Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp for Arsenal. Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba for Chelsea. Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton for Blackburn. Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole for Manchester United. The list of talented attacking duos goes on and on.
Lethal duos have not, of course, been limited to the attacking side of things, with the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic producing several years of world-class displays at the back for Manchester United, and Xavi and Andres Iniesta doing the same thing in midfield for Barcelona.
All in all, there have been plenty of outstanding duos in world football over the years. Such partnerships have been almost telepathic, with the pair linking up expertly on the pitch.
The trend of outstanding attacking duos has not stopped in recent years, with many exciting pairs showcasing their symbiotic relationship on the pitch, a relationship that has resulted in countless well-taken goals.
Here are the 5 best attacking duos in world football today:
Kevin De Bruyne & Erling Haaland – Man City
Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne has been the best creator in English football for some time now, with his stunning through balls finding the likes of Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling over the years, leading to easy tap-ins for the onrushing forwards.
Both Aguero and Sterling have left Manchester, but new face Erling Haaland has more than filled the gap, with the young Norwegian already an unstoppable force in English football after just a handful of games. The striker was already one of the deadliest in world football, but his game has somehow been taken to the next level thanks to the presence of De Bruyne behind him.
Whether it be crosses from wide or slotted balls through the middle from the Belgian, Haaland is seemingly always in the right place at the right time to find the back of the net. De Bruyne has assisted three of Haaland’s 12 goals in all competitions this season, the most recent of which came in Man City’s opening day Champions League win over Sevilla. That assist saw him equal David Silva on 122 assists for the club.
Neymar & Kylian Mbappe – PSG
Another phenomenal duo that was on display in the opening round of the new Champions League campaign was PSG stars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, with the latter netting both goals as the French side beat Juventus 2-1. His first of the evening was set up spectacularly by the skilful Brazilian. Their football this season has been a joy to watch for the neutral.
The pair are seemingly having their own battle for PSG and Ligue 1 Player of the Year, with Neymar currently on 10 goals and seven assists for the new season. Mbappe meanwhile has been quiet on the assists front, but has nine goals so far.
With zero assists for Mbappe, it is therefore Neymar who is doing most of the creative work. Three of his seven assists have been for Mbappe, with two going to bombarding full-back Achraf Hakimi and one going to both Lionel Messi and Marquinhos.
The legendary Lionel Messi does, of course, deserve a special mention when it comes to the beautiful football from PSG’s attacking lineup. He may not exactly be hitting the heights that he once reached at Barcelona, but the Argentine links up with both Neymar and Mbappe constantly. He has seven assists to his name this season; four for Mbappe and three for Neymar.
Son Heung-min & Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur
The dynamic duo of Son Heung-min and Harry Kane have been on fine form on the football pitch for many years now, culminating in February 2022 when the two combined for a goal and assist for a record 37th time in the Premier League in Tottenham’s 4-0 victory over Leeds. The duo overtook Chelsea icons Lampard and Drogba in the process, who had combined for 36 goals for the Blues.
Son hasn’t been at his best in the early stages of the new Premier League campaign, but it would be foolish to rule out the forward from returning to his outstanding dribbling and expert through balls very soon. No player has had more shots than the attacker this season without scoring (17).
Kane meanwhile has five goals from six matches this season, and is as lethal as ever in the final third, scoring all types of goals as Spurs continue their strong start. It will undoubtedly only be a matter of time before he latches onto a fine Son through ball, or indeed a whipped cross from the South Korea international.
Moreover, much like Messi to Neymar and Mbappe, recent recruit Dejan Kulusevski has been a hugely welcome addition to the partnership between Kane and Son. The winger has immediately taken to English football, with six goals and 10 assists in just 26 appearances for the club.
Lazio duo Sergej Milinković-Savić and Ciro Immobile have one of the most telepathic connections ever witnessed in world football, with the tricky striker always standing on the last man, ready and waiting for a delicately played through ball from his midfield teammate Milinković-Savić.
Since 2013/14, Italy international Immobile has won the Serie A Top Goalscorer award an incredible four times, sharing it once with Inter’s Mauro Icardi. One of those successes came with Torino, but the other three have been with Lazio, with Immobile hitting tallies of 36, 29 and 27.
And Serbian Milinković-Savić has been central to those tallies, with the midfielder registering eight, nine and 12 assists in all competitions across those three years respectively. Many of those assists have gone the way of Immobile, and that trend has continued into the new season, with the midfielder providing all of the assists for Immobile’s three goals so far. The duo are seemingly the perfect match for the iconic pitch at Stadio Olimpico.
Rafael Leão & Olivier Giroud – AC Milan
Olivier Giroud has had to be patient for regular first-team football wherever he has played, and the situation was no different in the early stages of his AC Milan career. But thanks to his fine form – and an injury to Zlatan Ibrahimovic – the striker now has a regular spot up front, and he is not wasting it.
His success has, however, been hugely reliant on teammate Rafael Leão, who has delivered countless crosses and perfectly weighted through balls to the appreciative striker. The duo have formed quite the relationship for the Italian giants over recent seasons.
The Portugal attacker certainly has a football brain, and has assisted two of Giroud’s three goals this time around, with Giroud returning the favour on one occasion with the assist for Leão’s strike in the dramatic 3-2 victory over Inter earlier this month. But the telepathic relationship has largely focused on the winger providing the goods for the striker, with five of Leão’s 12 assists last season going the way of the French international.