Midfielders are the one who controls the game from behind. They maintain possession and give key passes from which the best part of the game comes: Goal! These players are the link between attack and defence, often playing defence-splitting passes and breaking up opposition play as and when required.
Over the last year, we have witnessed many amazing midfielders go about their business. All the best teams across Europe have that one player capable of making a difference at the centre of the field. Let us have a loot at some of the best midfielders in the world right now.
Here are the top 15 midfielders in the world right now. We have not included players who also play as forwards such as Hazard or Sterling.
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15. Paul Pogba
United struggled without Pogba, just as any side would without their most expensive and most important player. He is smart and quick. Strong in aerial duels , through balls and long distance shots. He likes to do layoffs but commits foul often. Sometimes his concentration falls too quick, otherwise, he is a complete midfielder. He can takes penalties and free-kicks too.
Koke is a selfless player with an incredible engine, his energetic displays and never-say-die attitude reflect the values instilled by coach Diego Simeone at the capital club. He provides much more than just work rate, with the capability of playing in a variety of roles across the midfield and the technical ability to provide a threat in the final third.
Aged 27, Koke has already racked up a remarkable 415 appearances for his boyhood club on their journey from dark horses to Champions League contenders and Spanish title-winners.
Barcelona legend Xavi even identified Koke as his successor for the national team: “He has everything: talent, physical ability, he is a footballer of the present and the future,” he said.
Aged 32, Fernandinho still has a lot to offer. This midfielder is one of the key players of Guardiola who has been brilliant so far. He is quite strong in passing and an appropriate defensive midfielder in his interceptions. He makes important tackles and also contribute in City’s attack.
Fernandinho is a real class in midfield with an approx 90% passing accuracy last season. He is undoubtedly, one of the best midfielders in the world right now.
If it is about tackling and interceptions, Casemiro is the leader among the defensive midfielders right this time. Zidane made this Brazilian with his hands and it showed his true colour last season. With average 3 crucial interceptions per match he has been the match turner for Real Madrid for the past couple of seasons.
11. Frenkie de Jong
Barcelona’s latest signing is one of the hottest prospects in the world. http://gty.im/1164550746 The ex-Ajax midfielder’s composure on the ball is one of his most startling qualities, as the Netherlands international displays a confidence and patience that belies his tender years.
That quality could only grow further at Camp Nou next season as this superstar-in-the-making takes the next step in his ascendancy after a year in which he has won the domestic double, reached the Champions League semi-finals and established a fixed spot in the Dutch midfield.
10. Christian Eriksen
Consistency, rather than talent, has been Eriksen’s issue since joining Spurs in 2013 but the Danish international now has matured. He has been one of Spurs’ star players over the past couple of seasons.
The bad news for Tottenham fans is that the 27-year-old is now talking about the next challenge and whether that’s Real Madrid, PSG or somewhere else, his next club will be picking up one of the best midfielders in the world right now.
9. Sergio Busquets
Barcelona has witnessed many great midfielders in recent history, but Busquets fits the best defensive midfielder crown of the Catalan side with no doubt. He dribbles and flips the side by side to dodge the attackers. He lies to dominate the midfield. Busquets is also strong in key passes and aerial duels.
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8. Thiago Alcantara
This Barcelona academy graduate was brilliant last season for Bayern Munich. He has often been the link between attack and defence for the Bundesliga champions. He is very strong in passing, ball interceptions and defensive play work. Alcantara also likes to play long ball. Though he is not much of a goalscorer, but he has maintained 90% passing accuracy.
7. Miralem Pjanic
The Bosnian is a glorious player who dictates the tempo of matches for Juventus and has been one of Europe’s most quietly consistent players for quite some time. One of the best midfielders in the world right now, Pjanic has won Serie A in all three of his full seasons since signing from Roma in 2016.
6. Marco Verratti
Often compared to Andrea Pirlo, Verratti is known for his brilliant ball retention skills and his ability to pick out the right pass under pressure. Always ensuring that the ball keeps moving at the centre of the park, the Italian is probably one of the best midfielders of the world in recent times.
Xavi told about him, “He’s one of the best midfielders in the world, and plays a little bit in the same way as I tried to do with Barcelona and the national team. Verratti likes having the ball. He also has perfect mastery over long and short passing, he can play the final ball, and he doesn’t lose the ball that easily. He is really a very high-class player.”
5. David Silva
One of the reason behind Manchester City’s success over the past decade is David Silva. He is a talented and agile left-footed player. He is known for having an excellent first touch, good dribbling skills, and outstanding technical ability, which, along with his intelligent attacking movements, allow him to retain possession in tight spaces, and to create space for himself and teammates to open up a defence.
4. N’Golo Kanté
Crowned with the PFA Player of the Year in 2017, N’golo Kante has undoubtedly been one of the most effective midfielder in the Premier League over the past couple of seasons. He is strong in tackling and interceptions. He wasn’t in his fluid best last season, as he played most of the games out of position. But with change in management, it is likely he will go back to his normal position in the centre of midfield.
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3. = Toni Kroos
Toni Kroos has arguably taken his game to new heights ever since he made the switch to Madrid from Bayern Munich. Calm, composed and always assured on the ball, Kroos is the conductor in the midfield who pulls the strings for the Spanish giants. He was the pillar of the Madrid’s five trophy venture in 2017-18.
3. = Bernardo Silva
What a year it’s been for the Portuguese playmaker. The £43m signing from Monaco was snapped up as a wide player originally, but has been assumed an influential central role in the absence of an injured Kevin De Bruyne and thrived.
He played an important role in Manchester City’s domestic treble last season. He was also the man of the tournament in Portugal’s triumph of UEFA Nations League.
“I love him” said Guardiola in February. “He’s one of the most talented players I’ve ever seen, he can play three of four positions. Maybe this season he’s one of the two, three best players in the Premier League.”
2. Luka Modric
This Croatian proved himself for the first time in Tottenham days and in the past couple of seasons along with Kroos, he was absolutely sensational, being one of the major reasons in Real Madrid’s hat-tricks of UCL. Modric is innovative, skillful and trickster. A strong dribbler and likes to play long balls.
Modric is an influential midfielder who raises the game of those around him. He suffered a torrid start to 2018/19 off the back of a gruelling summer, and won’t look back on the campaign with anywhere near the same warmth as the last, but there’s no doubting his quality.
1. Kevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne isn’t the best footballer in the world, but he’s arguably the most complete. Creative, powerful, skilful and dynamic, the Manchester City man can pass, shoot, dribble, tackle and cross – and all with either foot.
The Belgian contributes in every phase of the game; he has the technical ability of a luxury player without being anything like a luxury. He was the star man in Manchester City’s record-breaking title triumph in 2017-18.
De Bruyne was injured for the majority of the games in the following season. But whenever he got chance, he proved why he is one of the best midfielders in the world right now.
Checkout : 15 Best Strikers In The World Right Now