Lionel Messi has been named the Playmaker of the Decade by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) for 2011-20. However, Cristiano Ronaldo failed to finish in the top 10.
Since 2006, the IFFHS has annually chosen a player and awarded him the IFFHS World's Best Men's Playmaker of the Year award every year. The winner is determined based on the player's performances throughout the year. As the award has only been given out for the last 14 years, this is the first time the IFFHS awarded a player the Playmaker of the Decade award.
As mentioned in the IFFHS website, the organisation allocated points to all players in the Top-20 playmaker's list from each year between 2011 and 2020. Players earned 20 points if they finished first on the list, 19 points if they finished second and so on, with the one in 20th place receiving one point. Each player's cumulative total was taken to determine the winner of the Player of the Decade award.
After winning the annual award on four occasions (2015, 2016, 2017, 2019) in the last decade, Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi comfortably ran away with the award, aggregating 174 points.
Notably, Cristiano Ronaldo only finished 12th in the decade's Top 20 list.
Former Barcelona player Andres Iniesta, who won the annual award twice (2012, 2013), finished second with 127 points while Real Madrid's Luka Modric took third place with 113 points.
Despite recently becoming the joint-highest goal-scorer in the game's history, Cristiano Ronaldo only came up 12th in the rankings, with a tally of 54 points.
A 5-time Ballon d'Or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo achieved incredible success over the decade but came nowhere close to Lionel Messi in this list. In the past decade, Cristiano Ronaldo assisted over 140 assists for club and country while his arch-rival Lionel Messi has set up roughly 235 for club and country in the same period.
However, Cristiano Ronaldo was crowned the IFFHS World's Best Goal Scorer of the Decade after finishing one point clear of Lionel Messi.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo joined by several superstar names
Apart from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, many top players and legendary names found themselves in the decade's Top 20 playmakers' list compiled by the IFFHS.
The top 20 in the list are as follow:
- Lionel Messi (Argentina) - 174 points
- Andres Iniesta (Spain) - 127 points
- Luka Modric (Croatia) - 113 points
- Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium) - 103 points
- Tony Kroos (Germany) - 90 points
- Eden Hazard (Belgium) - 77 points
- Neymar (Brazil) - 71 points
- Mesut Ozil (Germany) - 69 points
- Andrea Pirlo (Italy) - 63 points
- Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast) - 60 points
- Xavi (Spain) - 55 points
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) - 54 points
- David Silva (Spain) - 52 points
- James Rodriguez (Colombia) - 42 points
- Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany) - 40 points
- Christian Eriksen (Denmark) - 38 points
- Riyad Mahrez (Algeria) - 38 points
- Paul Pogba (France) - 35 points
- Thiago Alcantara (Spain) - 33 points
- Isco (Spain) - 25 points