The art of playmaking may go unnoticed sometimes as the name that goes up is of the person who scores. But when they are making enough direct goal contributions over a period of time, the spotlight is bound to turn towards the player.

Pele made his mark by achieving various credentials throughout his incredible career, including being the only player to win the World Cup three times. But to some fans’ surprise, the legendary striker also has the most assists in this tournament. 

Here’s a list of players with the most assists in football’s biggest competition.

Most assists in FIFA World Cup




Pele (Brazil)



Diego Maradona (Argentina) 



Lionel Messi (Argentina)



Pierre Littbarski (West Germany)



Francesco Totti (Italy)



Pele (Brazil) - 8 assists

Pele has a host of assisting records to his credit in FIFA World Cups. Besides providing the most assists in the tournament’s history, he also recorded the highest assists in a single World Cup edition (6 assists in 1970). 

He is also the only player to have served three goals for his teammates in World Cup finals (one in 1958, two in 1970). 

Diego Maradona (Argentina) - 8 assists

It is quite befitting that Pele and Diego Maradona take the top positions in this list. The 1986 World Cup winner with Argentina scored eight goals and assisted another eight across four editions of the tournament. 

He single-handedly drove Argentina to the title in 1986 with 10 direct involvements in the 14 goals the team scored in that edition (five goals, five assists).

Lionel Messi (Argentina) - 8 assists

One of the greatest players to ever take the field, Lionel Messi has assisted eight times in the World Cup. Six of these eight assists have come in the knockout stage of the quadrennial event.

Pierre Littbarski (West Germany) - 7 assists

Pierre Littbarski was a creative genius beyond compare on his day and represented West Germany in three editions of the World Cup - 1982, 1986 and 1990. The side reached the final on all three of these occasions, winning it in 1990. 

Littbarski made seven assists and scored three goals in 18 matches for the side. 

Francesco Totti (Italy) - 6 assists

Francesco Totti is renowned for his incredible 25-year stint with AS Roma and he also chipped in with crucial contributions for his national team whenever he was called upon.

Totti, who won the World Cup with Italy in 2006, made the most assists in that edition (four assists in seven matches) and scored a match-winning goal against Australia. Overall, he played 11 matches in this tournament and made six assists.   

Grzegorz Lato (Poland) - 5 assists

Grzegorz Lato was a pivotal player in Poland’s golden generation, that won a gold at the 1972 Olympics and finished third in the 1982 World Cup. In 100 appearances for the country, Lato scored 45 goals and is the third-highest goal-scorer for his country. 

Lato, who represented Poland in three World Cups (1974, 1978, 1982), scored 10 goals and assisted five times. 

Most assists in Qatar 2022

Antoine Griezmann - 3 assists 

French striker Antoine Griezmann has provided the most assists in the Qatar World Cup. The forward has played a key role in France's title defence so far and will be hoping to continue his fine form to go all the way through and lift the trophy again. 


Featured Image: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo