Top Ten Best Passers Ever

Discussion in 'Players & Legends' started by Dearman, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Very nice work with that mate. You did a good job with including quite a lot of 'rarer' passes that probably aren't in other Platini passing comps, such as at 3:53 (there might be just one or two Scirea passes around that kind of point in the video I'm thinking by the way, but it doesn't matter anyway and it probably wouldn't be worth doing a new upload), 5:04, 8:04 (and the passes vs Aston Villa or in the Intercontinental Cup Final aren't regularly shown either for example I think).

    In terms of another 'ace' rarer one, that I mentioned in this post
    https://www.bigsoccer.com/threads/how-good-do-we-think-puskas-actually-was.2127586/#post-41705914
    I have to show via this little video I made because the Platini vs Ireland 1980 video is now longer on Youtube (the full game is on Footballia though...not that I know off hand at which minute the pass was played, only that it was in the first half, and possibly before his goal IIRC)
    16 of the most brilliant all-time football players - YouTube
    1:48
    I noticed this recent Youtube video too which compliments yours pretty well probably, as it has just minor overlap

    There's a long pass for St Etienne on here at 5:27 that is worth a mention too probably, as another great example
    SAINT.ETIENNE - BORDEAUX - 1982 - - YouTube

    I guess like I was hinting at (re: long passes not always going right where he intended) in the post on that Puskas thread the main possibility to question Platini as number 1 passer of all-time might be regularity/consistency and whether other candidates potentially outdid him on that while being nearly as brilliant and varied with what they were capable of, but Platini as number 1 does make sense to me as the most obvious choice for the variety of capabilities yeah.

    For what it's worth if I merged my top 10 attempt (as hard/uncertain as it is....and for someone who prefers to have video footage to judge things maybe my Liedholm inclusion is somewhat a stretch/educated punt, not that there isn't any footage at all for him) with yours with points from 11 down to 2, and then 1 point each for your 12 mentions and my next 12 I'd have in mind, I end up with this:
    1 - Platini (France) - 22 points
    2 - M.Laudrup (Denmark) - 19 points
    3 - Zico (Brazil) - 12 points
    4= Hoddle (England), Xavi (Spain) - 10 points
    6= Cruyff (Netherlands), Maradona (Argentina) - 9 points
    8= Didi (Brazil), Netzer (Germany) - 7 points
    10 - Gerson (Brazil) - 6 points
    11= Iniesta (Spain), Suarez Miramontes (Spain) (I'm pretty sure that's who you mean) - 5 points
    13 - Liedholm (Sweden) - 4 points
    14= Bergkamp (Netherlands), Scholes (England) (De Bruyne is basically on the verge of this as one of the very next names I'd have in mind myself, though maybe that's the same case with some examples I included and you haven't mentioned in the 'others' section too) - 3 points
    16= Beckham (England), De Bruyne (Belgium), Rivera (Italy) (whose tally might be a bit too low to be truly representative as seemingly we both had him as first mention/potential alternative option outside the selected 10) - 2 points
    19= Beckenbauer (Germany), Bochini (Argentina), Bozsik (Hungary), Busquets (Spain), Bobby Charlton (England), Guardiola (Spain), Guti (Spain), Krol (Netherlands), Kroos (Germany), Modric (Croatia), Overath (Germany), Pirlo (Italy), Puskas (Hungary), Riquelme (Argentina), Stojkovic (Yugoslavia), Totti (Italy), Valderrama (Colombia) - 1 point
     
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  2. harms

    harms Member

    Oct 2, 2021
    Hopefully there are no Scirea passes even though they do tend to look a bit similar in some games; Platini often dropped to centre back position at Juve in the build up. I've checked with the commentary as well, but there's always a room for mistake :(

    Yeah, of course I meant him, the Uruguayan is a decent passer (especially for a striker) but he obviously has no place on such list.
     
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  3. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I think I suspected 3:38 might be Scirea at first glance (possibly it's not though, and I wouldn't worry about it - I wasn't really sure it was worth mentioning, and it could be you're right that no Scirea pass is on there even).
     
  4. harms

    harms Member

    Oct 2, 2021
    Oh, yeah, it's certainly Platini — it's from the full game against Flamengo (when Platini's haircut was a bit different than usual), so I triple checked that.
     
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  5. stemau

    stemau New Member

    Jun 22, 2023
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  6. Isaías Silva Serafim

    Real Madrid
    Brazil
    Dec 2, 2021
    Nat'l Team:
    Brazil
    Where KDB ranks in therms of passing? He's been elite and maybe the best final ball playmaker of his generation
     
  7. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    In my attempt I put him at number 24, but especially with a category like passing it's really hard to even try to be definitive about the order I think (somewhere between 8 and 38 could easily be a wider estimate I'd give for example I guess).

