Top 10 Best Midfielders In The World

Except you are a fan of football, you may not know the role and impact made by midfielders in the field of play. It is a known fact that the players in the middle of the field control the tempo and dictate the flow of the game.

With the way in which football is evolving in recent times, it is right to say that the midfielders are the engine room of the team. Obviously, the midfielders link the defense of the team and the forward. They boss the game, create chances and goal-scoring opportunities for forwards, and fall back to help the defense.

That being said, the success of a football team significantly rests on the shoulders of the midfielders. Tactical managers such as Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel are conscious of having a strong midfield. Depending on the type of formation, midfielders can operate as box-to-box midfielders, deep-lying playmakers, holding midfielders, and attacking midfielders.

We have recognized some midfielders who doing incredibly well for both club and country and in this article, we will go through the top ten best midfielders in the world. Do you want to know which midfielder makes it into our top 10?

Below are the top ten midfielders in the world right now:

10. Joshua Kimmich

In a few years from now, Toni Kross will announce his retirement from international football and pass the baton to Joshua Kimmich. It is no secret that the Kimmich is the future of the German midfield. He formed a partnership with Leon Goretzka at the heart of the Bayern midfield and together, they helped Bayern win its ninth consecutive Bundesliga title in the 2020/2021 season.  

As a versatile player, Kimmich can be deployed at center-back, right-back, centre midfielder, or the right side of the midfield. He is known for his aggression, precise shooting, passing, and versatility. He is able to move the ball over the pitch and is not shy of making important tackles and fouls to win back possession. Perhaps, his sizzling performance could be one of the reasons why Bayern Munich won a treble in 2020/21.

Kimmich is seen as a future leader and may be called to wear the captain’s armband from Manuel Neuer for both club and country.

9. Toni Kroos

Toni Kross is an important member of Real Madrid and the German national football team. Kroos, a product of the Bayern Munich youth academy started his professional career in 2007 with Bayern Munich. He also wore the shirts of Bayer Leverkusen for a single season on a loan from Bayern. In 2014, Kroos sealed a transfer move to Spanish giants, Real Madrid. He also helped Germany to win the FIFA World Cup in 2014.

Toni Kroos is known for his great vision on the pitch, sublime passing ability, and shooting. He is the dangerman and the engine of the Madrid midfield. Kroos is one of the top midfielders in the world and he has continued to show that he can maintain his current form at a high level in years to come.

Despite enduring a difficult season in Zidane’s final year as Real Madrid manager, Kross enjoyed a successful time under the French. Zidane moved Kross into a deeper role, which allowed him to influence the tone of the game from the initial get-go. His accurate passing and precise shooting make him a vital player at the Santiago Bernabeu.

In 2016, Kroos won the IFFHS World’s Best Playmaker Bronze award and in 2017, he won the IFFHS World’s Best Playmaker Silver award. In 2018, he was named the Footballer of the Year in Germany. The following year, he won the GQ athlete of the year.

8. Nicolò Barella

Barella has been a revelation to club and country. He made headlines in 2021 after leading Inter Milan to the Serie A title and the Azzurri to win the Euro 2020. Nicolo Barella’s performance over the last 12 months has been phenomenal. He’s super reliable in midfield, as his passing is excellent and he never gives away possession.

Nicola Barella is an excellent ballplayer. Being one of the regular starters in Inter Milan and the Italian national football team, he was able to help the team win the league title and the EURO 2020 trophy. We hope to see more of Nicolo Barella in years to come – especially in the UEFA Champions League.

7. Leon Goretzka

Leon Goretzka is a German footballer who plays a midfielder for Bayern Munich and the German national team. Liverpool, Manchester City, and Barcelona were all keen on signing Goretzka until he signed a new long-term contract that keeps him tied to Bayern till 2026. The contract extension silences all rumors and speculations of him leaving the Bavarians.

Leon Goretzka is a dynamic figure in the Bayern Munich midfield. Together with Joshua Kimmich, Goretzka has made the Bayern team a terror to other clubs in Europe. Although he has yet to reach the heights, he has the potential to be a world champion. Goretzka’s collaboration with Joshua Kimmich has been instrumental for the success at the club and national level.

Leon Goretzka is an excellent midfielder with great reading and understanding of the game. There’s more to get him before he hangs up his boots.

6. Frankie de Jong

Frankie de Jong offers his best no matter the position he plays in. As you would expect from a player who came through the ranks of Ajax, de Jong possesses strong football abilities and techniques. The Dutch midfielder currently plays as a midfielder for La-Liga side, Barcelona.

