Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi marked off a slow start to the current campaign, appearing to struggle in front of goal. But his performances in the previous few games suggest that he has regained his top form as the season progresses. Despite the recent slump, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner has been one of the most consistent performers in the previous decade. His efforts were rewarded after being crowned the Playmaker of the Decade, while his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo missed out.
According to a report by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), Messi leads the way as the top playmaker of the decade. The Argentina international stands undisputed at the top of the table, with 174 points to his credit. The numbers by IFFHS are based on a yearly ranking system.
Besides, Messi is closely followed by his former Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta. The Spanish magician was a key player in Barcelona's domestic success in the previous decade. Moreover, the Catalan giants also clinched the Champions League title twice, with Iniesta and Messi at the helm.
Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric could not stay aloof from the list. The Croatian international was the standout performer in the 2018 World Cup, guiding his side to the final, apart from the Champions League triumph earlier that season. He brought an end to the Messi-Ronaldo domination, by winning the Ballon d'Or title that year.
Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has arguably been the best player for Pep Guardiola. He played a key role in the Etihad-based outfit's two successive Premier League titles and has been included in the list, behind Modric. But, Ronaldo's absence from the list raises doubts.
Recently, Ronaldo equalled Josef Bican's all-time highest goal record of 759 strikes. But Ronaldo's goalscoring record, apart from his magnificent 222 career assists, was not sufficient for him to be included in the playmakers' list. Meanwhile, Messi also broke Pele's record of goals for a single club. Messi's goalscoring record suggests the Argentine has netted the most goals for a single club.