    Like you say it's the final ball passing where he stands out the most (and obviously that's the most effective passing there is). I said in another comment he was very good at the 'Beckham-esque' type balls (saying Michael Laudrup was perhaps a bit better for subtlety and variety - the next weekend I think De Bruyne did assist Oscar Bobb with a very accurate through pass though! - although for sure Bobb did very nicely himself to manage to score still after rreceiving the pass) - I see on the goal contributions thread/Twitter Beckham had more in the way of over-the-top assists and De Bruyne more 'through ball' assists though, although I think there would be some overlap with 'crosses' which they both have a lot of assists from, because I guess that tallly includes quite a few 'passes' for both which are considered angled crosses, from wide-ish areas, as opposed to through balls.

    I think, thinking about players who played in English football only, he could be among the top 5 passers, with Hoddle, Bergkamp and Beckham I did put above him on that list I attempted (but Bergkamp and Beckham being below number 8, so within the range I gave above), and perhaps Xabi Alonso or Cesc Fabregas who I had right behind him. Then maybe the next ones being Juan Sebastian Veron, Dalglish, Haynes (who some say was the best passer in English football, even the world maybe, like Jimmy Greaves did, in relatively recent times) and Bobby Moore (I did have Modric and Deyna slightly above him on that list I attempted, but I would say Modric didn't peak as a passer in England, and Deyna didn't have his peak in general in England - the same might be said about Veron but I remember passing was one thing he was doing very well at times, including in some European games, early in his Man United career for example; Ozil arguably didn't peak as a passer in England either I guess but I had him there or thereabouts). Other names that come into it apparently could be Alex James, and maybe Wilf Mannion, from long ago. More recently perhaps Gordon Cowans (like Hoddle, also very good with both legs; maybe even more 'two-sided' though I'd say not quite as capable with the right, or left, as Hoddle with the right); Nigel Clough perhaps wouldn't be too far away for example either. But yeah, I think De Bruyne, primarily for the final balls, would be up there among the best ever passers in the English game (and I guess also for assists per game and suchlike, albeit it's not possible to verify that compared to older players - for Dalglish it can be done via the stats on the Liverpool website we posted about on here a few times, but for various older players it can't and I'd imagine wingers like Stanley Matthews and Tom Finney could very much be in the mix for assist-rate (though mostly from the wings) - only their International assist rates can be established though, not the club ones I don't think).
     
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  8. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Just adding a few more names I was thinking perhaps I could have mentioned as notable/outstanding passers in English football at some points (changing nothing I was saying about De Bruyne really though anyway): Jan Molby, Danny Blanchflower, Ray Wilkins, John Sheridan, Ian Crook, Arnold Muhren....
     
  9. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    These would be the assist per game stats for Premier League seasons only anyway (per 90 minutes could be a bit different of course), for the top 3 (including ties for 2nd or 3rd) assisters from each season in terms of total numbers (obviously 'passing' is about more than assists though, and I think overall as well that forwards are more likely to rack up high numbers of assists than midfielders in general because they are closer to the goal more often - De Bruyne being a midfielder to be fair, even if like some others such as Fabregas, Gerrard etc sometimes playing almost as a forward in effect, while at other times having been one of two more attacking midfielders alongside David Silva for example):

    1992/93:
    Eric Cantona - 16 in 35 games = 0.46 per game (supporting forward)
    Darren Anderton - 11 in 34 games = 0.32 per game (winger)
    Niall Quinn - 11 in 39 games = 0.28 per game (striker)

    1993/94:
    Andy Cole - 13 in 40 games = 0.33 per game (striker)
    Eric Cantona - 12 in 34 games = 0.35 per game (supporting forward)
    Brian Deane - 11 in 41 games = 0.27 per game (striker)
    Ruel Fox - 11 in 39 games = 0.28 per game (winger)
    Chris Sutton - 11 in 41 games = 0.27 per game (striker)

    1994/95:
    Matthew Le Tissier - 15 in 41 games = 0.37 per game (supporting forward)
    Darren Anderton - 14 in 37 games = 0.38 per game (winger)
    Alan Shearer - 13 in 42 games = 0.31 per game (striker)

