Top 10 Best Playmakers In Football 2022

Lionel Messi best playmakers in football
(Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

In football, a playmaker is a player who controls the flow of the team’s play and is often involved in both offensive and defensive play. 

He makes passing moves that lead to goals — through excellent vision, tactical intelligence, technique, ball control, creativity, and passing ability.

Opening up an opposition defence is not always easy. It takes a special type of player to do so, as it is about more than just pace or dribbling abilities; it’s about having the intelligence to see the openings that others can’t and also having the flawless passing technique to exploit those tiny gaps available.

In ranking the best playmakers in the world, while the number of assists provided has carried increasing importance in the modern game, playmakers still get judged based on their ability to dictate the tempo of a game and find those passes that most couldn’t. 

Some might confuse playmakers with attacking midfielders, but playmakers can actually occupy various roles like wingers, “false nines,” trequartistas, holding midfielders, wingbacks, or even defensive midfielders. 

Playmakers operating from a defensive position are known as deep-lying playmakers.

Here are TOP SOCCER BLOG’s top 10 best playmakers in the world in 2022. 

Top 10 Best Playmakers in Football 2022

These are best playmakers in football for 2022, who created chances, and most goalscoring opportunities. This list is in no particular order.

1. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

Kevin De Bruyne best midfielders in the world
(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Kevin De Bruyne has been regarded by many as the best playmaker in the world over the last decade. 

The Manchester City midfielder is the ultimate playmaker. He can open up stubborn defences with incisive passes and can equally shoot the ball accurately from a distance. 

De Bruyne has cemented his status as one of the best midfielders in the world, with his accomplishments and performances.

The arrival of Erling Haaland at Man City has made De Bruyne more dangerous than ever. The 31-year-old already has 13 assists from 18 matches in all competitions this season.

2. Lionel Messi (PSG)

Lionel Messi best playmakers in football
(Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

Regarded by some as the greatest footballer of all time, Lionel Messi is a complete attacker that can do almost everything with total ease. 

The Argentine cannot just score goals but can create them as well, which is why he is among the football players with the most assists in football history

Messi’s sensational dribbling skills and technique make him a nightmare playmaker for any defender to come across on the pitch. 

Furthermore, he can also thread passes through the needle, which makes him an ideal partner for any attacker. 

Lionel Messi left Barcelona for PSG in 2021 and underwhelmed in his first season but has been on fire in 2022/23 — registering 14 assists along with 12 goals in just 18 matches so far.

3. Luka Modrić (Real Madrid)

Luka Modric best midfielders in the world 2022
(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Luka Modric is one of the most complete midfielders in the world, with the ability to be able to play just virtually anywhere across the middle of the park. 

His heroic displays saw him break the Messi-Ronaldo monopoly to win the Ballon d’Or in 2018 after guiding Croatia to the FIFA World Cup final. 

The 37-year-old continues to excel at the highest level with his ability to set the tempo of a match by controlling possession from the middle of the pitch.  

Modrić is considered one of the best in “pre-assist” or build-up plays — often creating space and time for his teammates to shoot or deliver goal-bound passes to other players. 

The Croatian is also effective at taking set pieces — particularly corners or wide free kicks.

4. Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich)

Thomas Muller top midfielders in the world
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Thomas Muller is a complete all-round attacker. His versatility enables him to play in different offensive positions.  

Although not particularly good at dribbling or one-on-ones, Muller can pick pockets of spaces in the opposition’s defence. No surprise, then, that he has the most assists in the German Bundesliga history. 

The German World Cup winner invented a role for himself which he calls the  Raumdeuter or space interpreter.

Muller’s intelligence allows him to fit perfectly alongside any attacker he gets paired with in the front line. 

5. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)

Bruno Fernandes best midfielders in the world 2022
(Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

Bruno Fernandes is one of the best playmakers in the English Premier League. The Portuguese has set the league alight since his arrival at Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon. 

Although he has been relatively inconsistent of late, Bruno can still decide a match solely, on his day. 

He possesses superb awareness, vision, and passing range.

6. Trent-Alexander Arnold (Liverpool)

Trent Alexander-Arnold
(Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Arguably the best wingbacks in the world, Trent-Alexander Arnold has — along with other modern fullbacks — redefined the role. 

It is very rare to see a defender dictating how a team plays, but that’s exactly what Arnold does regularly at Liverpool — due to his excellent play making abilities. 

He can link up well with the attackers, pull out wicked crosses into the box, and very, very dangerous at set pieces. 

Although he regularly gets criticised for his defensive lapses, Alexander-Arnold makes up for it in the attack. 

7. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

Bernardo Silva best midfielders in the Premier League
(Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Manchester City’s squad is full of brilliant playmakers who can each decide a match: from De Bruyne to Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden, Ilkay Gundogan, Jack Grealish, João Cancelo, and Rodri. 

This is why Pep Guardiola’s side can comfortably play without a proper striker. 

Bernardo Silva’s versatility across the front line makes him an important member of the team. 

Moreso, the Portuguese midfielder’s technique, intelligence, and passing makes him a handful for opposition defenders. 

8. Hakan Çalhanoğlu (Inter Milan)

Hakan Çalhanoğlu best midfielders in Serie A
(Photo by Mattia Ozbot – Inter/Inter via Getty Images)

Hakan Çalhanoğlu has been among the best playmakers in the world since his days at Bayer Leverkusen, AC Milan, and now at Inter Milan. 

The Turkish midfielder is very dangerous from set-pieces and can run through balls between defenders from anywhere. 

Çalhanoğlu is not just one of the best playmakers in football, but also one of the best set-piece takers in football.

9. Dimitri Payet (Marseille)

Dimitri Payet top playmakers in football
(Photo by Joao Rico/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

A set-piece specialist known for his accurate, bending free kicks, terrific technique, and dribbling skills, Dimitri Payet is absolutely unstoppable at his best. 

He was most notable during his time at West Ham United in the Premier League. He has returned to Marseille in Ligue 1 but still continues to shine brilliantly. 

Payet has been particularly impressive for Marseille in the last two seasons, culminating in the club’s return to the UEFA Champions League. 

10. Christian Eriksen (Manchester United)

Christian Eriksen best playmakers in football
(Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

Christian Eriksen is the kind of playmaker that often gets fans off their seat. The Danish midfielder has an eye for making defence-splitting passes virtually from anywhere on the pitch. 

He is one of the greatest Danish footballers of all time.

Eriksen is also dangerous from set-pieces. 

Notable Mentions:

  • Sergej Milinkovic-Savic
  • Christopher Nkunku
  • Phil Foden
  • Angel Di Maria
  • Jorginho
  • Dušan Tadić
  • Pedri
  • Marco Verratti
  • Toni Kroos
  • Joshua Kimmich.
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