De Jong deserves a place in our rankings, the Dutchman’s performances and contributions to Barcelona have been convincing. Having settled into his new role at Barcelona, the Netherlands international has grown to become one of the best midfielders on the planet

Frankie de Jong is an intelligent midfielder who offers a lot of versatility. He is known for his technique on the ball, passing, dribbling, vision, defensive, and attacking prowess.

5. Luka Modric

Modric, perhaps, deserves a better position in this list. Despite being 35 years, the Croatian legend hasn’t stopped producing magic moments and match-winning performances for club and country. Modric’s contributions to Real Madrid cannot be overemphasized. His presence in the midfield fuels the team, his passing ability is great and his shooting ability is nothing but fantastic. Modric is a complete playmaker.

His retirement is not far off, but I strongly believe that the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner still has some things to offer before calling it a day. Modric is an inspiration to the Croatian national team, having captained the side to secure second place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He also won the World Soccer Player of the Year award in 2018.

He started his football career with Croatian side, Dinamo Zagreb before joining Tottenham Hotspur in 2008. In 2012, he moved to Real Madrid and has become an important member of the squad since then. Modric was part of the side that won three consecutive UCL titles under Zinedine Zidane. In the 2017/18 season, he won the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award. In 2018, he won the AIPS Athlete of the Year and IFFHS World’s Best Playmaker award.

4. Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United star, Bruno Fernandes is one of the best midfielders in the world today. Ever since he made the move from Sporting CP, Bruno Fernandes has been making the news in the EPL and the world of football in general. The Portuguese playmaker made headlines after scoring 40 goals and 26 assists within his first 80 games for Manchester United.

His presence in the United midfield brings back the lost balance that felt during the days of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes. Bruno is a creative midfielder who excels at offensive play. He sharpens the Manchester United attack and makes them look threatening when on the ball. Despite producing impact and electrifying performances for the Red Devils, Fernandes is yet to replicate this form for the Portugal national team.

3. Kevin De Bruyne

Over the years, Kevin De Bruyne has proven why he is the best playmaker on the planet. The Belgian international has all the abilities of a modern midfielder. He’s creative, has a killer eye for goals, creating opportunities, and is a leader on the pitch. His dribbling passing, vision, tackling, and shooting skills have endeared him to many football fans and his quality in the Manchester City side is immeasurable.

When in form, Kevin De Bruyne will show you the quality he is made of. Although he spent some amount of time on the sidelines last season due to injuries, he has impressed football pundits and fans by displaying the stuff he’s made of when employed to play on the pitch. De Bruyne’s tactical intelligence, athleticism, and outstanding long-range passing and shooting justify why Pep Guardiola needed him in his Manchester City side.

In the world of Belgian manager, Roberto Martinez, “For me, De Bruyne is the best playmaker in world football. The capacity he has to read the game, to play with appreciation of time and space is unique”.  Even though he missed out on the UEFA Men’s Player of the year award in 2021, Kevin De Bruyne will be disappointed for losing the UEFA Champions League final to Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side.

Kevin De Bruyne is a product of the Genk youth academy. In 2008, he started his professional career after promotion to the Genk senior team. His ease of play and quality on the ball attracted scouts of top European clubs.

In 2012, he signed for Chelsea before leaving on loan to Vfl Wolfsburg. He excelled in VfL Wolfsburg before signing for Manchester City in 2015. He helped his country to a third-place finish at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. To date, Chelsea regretted letting Kevin De Bruyne go.

2. Jorginho

What a year the Italian has had. Jorginho won the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea in 2021 before winning the Euro 2020 with Italy. He also helped Chelsea to win the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup. Personally, I feel that Jorginho is the most underrated midfielder in the world. Most people are not aware of his quality, so permit me to do a formal introduction.

Jorginho, born Jorge Luiz Frello Filho plays as a midfielder for English Premier League giants, Chelsea, and the Italy national team (Azzuri). Although he is of Brazilian descent, he was born in Brazil Jorginho nationalized for Italy but moved to Italy when he was 15. His paternal great-grandfather, Giacomo Frello hails from Lusiana, Veneto and this helped me get Italian citizenship. is playing a significant role in the Azzurri. Jorginho operates as a deep-lying midfielder, which some may consider as a defensive midfielder. His role on the pitch is simple: dictate the play and control the tempo of the game.

Jorginho arrived in Chelsea from Napoli for £50m with £7m in potential add-ons and has grown to become a regular at the club. At first, some Chelsea fans who weren’t impressed with “Sarriball” clamored for the sale of the Italian. However, the arrival of Thomas Tuchel has added balance to the base of the midfield as Jorginho is paired with either Mateo Kovacic or N’golo Kante.