    1995/96:
    Steve McManaman - 15 in 38 games = 0.39 per game (attacking/roaming midfielder)
    Stan Collymore - 11 in 31 games = 0.35 per game (striker)
    John Barnes - 10 in 36 games = 0.28 per game (midfielder at that point)
    Eric Cantona - 10 in 30 games = 0.33 per game (supporting forward)
    Ian Woan - 10 in 33 games = 0.30 per game (winger/midfielder)
    Dwight Yorke - 10 in 35 games = 0.29 per game (striker/supporting forward)

    1996/97:
    Eric Cantona - 12 in 36 games = 0.33 per game (supporting forward)
    Neal Ardley - 11 in 33 games = 0.33 per game (winger)
    Dennis Bergkamp - 9 in 29 games = 0.31 per game (supporting forward)
    Andy Hinchcliffe - 9 in 18 games = 0.50 per game (left back)
    Gary McAllister - 9 in 38 games = 0.24 per game (playmaker)
    Gianfranco Zola - 9 in 23 games = 0.39 per game (supporting forward)

    1997/98:
    David Beckham - 13 in 37 games = 0.35 per game (winger/midfielder)
    Dennis Bergkamp - 11 in 28 games = 0.39 per game (supporting forward)
    Eyal Berkovic - 10 in 35 games = 0.29 per game (playmaking/attacking midfielder)
    Dion Dublin - 10 in 36 games = 0.28 per game (striker)
    Steve Guppy - 10 in 37 games = 0.27 per game (winger/wing-back)
    Michael Owen - 10 in 36 games = 0.28 per game (striker)
    Teddy Sheringham - 10 in 31 games = 0.32 per game (support striker)

    1998/99:
    Dennis Bergkamp - 13 in 29 games = 0.45 per game (supporting forward)
    Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink - 13 in 36 games = 0.36 per game (striker)
    David Beckham - 11 in 34 games = 0.32 per game (winger/midfielder)
    Eyal Berkovic - 11 in 30 games = 0.37 per game (playmaking/attacking midfielder)
    Steve Guppy - 11 in 38 games = 0.29 per game (winger/wing-back)
    Dwight Yorke - 11 in 33 games = 0.33 per game (striker/supporting forward)

    1999/00:
    David Beckham - 15 in 31 games = 0.48 per game (winger/midfielder)
    Nolberto Solano - 15 in 30 games = 0.50 per game (winger)
    Paolo Di Canio - 13 in 30 games = 0.43 per game (support striker)

    2000/01:
    David Beckham - 12 in 31 games = 0.39 per game (winger/midfielder)
    Nolberto Solano - 10 in 33 games = 0.30 per game (winger)
    Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink - 9 in 35 games = 0.26 per game (striker)
    Thierry Henry - 9 in 35 games = 0.26 per game (striker/forward)
    Vladimir Smicer - 9 in 27 games = 0.33 per game (supporting forward/attacking midfielder/winger)

    2001/02:
    Robert Pires - 15 in 28 games = 0.54 per game (winger)
    Dennis Bergkamp - 12 in 33 games = 0.36 per game (supporting forward)
    Ryan Giggs - 12 in 25 games = 0.48 per game (winger)

    2002/03:
    Thierry Henry - 20 in 37 games = 0.54 per game (striker/forward)
    Ryan Giggs - 10 in 36 games = 0.28 per game (winger)
    Dennis Bergkamp - 9 in 29 games = 0.31 per game (supporting forward)

    2003/04:
    Muzzy Izzet - 14 in 30 games = 0.47 per game (central/attacking midfielder)
    Paolo Di Canio - 12 in 31 games = 0.39 per game (supporting forward)
    Brett Emerton - 11 in 37 games = 0.30 per game (winger)
    Ryan Giggs - 11 in 33 games = 0.33 per game (winger)

    2004/05:
    Frank Lampard - 18 in 38 games = 0.47 per game (central/attacking midfielder)
    Thierry Henry - 14 in 32 games = 0.44 per game (striker/forward)
    Dennis Bergkamp - 12 in 29 games = 0.42 per game (supporting forward/attacking midfielder)

    2005/06:
    Didier Drogba - 11 in 29 games = 0.38 per game (striker)
    Jose Antonio Reyes - 10 in 26 games = 0.38 per game (winger/forward)
    Luis Boa Morte - 9 in 35 games = 0.26 (winger/forward)
    Wayne Rooney - 9 in 36 games = 0.25 per game (forward/striker)

    2006/07:
    Cesc Fabregas - 11 in 38 games = 0.29 per game (central/attacking midfielder)
    Wayne Rooney - 11 in 35 games = 0.31 per game (forward/striker)
    Frank Lampard - 10 in 37 games = 0.27 per game (central/attacking midfielder)

