The best assists in UEFA Champions League history? – UEFA.com - Techy Hunters

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Monday, November 1, 2021

The best assists in UEFA Champions League history? – UEFA.com

Goalscorers may get their name up in lights when the ball hits the net but, for connoisseurs of the game, the beauty of a goal is often found in its creation. As we mark 30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling, which of these six strikes owe the most to the brilliance of the schemer credited with the assist?

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Over the course of 2021/22, UEFA is asking fans to vote for the most iconic moments since the rebranding of the European Cup in the early 1990s. ’30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling’ will give fans an opportunity to vote on everything from goals to memorable celebrations, unforgettable comebacks, sensational skills and impossible saves.

Vote in this poll and, as a special treat, you could win a signed Lionel Messi shirt courtesy of Lay’s.

Kaká’s ultimate through ball

AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool (aet, Liverpool win 3-2 on pens)
25/05/2005, final


Is Kaká's through ball your favourite assist?

Is Kaká’s through ball your favourite assist?

The Italian side, and their brilliant Brazilian, were at the height of their powers just before half-time in the Istanbul showpiece. Kaká had already flicked a pass through to release Andriy Shevchenko in the build-up to Hernán Crespo’s 39th-minute goal but that was merely an appetiser for what was to follow.

Five minutes later it was 3-0 as Kaká’s effortless turn left Steven Gerrard heading in the opposite direction before his low swept pass curled around the Liverpool defence to release Crespo, who dinked the cutest of finishes past Jerzy Dudek. On any other occasion it would have been the icing on the cake but the Reds, famously, had other ideas.

Dennis Bergkamp’s turn and flick

Arsenal 3-1 Juventus
04/12/2001, second group stage


Is Bergkamp's flick your favourite assist?

Is Bergkamp’s flick your favourite assist?

Receiving a pass on the counter from Fredrik Ljungberg in the 88th minute with the Gunners 2-1 up in a crucial contest, most players would have protected the ball and headed for the corner. Not Bergkamp.

Instead, with his back to goal, the Dutch magician dragged the ball back to leave two Bianconeri defenders befuddled before an outside-of-the-boot flick bisected the defence, allowing Ljungberg to seal the victory. No wonder Thierry Henry once said: “I have always said Dennis Bergkamp will remain the best partner I have ever had. He is a dream for a striker.”

Trend Alexander-Arnold’s quick thinking

Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona
07/05/2019, semi-final second leg


Is Alexander-Arnold's corner your favourite assist?

Is Alexander-Arnold’s corner your favourite assist?

If the mark of a player is his ability to influence the biggest of matches under the greatest of pressures, then the Liverpool full-back more than passed the test on an unforgettable European night at Anfield. Trailing 3-0 from the first leg, the Reds had somehow levelled the aggregate score inside 56 minutes but the tie now seemed destined for extra time.

Everyone was catching their breath as Alexander-Arnold walked away from a 79th-minute corner but the 20-year-old then doubled back and whipped in a perfect near-post cross for Divock Origi to turn in and complete the turnaround. “It was just instinct; you see the opportunity,” said the Liverpool-born defender. “Everyone will remember this moment.”

Andrés Iniesta’s dribble and release

Barcelona 2-0 Paris
21/04/2015, quarter-final second leg


Is Iniesta's dribble and release your favourite assist?

Is Iniesta’s dribble and release your favourite assist?

The will-o’-the-wisp midfielder was more renown for dictating the tempo and passing opponents into submission than lung-bursting forays forwards but the French visitors had no answer when he unveiled another string to his bow in front of the ever-appreciative Camp Nou crowd.

Iniesta received the ball midway inside his own half, turn adroitly to leave one opponent floundering, dropped the shoulder to wrong-foot a second, then was too quick for a third challenge. Laurent Blanc’s men backtracked but were powerless to prevent the Spaniard threading a through ball to Neymar, who skipped around Salvatore Sirigu to make it 4-1 on aggregate. Such was the 30-year-old’s importance, Quique Setién withdrew him at half-time with greater challenges ahead.

Alphonso Davies’ unstoppable burst

Barcelona 2-8 Bayern
14/08/2020, quarter-finals


Is Davies' burst your favourite assist?

Is Davies’ burst your favourite assist?

It takes something quite astonishing to produce the stand-out moment when your team scores eight goals in one of the most jaw-dropping scorelines in Champions League history – even more so when you are just 19 and experiencing your maiden season in Europe’s premier club competition. The Canadian wonderkid, however, was as unfazed as he was indefatigable.

Bayern’s progression was not assured at 4-2 just past the hour but Davies was determined to rubber stamp their semi-final place. Lionel Messi and Arturo Vidal were outfoxed and Nélson Semedo turned inside out even before the full-back burst along the byline, with the composed cut-back for Joshua Kimmich a fitting end to a scintillating run.

Paul Scholes’ impudent scoop

Manchester United 3-2 AC Milan
24/04/2007, semi-final first leg


Is Scholes' scoop your favourite assist?

Is Scholes’ scoop your favourite assist?

Under the cosh after Kaká’s double had given the visitors control at Old Trafford, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men needed something, or someone, to turn the tide. Not for the first time, Scholes answered the call with his usual blend of understated quality and accuracy after Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick had worked him into a pocket of space.

The Rossoneri closed the England midfielder down so quickly that his only escape via his wand of a right foot was to wrap it in front of his left and perform an outrageous outside-of-the-boot scoop over the defence for Wayne Rooney to convert. “I see him do it every day in training,” said the goalscorer. “He’s brilliant. He is a joy to play with – a genius.”

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