Bayern Munich icon Thomas Müller is the Bundesliga's assist king in more ways than one going into 2020. - © DFL
Bayern Munich icon Thomas Müller is the Bundesliga's assist king in more ways than one going into 2020. - © DFL

Thomas Müller and the top 10 Bundesliga assist makers of the decade

Bayern Munich's Thomas Müller provided more goals for his teammates than any other Bundesliga player between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2019 - but who else makes the top 10? counts down the decade's best assist makers...

1) Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich)

Assists: 140
Games: 314

Müller became the first man in Bundesliga history to chalk up 11 assists in the first half of a campaign in 2019/20, carrying on a trend that has underpinned the 30-year-old’s stellar career to date. He has been a constant supply of his teammates’ goals - while also notching up the third-most strikes in the league over the past decade with 107 goals to his name - and has hit double figures in terms of assists in nine of the last 10 seasons, with his best return the whopping 16 he laid on in 2017/18 as Bayern romped to the title a whole 21 points clear of Schalke in second.

2) Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)

Assists: 104
Games: 214

Franck Ribery left Bayern at the end of last season, bringing the curtain came down on a storied career. A hallmark of the Frenchman’s 12-year stint in the German top flight was his ability to pick out teammates in front of goal, working in tandem with Arjen Robben as the renowned Robbery double act. Ribery’s contribution of 104 assists over the decade just gone came at a consistent rate, but he started the period with a particular bang, laying on 17 league goals for his Bayern pals in 2010/11 and a stunning 21 the following campaign, the equal-best for any single season in Bundesliga history.

The left wing was the starting point for many a Franck Ribery assist in years gone by. - imago/Jan Huebner

3) Marco Reus (Borussia Mönchengladbach, Borussia Dortmund)

Assists: 82
Games: 243

Even with the injury issues that limited Marco Reus to 74 appearances out of a possible 136 between 2014/15 and 2017/18, the 44-time Germany international has still scored the second-most Bundesliga goals (122) of the last 10 years and produced the third-most assists with 82. He’s hit more than 10 assists in four separate campaigns and been involved in 30 goals in a single season twice: in 2011/12 with Borussia Mönchengladbach (18 goals/12 assists) and in 2013/14 with Dortmund (16 goals/14 assists). BVB's captain fantastic produced nine assists last term, and ended the first half of 2019/20 on four.

Watch: Marco Reus - a master at work

4) Max Kruse (St. Pauli, Freiburg, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Wolfsburg, Werder Bremen)

Assists: 76
Games: 249

Max Kruse’s 11-season association with German football came to an end in the summer of 2019, over the course of which the 14-time Germany international was a constant supplier of goals for his teammates at all five of his clubs. His best return came in a Gladbach shirt in 2013/14, where Kruse laid on 11 assists and contributed 12 goals of his own. Last year marked Kruse’s second-best season in terms of assists (10) as the 31-year-old left Werder Bremen for Turkey's Fenerbahce still at the peak of his powers.

Max Kruse took Werder Bremen to within a point of the European qualification places in 2018/19. - imago images / Nordphoto

5) Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich)

Assists: 74
Games: 307

It will come as no surprise that Robert Lewandowski tops the same list for most goals, but his appearance here may catch some off guard. It is proof of the Poland captain’s selfless streak, even though he is so often the best-placed man to hit the back of the net himself. Lewy has reached double figures for assists on three occasions, supplying 10 provisions in the Black and Yellow of Dortmund in both 2011/12 and 2013/14, as well as the red of Bayern in 2018/19.

Watch: Robert Lewandowski's silky skills

6) Mario Götze (Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich)

Assists: 68
Games: 226

A five-time Bundesliga winner, Mario Götze truly is an artist at unlocking defences. The man whose goal won the 2014 FIFA World Cup for Germany enjoyed the best returns of his career in his first spell at Dortmund, before he swapped the Signal Iduna Park for Bayern's Allianz Arena and back again. Götze’s 15 assists over the course of Dortmund’s first title win under Jürgen Klopp in 2010/11 were central to BVB’s success, and were closely followed by the 12 in 2012/13 that prompted Bayern to make their move.

Borussia Dortmund attacker Mario Götze is always good value for a goal. - /Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

7) Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)

Assists: 66
Games: 192

Cut inside from the right, bend it into the far corner on your left foot. Rinse and repeat. That formula was the routine for much of Arjen Robben’s trophy-laden spell in Bavaria, where he scored 99 goals, picked up eight league titles, five DFB Cup’s and latched onto Ribery’s pass to clinch UEFA Champions League glory for Bayern over Dortmund in 2012/13. But he also returned the favour for his teammates 66 times through the decade, including a personal best 11 in 2016/17.

Arjen Robben's was the source of hundreds of Bayern Munich goals. - 2018 DFL

8) Kevin Volland (Hoffenheim, Bayer Leverkusen)

Assists: 66
Games: 237

Kevin Volland’s versatility has seen him play across the front line for Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen since making the step up from Bundesliga 2 in 2012, the result being a whole host of goals left in his wake. He’s contributed 72 himself, while also putting 66 on a plate for his teammates across a total of 237 appearances. Those 66 assists place him eighth on the list, with his best season coming in a Hoffenheim shirt in 2012/13 (12 assists). Volland has registered double figures assists twice more: in 2015/16 with Hoffenheim, and 2018/19 with Leverkusen.

Lucas Alario (l.) knows what it's like to be on the receiving end of a Kevin Volland (r.) assist at Bayer Leverkusen. - 2019 DFL

9) Gonzalo Castro (Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund, VfB Stuttgart)

Assists: 65
Games: 246

A product of Leverkusen’s youth setup, Gonzalo Castro was an enormously consistent assist-maker over the decade, providing at least seven goals six times since 2010. His best spells came at the BayArena, where Castro chalked up a career-best 10 assists in 2013/14. While Castro didn’t quite replicate his best at Dortmund, the incredibly versatile midfielder - who can also play at full-back and on either wing - is still at it and has seven assists from 16 appearances in Bundesliga 2 already this season for promotion-chasing VfB Stuttgart.

Gonzalo Castro is hoping to make an immediate return to the Bundesliga with VfB Stuttgart. - imago

10) Lars Stindl (Karlsruhe, Hannover, Borussia Mönchengladbach)

Assists: 55
Games: 252

Lars Stindl began the decade by moving to Hannover from Karsruher in 2010 and after five seasons in Lower Saxony, Gladbach came calling. Since then, Stindl has gone on to become the club captain on the back of the kind of consistency required to feature in this 'Best of' compilation. Stindl has reached double figures for assists once, laying on 11 in 30 appearances in his maiden campaign at Borussia-Park in 2015/16. Still only 31, you can expect the Germany international to heavily to his tally as we enter the 2020s.

Lars Stindl is putting all his creative experience to good use at Borussia Mönchengladbach. - imago images/Uwe Kraft