    2007/08:
    Cesc Fabregas - 17 in 32 games = 0.53 per game (central/attacking midfielder)
    Ashley Young - 14 in 37 games = 0.38 per game (winger)
    Gareth Barry - 10 in 37 games = 0.27 per game (midfielder)
    Salomon Kalou - 10 in 30 games = 0.33 per game (forward)
    Wayne Rooney - 10 in 27 games = 0.37 per game (forward/striker)

    2008/09:
    Frank Lampard - 10 in 37 games = 0.27 per game (central/attacking midfielder)
    Robin van Persie - 10 in 28 games = 0.36 per game (striker/forward)
    Dimitar Berbatov - 9 in 31 games = 0.29 per game (forward/striker)
    Steven Gerrard - 9 in 31 games = 0.29 per game (attacking midfielder)
    Stephen Ireland - 9 in 35 games = 0.26 per game (attacking midfielder)

    2009/10:
    Frank Lampard - 14 in 36 games = 0.39 per game (central/attacking midfielder)
    Cesc Fabregas - 13 in 27 games = 0.48 per game (attacking midfielder)
    James Milner - 12 in 36 games = 0.33 per game (attacking midfielder)

    2010/11:
    Nani - 14 in 33 games = 0.42 per game (winger)
    Didier Drogba - 13 in 36 games = 0.36 per game (striker)
    Andrey Arshavin - 11 in 37 games = 0.30 per game (forward/winger)
    Leighton Baines - 11 in 38 games = 0.29 per game (left back)
    Cesc Fabregas - 11 in 25 games = 0.44 per game (attacking midfielder)
    Wayne Rooney - 11 in 28 games = 0.39 per game (forward/striker)

    2011/12:
    David Silva - 15 in 36 games = 0.42 per game (attacking midfielder/winger)
    Juan Mata - 13 in 34 games = 0.38 per game (attacking midfielder/winger)
    Antonio Valencia - 13 in 27 games = 0.48 per game (winger)

    2012/13:
    Juan Mata - 12 in 35 games = 0.34 per game (attacking midfielder/winger)
    Santi Cazorla - 11 in 38 games = 0.29 per game (attacking midfielder/winger)
    Eden Hazard - 11 in 34 games = 0.32 per game (winger/attacking midfielder)

    2013/14:
    Steven Gerrard - 13 in 34 games = 0.38 per game (midfielder)
    Luis Suarez - 12 in 33 games = 0.36 per game (forward/striker)
    Rickie Lambert - 10 in 37 games = 0.27 per game (striker)
    Wayne Rooney - 10 in 29 games = 0.34 per game (forward/striker)

    2014/15:
    Cesc Fabregas - 18 in 34 games = 0.53 per game (playmaker)
    Santi Cazorla - 11 in 37 games = 0.30 per game (attacking midfielder/winger)
    Chris Brunt - 10 in 34 games = 0.29 per game (winger)
    Angel Di Maria - 10 in 27 games = 0.37 per game (attacking midfielder)
    Gylfi Sigurdsson - 10 in 32 games = 0.31 per game (attacking midfielder)

    2015/16:
    Mesut Ozil - 19 in 35 games = 0.54 per game (attacking midfielder/winger)
    Christian Eriksen - 13 in 35 games = 0.37 per game (attacking midfielder/playmaker)
    Dimitri Payet - 12 in 30 games = 0.40 per game (attacking midfielder/forward)
    Dusan Tadic - 12 in 34 games = 0.35 per game (attacking midfielder/winger)

    2016/17:
    Kevin De Bruyne - 18 in 36 games = 0.50 per game (attacking midfielder)
    Christian Eriksen - 15 in 36 games = 0.42 per game (attacking midfielder/playmaker)
    Gylfi Sigurdsson - 13 in 38 games = 0.34 per game (attacking midfielder)

    2017/18:
    Kevin De Bruyne - 16 in 37 games = 0.43 per game (attacking midfielder)
    Leroy Sane - 15 in 32 games = 0.47 per game (winger)
    David Silva - 11 in 34 games = 0.32 per game (attacking midfielder)
    Raheem Sterling - 11 in 33 games = 0.33 per game (winger)

    2018/19:
    Eden Hazard - 15 in 37 games = 0.41 per game (attacking midfielder/winger/forward)
    Ryan Fraser - 14 in 38 games = 0.37 per game (winger)
    Trent Alexander-Arnold - 12 in 29 games = 0.41 per game (right back)
    Christian Eriksen - 12 in 35 games = 0.34 per game (attacking midfielder/playmaker)

