What Are Assists In Soccer? (Guide to Perfect Assists)

Sportschunk has brought you an article on “What are assists in Soccer”?

You know what is a goal in soccer? It is very practical that the only driving principle for soccer is to score a goal.

But one metric other than goal is an assist, people are always curious to know about assists.

So without wasting time, let’s go deeper in this article.

What is an assist in football?

What is an assist in football

A soccer or football assist is awarded when a pass leads directly to a goal. The player who made the pass, intentional or not will be called assist.

It is a metric used by game officials to see which passes contributed to a goal.

There is no specific standard to record this metric. It’s not official in the Laws of the game.

It was not part of official statistics in any soccer game until 1994 when FIFA started tracking it.

What is assist?

What is assist

As earlier discussed a soccer assist is basically a pass that results in a goal.

Even if a scorer faced a defender or got tackled, the pass would be an assist as long as it was the last pass before scoring a goal.

Some assists do not have the same value. Some assists are better than others but it’s very hard to filter between a stat.

Are assists as important as goals?

Are assists as important as goals

There are no straightforward answers to these. We agree that a goal scored is most important, but sometimes the pass that led to the important.

Assists and goals are both initial parts of soccer, but certain players and positions have a preference about what is important.

For example, high-profile strikers like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will always be interested in scoring more goals, whereas midfielders like Luka Modric will tend to deliver assists to the strikers.

Can penalties have assists?

Can penalties have assists

Regarding penalties, the general rule is that the assist will be awarded to a player who wins a penalty.

That being said if the player who wins the penalty also scores a goal, then no assist will be given.

Can a goal have no assist?

It can be possible for a goal to have no authorized assist, but it matters how lenient have they recorded data.

Assists statistics are recorded by journalists, whether a player is credited with an assist or not depending on the source where it comes.

There are some stricter organizations, there are situations in which an assist isn’t recorded.

For example, you didn’t see an assist given for a penalty kick goal, When the FIFA World Cup first introduced this data they didn’t award assists if the scorer took advantage of a missed pass by an opponent.

Talking about general rules, the rules are really not structured.

There is no time limit for how long the scorer can be on the ball before netting so talking about soccer a player can dribble for around 10-15 minutes before scoring and the player who gave the pass would be still counted as an assist.

Do players get assists for their own goals?

Do players get assists for their own goals

Let us consider statistical experts opt dung the analysis of assists in soccer.

According to Opta, the definition of an assist is the final touch (pass, pass, or shot by any touch & leading to the recipient of the ball scoring a goal.

If the final touch is deflected by an opposition player, then the assist player will only be given an assist if the ruling player has received the ball without deflection.

Own goals taken by free kicks, corner goals, and penalties do not receive the ball without deflection.

So there you can’t have assist from your own goal.

Can a player assist himself?

Can a player assist himself

Practically speaking, it is quite not possible for a player to assist themselves.

The reason for this is that assists are always given to a player (always a teammate) who recorded the last touch before the goal.

Goal scorers can’t pass the ball to themselves, so always the assist will be awarded to another player.

This brings us to a new conclusion that not every goal will be awarded an assist.

For example, if a goalkeeper rolls out the ball and gives it straight to the upcoming attacker who scores the ball, then there is no chance of an assist.

What are second assists in soccer?

A second assist is defined as the last action of a player from the goal-scoring team, prior to an assist by a teammate.

Basically, it is when a player gives the ball to a player who then sets up a goal, that original passer has recorded a second assist rather than a primary assist. But this isn’t widely recorded statistics and is not used anywhere as same as primary assist.          

FIFA assist rules

FIFA assist rules

The criteria given to be counted as assist is 5 points.

  1.  An assist will be awarded to a player who passes the ball to the goal scorers.
  2. In goals scored from a ball rebounding off, the player who made the original shot on target will be awarded an assist.
  3. If a goal scorer scored without receiving a ball then no assist will awarded.
  4.  If a goal scorer takes advantage of a missed pass from the opponents then no assist will be awarded.
  5. In some cases, assists can be given to a passer or penultimate passer ( second assist)

These were the soccer assist rules created by FIFA.

Who is the king of assist in football?

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

-393 Assists

Lionel Messi the living legend stands alone in history. This Argentinian has the most assist in soccer history with 393 assist coming close to 400 milestone.

In the past 15 years spell at his favorite club Barcelona. Messi has not only scored 700 goals but also has accumulated 337 assists in his Barcelona spell.

Messi has provided 56 assists for his country Argentina leading them to FIFA World Cup glory in 2022.

So Messi is the most undisputed number 1 in soccer history.


I hope you understood the topic of what are assists in soccer.

As we know there are limitations to assists in soccer but it is an important metric given for evaluating a player’s performance.

I hope you have liked this article, have a view on these similar articles.


What is considered a assist in soccer?

A soccer assist is awarded for a pass leading to the goal.

How many assists are given in soccer?

Not more than two are given for one player.        

Who is the king of assists in football?

Lionel Messi is the king of assists.

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