In football, a playmaker is usually the player responsible for the flow of a team’s attacking play. They are often referred to as the “Number Ten” or an “Enganche”. Someone with creativity, flair, and an eye for a pass. They are usually at the centre of a team’s goal-scoring moves.
There have been a few who have mastered the art of playmaking, and we have decided to rank fifteen of the greatest playmakers of all time.
Based on consistency, impact, skills, success, etc, here are the fifteen greatest playmakers of all time.
15) Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez is considered Spain’s greatest footballer ever by many fans. ‘Luisito’ spent most of his career with Barcelona and Inter Milan. He was an attacking midfielder and an inside forward when he played for Barcelona. For them, he scored 61 goals, not bad for a playmaker.
For Inter Milan, however, his playing style changed as he started dropping deeper and adopted the role of a deep-lying playmaker. It was playing as a deep-lying playmaker where Suarez found his best form. He was nicknamed ‘The Architect’ for his astonishing abilities. He also had a fairly decent trophy cabinet with winning multiple leagues for Inter and Barcelona. Suarez also won a Ballon d’Or and was the runner-up on other two occasions.
Zico was an attacking midfielder who played most of his career for Flamengo. He scored 539 goals in just over 800 appearances which is a big feat for a midfielder. Zico was known for his finishing, vision, technique, and passing and was given the nickname “White Pele”.
Zico was named as the 8th greatest footballer of all time and was also known as the greatest striker of a dead ball in the ’80s. His international career was also decent as he finished third in the FIFA World Cup in 1978.
13) Andrea Pirlo
The Italian legend, Andrea Pirlo ought to be on your best playmakers of all-time list. He played the role of a deep-lying playmaker and boy did he define the role. Andrea Pirlo was the talisman for Italy and Milan for over a decade and his all-around abilities gave him the upper edge.
The long-range passing of the Italian mixed with his exceptional tackling ability and positioning skills helped him control the game from deep. He was a great free-kick taker and won many trophies in his club and international career. He has won a World Cup, a couple of Champions League titles, and six Serie A titles.
12) Gianni Rivera
Gianni Rivera is known for his footballing intelligence and his reading of the game was second to none. He had the vision and skill required to take the game away from the opposition by a single pass.
His time with AC Milan saw him win three Serie A titles, four Coppa Italia titles, and a couple of European Cups. Rivera won the European Championship with the national team and was the runner-up in the 1970 World Cup. In 1969, he won the Ballon d’Or. He is among the greatest playmakers of all time
Rivellino is one of the most accurate passers of the ball, especially in the long-range, in football history. The “flip-flap” move which is pretty common today was perfected by the man himself. Rivellino was better known for his control and free-kick skills.
Rivellino enjoyed a lot of success in his career and was the heart of the 1970 Brazil squad which is touted as the greatest squad assembled. He won the World Cup with Brazil in 1970 and was part of the All-star team of the tournament of the 1970 World Cup.