    2019/20:
    Kevin De Bruyne - 20 in 35 games = 0.57 per game (attacking midfielder)
    Trent Alexander-Arnold - 13 in 38 games = 0.34 per game (right back)
    Andy Robertson - 12 in 36 games = 0.33 per game (left back)

    2020/21:
    Harry Kane - 14 in 35 games = 0.40 per game (forward/striker)
    Bruno Fernandes - 12 in 37 games = 0.32 per game (attacking midfielder)
    Kevin De Bruyne - 12 in 25 games = 0.48 per game (attacking midfielder)

    2021/22:
    Mohamed Salah - 13 in 35 games = 0.37 per game (wing forward)
    Trent Alexander-Arnold - 12 in 32 games = 0.38 per game (right back)
    Harvey Barnes - 10 in 32 games = 0.31 per game (winger/wing forward)
    Jarrod Bowen - 10 in 36 games = 0.28 per game (winger/wing forward)
    Mason Mount - 10 in 32 games = 0.31 per game (attacking midfielder/winger)
    Andy Robertson - 10 in 29 games = 0.34 per game (left back)

    2022/23:
    Kevin De Bruyne - 16 in 32 games = 0.50 per game (attacking midfielder)
    Mohamed Salah - 12 in 38 games = 0.32 per game (wing forward)
    Leandro Trossard - 12 in 36 games = 0.33 per game (wing forward)
     
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  10. Isaías Silva Serafim

    Real Madrid
    Brazil
    Dec 2, 2021
    Nat'l Team:
    Brazil
    What a great list, mate. I'll be back here for queries many times. Nice work.

    Regarding passers in general (not only final ball playmakers) I think Kroos, Xavi, Pirlo and Xabi Alonso are far ahead of KDB just talking about players on the current century if we consider all types of passes (long, short, mid range, crosses, switch, through, lobby, etc...)
     
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  11. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    No problem - it took a little while to post but all the assist numbers are on the Premier League website so that helps.

    I see what you mean I think, though like I say being so good at providing final balls has to count for a lot I guess....(I did put Pirlo and Xavi higher up on that list I'd attempted though indeed, and like I said Xabi Alonso right behind, or basically right in the same area, while I could understand how you might feel Kroos isn't necessarily clearly behind such players in passing).
     
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  12. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Using that Liverpool site I mentioned, if looking at league games only (as with the Premier League stats above) then I can see Dalglish's season by season assist per game (not 90 minutes, but I guess for him it'll be very very similar anyway) data would be like this at Liverpool....

    1977/78 - 5 in 42 games = 0.12 per game
    1978/79 - 18 in 42 games = 0.43 per game
    1979/80 - 15 in 42 games = 0.36 per game
    1980/81 - 12 in 34 games = 0.35 per game
    1981/82 - 13 in 42 games = 0.31 per game
    1982/83 - 16 in 42 games = 0.38 per game
    1983/84 - 8 in 33 games = 0.24 per game
    1984/85 - 17 in 36 games = 0.47 per game
    1985/86 - 9 in 21 games = 0.43 per game
    1986/87 - 3 in 18 games = 0.17 per game
    Liverpool career stats for Kenny Dalglish - LFChistory - Stats galore for Liverpool FC!

    Doing the same for John Barnes (who I'd say, in a slightly different way to Beckham or De Bruyne, could play passes in from wide areas very accurately - mostly from the left in his case, as much as or moreso than aerial crosses maybe) for the pre-Premier League seasons at Liverpool
    1987/88 - 14 in 38 games = 0.37 per game
    1988/89 - 6 in 33 games = 0.18 per game
    1989/90 - 12 in 34 games = 0.35 per game
    1990/91 - 13 in 35 games = 0.37 per game
    1991/92 - 4 in 12 games = 0.33 per game
    Liverpool career stats for John Barnes - LFChistory - Stats galore for Liverpool FC!
     
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  13. William Whitehill

    William Whitehill New Member

    Chelsea
    England
    May 11, 2021
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    I feel like players like Guti deserve a shout when we talk about greatest passers he may be criminally underrated. Watched him growing up and in the past 20 years I haven’t really seen much better passers than him except from the likes of Fabregas, Xavi, or Özil in the 21st century. Neymar is another underrated passer. He is very versatile two footed and his passes have variety something we don’t see from the likes of De Bruyne or Messi even these are some of the greatest passers/playmakers of their generations.
     
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