled him out from October 28 until December 30.

Saka, meanwhile, moved up to six assists for the season by creating a goal in Arsenal's dramatic 4-3 win over Luton Town and later improved his tally further.

Jeremy Doku propelled himself towards the top of the standings by becoming the youngest player to record four assists in a single Premier League game when Man City defeated Bournemouth 6-1 in November, but he has faded as a creative force of late.

Tottenham attacking midfielder James Maddison set up both of his team's goals in their dramatic 2-2 draw away to Brentford in the Premier League on week one of the season.

As Spurs try to cope with the departure of Kane, they are reliant on Maddison's contribution both as a scorer and a goal creator in 2023/24. He set up two more goals in Spurs' thrilling 2-2 derby draw at Arsenal and got another assist against Luton Town before being sidelined by injury, but is now back in action.

Inter star Thuram has assists in seven separate matches, including setting up one of the goals for Lautaro Martinez in the striker' stunning four-goal haul against Salernitana in September.

Fuhrich, meanwhile, had two assists when Stuttgart beat Bochum 5-0 in August and added to that in an early season Bundesliga surge.

Simons, who is on loan at RB Leipzig from PSG, led the way for much of the season in Germany. He had two assists in the 5-1 win over Stuttgart in the second week of the season and has kicked on from there, including having another two goals created as his team thrashed Cologne 6-0 in October.

One of Harry Kane's seven assists for Bayern Munich came against Darmstadt, though it was his goalscoring exploits in that game which grabbed the headlines as he scored a brilliant hat-trick.

He has since been overtaken by Sane, who had consecutive two-assist games in the Bundesliga against Borussia Dortmund and Heidenheim during the month of November.

Sane racked up his eighth assist of the campaign as Bayern beat Stuttgart 3-0 prior to the winter break. He then hit the ground running in his first game back, becoming the first player in Europe's top five leagues to hit double figures for assists with two goals created in his side's 3-0 home win over Hoffenheim on January 12.

His form has dipped slightly since then as Bayern struggle to keep pace with Leverkusen in the title race, but he did register an assist against Gladbach last month.

Monaco's Caio Henrique was the first player across Europe's top five leagues to reach four assists in the race to be named the most creative player on the continent. He racked up 17 assists in Ligue 1 over the previous two seasons and made a fast start this time around too, including setting up two goals in Monaco's 3-0 win over Lens, before his hopes were scuppered by injury.

Earlier in the season it was Alphonso Davies who had the most assists in Europe's top five leagues after making an impressive opening to the campaign for Bayern, setting up two goals in the German champions' 4-0 win at Werder Bremen to start the new Bundesliga season.

The Canada player followed that up in Bayern's first home match, creating a goal for Kane as Thomas Tuchel's men recorded a 3-1 victory, but has not had an assist since.

As for ex-Liverpool attacking midfielder Takumi Minamino, he made a superb start for Monaco. The Japan international has scored seven goals and added five assists in Ligue 1, but has been less productive of late and also departed for a spell in the middle of the season to play in the Asian Cup.

On Matchday 2 in England, new West Ham signing Ward-Prowse had two assists in a big win over Chelsea and later moved on to three goals created after setting up a strike at Luton. He was briefly overtaken by team-mate Vladimir Coufal, but bounced back with a two-assist game against Nottingham Forest before his most recent goals created in his team's shock win at Arsenal on December 28 and the March 2 win at Everton.

In-form Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Brandt has moved on to 10 assists, putting him above the likes of Victor Boniface and Vincenzo Grifo going into the latest round of action in Europe's top five leagues. But team-mates Grimaldo and Florian Wirtz have been the fastest recent risers in the Bundesliga rankings for most goals created.

Most Assists in Europe: Previous Winners

The title for most assists in Europe was shared by three players last season. Lionel Messi (PSG), Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) and Antoine Griezmann (Atletico) all registered 16 assists to share the crown.

MORE: Premier League top scorers 2023/24

Of the other divisions, Dortmund star Raphael Guerreiro finished on top of the Bundesliga assists charts with 12 goals created. That meant he finished in a tie with Premier League duo Mohamed Salah and Leandro Trossard for fourth place overall.

Napoli's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia had the most assists in Serie A with 10.

Thomas Müller and Kylian Mbappe shared the European Assists King award in the 2021/22 season with a sensational 18 goals created each, beating Messi (14) into third place.

Salah (13) was again in a tie for fourth position overall that year after registering the most Premier League assists, while Domenico Berardi and Ousmane Dembele (both 13) came out on top in Serie A and La Liga respectively.

Premier League table - check out the latest standings

Muller was named the European Assists King outright in each of the previous two seasons (2019/20 and 2020/21), as he recorded 40 assists across those campaigns in the Bundesliga.

Thomas Muller's assists record is incredible
© ProShots - Thomas Muller's assists record is incredible

The Bayern star finished five assists clear of joint runners-up Harry Kane and Filip Kostic in 2020/21, with 19 goals created in total.

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Iago Aspas (13) had the most assists in La Liga that season, while Ruslan Malinovskiy and Memphis Depay (both 12) topped the assist charts in Serie A and Ligue 1 respectively.

Muller’s first crown came when he had 21 assists to only just beat Messi, who had 20 in La Liga 2019/20 for Barcelona. De Bruyne was another to narrowly miss out after he also set up 20 goals and topped the Premier League charts.

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The award for most creative player in Europe in 2018/19 went to Eden Hazard. He had 15 assists for Chelsea, meaning he narrowly beat Jadon Sancho (14) and Ryan Fraser (14) to the award.

De Bruyne has always had an impressive record for goals created
© ProShots - De Bruyne has always had an impressive record for goals created

De Bruyne had the most assists in Europe during 2017/18. He created 16 goals for his Man City team-mates to claim the title. Leroy Sane (15), Dimitri Payet (14) and Luis Alberto (14) all narrowly missed out.

Previous winners

2022/23Messi (PSG), De Bruyne (Man City), Griezmann (Atletico): All Shared16
2021/22Müller (Bayern), Mbappe (PSG): Both shared18
2020/21Thomas Müller (Bayern)19
2019/20Thomas Müller (Bayern)21
2018/19Eden Hazard (Chelsea)15
2017/18Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)16

What is an assist?

An assist in football is usually credited to the player who plays the final pass or cross before a goal is scored. A player may receive recognition for creating a goal by being awarded an assist even if the pass or touch they have made to set up the goalscorer is unintentional.

There can be slight differences in how assists are recorded and allocated depending on the criteria of each official competition. For example, if a player’s pass towards a goalscorer takes a deflection on its way to the intended target, an assist is often not credited. A player who wins a penalty that is then scored does not usually get an assist either.

As well as being a recognised official statistic, assists are often important in fantasy football games and betting markets.

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