The 2020-21 Champions League is nearing its conclusion, with four top teams vying for European club football’s highest honour. An all-English Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City on the cards.
Five players with the most assists in UEFA Champions League semi-finals and finals
The best players in the Champions League tend to shine in the semi-finals and final. This is the stage where the elite mentality of top players shines through, and they play a considerable role - either scoring or providing assists and facilitating their team's build-up play.
On that note, let’s take a look at five players with the most assists in UEFA Champions League semi-finals and finals.
#5 Roberto Carlos | 4 assists
Carlos has been one of the best full-backs in the history of the game and has revolutionised the role in the 2000s. He is one of the most successful players to have donned the whites of Real Madrid.
In 584 matches, Roberto Carlos scored 71 goals for the club - an astounding number for a full-back back in the day. He won three Champions League titles in 11 supremely successful seasons at Real Madrid, along with four La Liga, three Supercopa de Espana and two Intercontinental Cups.
The Brazilian was brought to Real Madrid as one of the “Galacticos” by Florentino Perez, who signed the likes of Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Ronaldo Nazario and Luis Figo around the same time. Roberto Carlos’ 16 goals and 25 assists in the Champions League is evidence that Real Madrid's investment on him was money well spent.
#4 Alessandro Del Piero | 4 assists
A legend of Italian football, Alessandro Del Piero spent 19 years with Italian champions Juventus.
With four assists to his name in the semi-finals and finals, Del Piero played a massive role in Juventus’ 1995-96 Champions League triumph, the Bianconeri's last title in the competition.
The Italian finished was the top scorer in the 1997-98 Champions League campaign, scoring ten goals, including a hat-trick in the all-important semi-finals against Monaco.
Between 1996-98, Del Piero led Juventus to three successive Champions League finals. The Bianconeri lost the 1997 Champions League final to Borussia Dortmund while they came up short against Real Madrid in the 1998 title match.
While his contributions at Europe’s biggest stage endeared him to the Juventus faithful, it was Del Piero's undying loyalty to the club that was quite impressive.
The Calciopoli scandal saw Juventus demoted to Serie B. While most top players left the Allianz Stadium, Alessandro Del Piero captained the club to the Serie B title and helped Juventus return to Serie A on their first attempt.
#3 Lionel Messi | 4 assists
In the ongoing 2020-21 Champions League, Messi’s goal against PSG extended his goal-scoring run in the competition to 17 consecutive seasons.
The Argentine has been involved in a mammoth tally of 161 goals (120 goals, 41 assists) in 149 appearances for the Blaugrana.
Messi has won everything there is to win in European club football, including two European trebles and a trophy-laden 2009. By the end of 2009, Messi had won all six available trophies that Barcelona competed for that year - Champions League, La Liga, European Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, Copa Del Rey and Supercopa de Espana.
The Argentine has laid hands on 4 Champions League titles in his time at Barcelona, making 36 appearances in the knockout stages of the competition. He has 47 goals and 12 assists in the knockout stage of the Champions League and has scored two goals in three finals in the competition.
#2 Kaka | 5 assists
One of the most naturally gifted players in the modern era, Kaka is the last player to win the Ballon D’Or award before Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's duopoly.
Like Roberto Carlos, Kaka was brought to Spanish shores as one of the 'Galacticos' after a spectacular 6-year spell with AC Milan. Despite a big-money move to Madrid, Kaka failed to nail down a regular starting spot due to injuries and could not recreate his golden days in Milan.
At Milan, Kaka made it to three semi-finals and two finals of the Champions League, scoring three goals and providing five assists.
The Brazilian was the top scorer in Milan's victorious 2006-07 Champions League campaign. Kaka scored three goals over two semi-final legs against Manchester United and bagged an all-important assist in the 2-1 win over Liverpool in the final.
#1 Zinedine Zidane | 6 assists
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is one of the most successful personalities in world football. He is one of the few to have won the Champions League as a player and manager for the same club.
Like Kaka, Zidane operated mainly as an attacking midfielder. As evidenced by his time on the sidelines, he has one of the finest minds in world football. The Frenchman was deadly in front of goal and equally adept in finding his teammates in dangerous positions.
With 121 goals and 119 assists in 631 career appearances. Zidane played in as many as five semi-finals and three finals in the Champions League, doing so for two different clubs - Real Madrid and Juventus.
Four of his assists came for the Bianconeri and two for Los Blancos. In 80 Champions League appearances, Zidane scored 14 goals and also bagged 32 assists.