The 5 best attacking duos in world football

Lethal attacking duos have a habit of leaving a habit of leaving their mark on football history.

Bergkamp and Henry. Yorke and Cole. Inzaghi and Del Piero. Raul and Morientes. The list goes on and on.

There's something truly special about the near-telepathic understanding world-class forwards can strike up.

In this article, we'll list our picks for the five best attacking duos today following in the footsteps of the legends above.

The five best attacking duos today

The 2023 summer transfer window saw two of the world's best attacking duos broken up. Harry Kane left Heung-Min Son behind at Spurs, and Kylian Mbappe saw Neymar leave PSG.

During the course of 2023/24, we've seen several world-class duos emerge in their place.

Bukayo Saka and Martin Ødegaard

Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka run the Arsenal attack – Photo by Icon Sport

Arsenal's attack is notoriously lop-sided. But who can be surprised?

Bukayo Saka and Martin Ødegaard are two of the best players in the Premier League, and both play on the Gunners' right side, with some overlapping assistance from Ben White.

This season, Ødegaard leads midfielders in the top five European leagues for chances created from open play, successful through balls, passes into the penalty area and passes into the final third, while still finding the time to score 11 goals.

The man at the end of many of those passes is Bukayo Saka. The Englishman has scored 18 and assisted 14 this season to date.

Ironically, despite playing on the right, both Saka and Ødegaard are left-footed. Both star in our top 10 left-footed players list.

If Arsenal can beat the odds and end Manchester City's Premier League monopoly, it will be thanks to their dynamic right-sided duo.

Harry Kane and Leroy Sané

Harry Kane and Leroy Sane struck up a connection quickly – Photo by Icon Sport

After striking up one of the Premier League's most prolific partnerships with Son, Kane has wasted no time in making new attacking friends.

Leroy Sané is a very different player to Son, but the German shares one key attribute with the South Korean. Searing, blistering pace.

Kane's signature creative move is to drop out of the traditional number nine spot and sweep an inch-perfect long pass out to the wing for an onrushing winger, who he already knows is on the move.

Oh, and Kane has scored 40 goals so far this season, too.

Bayern may not be their dominant best this season, but the Bavarians still pack an attacking punch, thanks to their attacking duo.

Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland could lead Manchester City to a record fourth Premier League in a row – Photo by Icon Sport

We haven't seen quite as much of the lethal Kevin De Bruyne to Erling Haaland attacking pipeline this season, in large part on account of injury.

Though we have seen glimpses of arguably the most direct of Europe's best-attacking duos.

Most notably in the FA Cup against Luton, where Haaland scored four, all of which were assisted by Haaland.

But both are phenomenal players in their own right, too.

De Bruyne is arguably the best Premier League midfielder of all time, and no player has scored more goals than Haaland since the start of 2022/23

Lautaro Martínez and Marcus Thuram

Marcus Thuram and Lautaro Martinez have led Inter to glory – Photo by Icon Sport

Moving over to Italy, Lautaro Martinez has continued his remarkable penchant for forming strike partnerships year after year.

In 2020/21, it was Romelu Lukaku. In 2021/22 and 2022/23 it was Edin Dzeko. This season, he has formed one of the best-attacking duos around with Marcus Thuram.

Thuram, who joined on a free transfer from Borussia Monchengladbach, has proven the perfect foil for the diminutive Argentinian.

The Frenchman is an intelligent and powerful runner who uses his movement and physicality to open up space for his partner.

It has paid off. Martinez is having a career-best season, with 26 goals and a trio of assists on top. Thuram has netted 14 and set up a further seven.

The pair have led Inter on an extraordinary Serie A campaign. The Nerazzurri have wrapped up the Scudetto with five games to go and have only lost once all season.

Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo

The best attacking duo in Spain is Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior
Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior are capable of putting any team to the sword – Photo by Icon Sport

Jude Bellingham is unfortunate to miss out here, but we're plumping for Real Madrid's pair of Brazilian wing wizards in this list of the best-attacking duos.

Both 23-year-old Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo have terrorised defenders for seasons now, but 2023/24 might just be their best campaign yet.

Vinícius Júnior has 19 goals and nine assists, and Rodryo has 18 goals and seven assists, with a month left to play.

The pair have a superb and intuitive understanding of one another, and frequently swap positions to cause opposition headaches.

Los Merengues have La Liga all but wrapped up, but the pair save their best exploits for the Champions League.

Nowhere was this more evident than against Manchester City, when Vinícius hared down the right wing and found his old friend in the middle, who converted to score a crucial goal.

William Evans is a football and politics fanatic. A first-class graduate of UEA's Broadcast and Digital Journalism MA course, he also achieved a first class degree in politics and media studies during his time at UEA.