Jorginho plays a crucial role for Chelsea and most people do not see this. Obviously, Jorginho is underrated. Many people do not consider him as a great midfielder probably because he lacks pace and doesn’t take long-range shots or scores free-kicks often. Jorginho is not huge or physically imposing but has the capability to read the game. His tactical intelligence, passing accuracy, work rate, technique, vision, ability to cover ground, intercept passed, and press opponent up the pitch makes him an ideal midfielder.

Jorginho is composed and clinical when it comes to taking penalty kicks. His style of taking penalty kicks is unique and he scores with ease; no stress. Little wonder why Pep Guardiola wanted to sign him in Manchester City but he ended up joining Chelsea instead.

At the national level, Jorginho is central to the success of Roberto Mancini’s side in their Euro 2020 outing. He ranked second in the competition for most passes completes (529) and ball recoveries (42). Jorginho is a player every technical coach desires to have in his team. You rarely notice him during football games but when he isn’t playing, his absence is felt.

Jorginho has a remarkable 2021, he won trophies for both club and country and was nominated for the Ballon d’Or award. He won the 2021/21 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year and won third place at the 2021 Ballon d’Or ceremony.

Without a doubt, Jorginho is one of the finest midfielders in the world. There’s a lot of speculation about his future. There are rumors linking him with a return to Italy, with Juventus interested in signing him. But at the moment, he is focused on helping Tuchel build ‘a team that no one wants to play against’.

1. N’golo Kante

Without any doubt, N’Golo Kanté is the best midfielder in the world right now. He currently plies his trade with English Premier League outfit, Chelsea, and the France national team. Ten years ago, no one knew Kante but today everyone is aware of his talent and the strength he brings to the team.

He started his senior career with Boulogne in 2012 and after a single season, he swapped for Caen. He joined Leicester City in 2015 and shortly after, sealed a transfer to Chelsea in 2016. Ever since Kante joined Chelsea from Leicester City, he has had a remarkable career.

Kante was the driving force to Chelsea’s push to the UCL title in the 2020/21 season. Arguably, he is one of Chelsea’s standout performers this season. Currently, he is the best world defensive midfielder in the world and every club desires to have him play for their team. Elite clubs such as Paris St Germain, Real Madrid, and Manchester United are linked to a move for the French international.

Kante is able to single-handedly dominate the midfield, tear defenses apart and destroy the game plans of the opponents. He has had an explosive football career having won consecutive Premier League titles with Leicester City and Chelsea respectively, the Emirate FA Cup, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup, FIFA World Cup, and the UEFA Champions League.

Apart from the trophies and medals he has won, Kante has some individual awards. In 2017, he was got the PFA player of the year award. He was named French Player of the Year in 2017 and in 2019, he won the ESPN Midfielder of the Year award. On the national level, he helped his team, France win the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. He also helped France to second place in the UEFA European Championship in 2016. In 2018, he received the Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur award.

It is not rocket science that his outstanding performance especially against Real Madrid and Manchester City were crucial in helping Chelsea win Europe’s most cherished trophy. Kante is a treasure to Thomas Tuchel’s team, despite his injury problems and age, Chelsea will not be quick to let him go. When Tuchel arrived in Chelsea in January 2021, he claimed that Kante is a player he wanted in PSG and it is not hard to see why he needed such an excellent all-around midfielder.

Kante has an excellent work rate, he covers virtually every area of grass in the pitch, and his impact is noticed. He thrives in acceleration, defense, interceptions, recovering possession, and creating opportunities for teammates. Kante covers over 11km a match and averages 2.6 interceptions per game. He does the dirty job of pressing opponents and making important tackles recover possession. Kante is the world’s best defensive midfielder, he is renowned for his relentless ball-winning abilities.

In 2021, Kante beat out Kevin De Bruyne and his club teammate, Jorginho to win the UEFA Champions League’s midfielder of the season award. This is due to his defensive acumen and Player of the Year performances in the UCL semi-finals and finals against Real Madrid and Manchester City respectively.

Worthy Mentions

They are lots of midfielders doing extremely well for their teams that could have appeared in our list but weren’t mentioned due to reasons such as opinion, record, statistics, and comparison. The following midfielders are worthy of mention, they have had a great season and have the potential to grow into their respective careers.

They include:

  • Casemiro
  • Fabinho
  • Paul Pogba
  • Mateo Kovacic
  • Nicolo Barella
  • Koke
  • Mason Mount
  • Hakan Chalhanoglu
  • Marcelo Brozovic
  • Wilfred Ndidi
  • Declan Rice
  • Marcos Llorente
  • Jordan Henderson
  • Rodrigo De Paul

Conclusion

This article of the best midfielders in the world is based on our own opinion, observation, and analysis of the individual player’s game and overall performance for both club and country. If you feel that we left out a midfielder off this list, feel free to leave a comment and tell us why that midfielder is one of the best in his position.