Football

Top 10 Best Midfielders In The World 2019

top 10 best midfielders in the world

Updated on 08/10/19

We’ve seen some of the best strikers grace the game this season, from Mohamed Salah to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Yet with so much attacking flair on display, it would be negligent on our part to not mention the midfielders who have contributed to and instigated attacking moves.

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So, our top 10 best midfielders in the world rankings begin with…

10) Paul Pogba

top 10 best midfielders in the world
The Frenchman has gone from the peaks of a World Cup win last year, to rock bottom in missing out on Champions League football this year

While Manchester United have had a woeful season following the departure of Jose Mourinho, Paul Pogba has arguably been one of the Red Devil’s stand-out players, alongside Scott McTominay.

Indeed, under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Frenchman has been thriving in a new, advanced role that saw him back amongst the goals in his manager’s honeymoon period.

Consecutive braces against Cardiff City, Huddersfield Town and Bournemouth proved that it’s with Pogba within their starting XI that makes United tick, despite Mourinho’s best wishes to deny it.


And yet, there are some fans who suggest he has descended ever since, falling into a mini goalscoring drought at the end of the season.

Despite the fact that last season’s stats proved otherwise:

AppearancesGoals ScoredAssistsShotsShots On TargetShooting Accuracy
351391055048%

All in all, even though the 26-year-old brings up the rear end of our top 10 best midfielders in the world, he has proved that he is simply unplayable on his day – it is up to Solskjaer to help him find out how to channel that again.

9) Thiago Alcantara

top 10 best midfielders in the world
Fear not – with Alcantara running the engine room there is little that could go wrong…

The Barca reject has been lighting up the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich ever since he was forced into a move away from the Catalan club.

Under his new employers, everything runs through Thiago, whether that’s maintaining possession, directing traffic, or picking out crucial passes to instigate attacks.

These were the numbers he posted in the 2016/17 season, in his prime.

Were it not for an abysmal injury record, including excruciating ACL tears, the Spaniard could’ve achieved so much more with his former and current team.

Instead, the likes of Joshua Kimmich and David Alaba have risen into the limelight.

But he’s showing signs of returning in the early stages of the Bundesliga season…

AppearancesMinutes ClockedGoals ScoredAssistsShots Per GamePass Success Rate
4303000.592%

Yet as he works his way back into the ranks, there is more than enough proof to suggest that he’ll be running the midfield next season.

8) Toni Kroos

top 10 best midfielders in the world
Mr Reliable, a.k.a Toni Kroos…

Labelled as one of the most consistent and reliable players at Real Madrid, some may contest at the ranking we’ve given him in our top 10 best midfielders in the world list.

And potentially so, given that Kroos is the player that makes everything tick, a pass-master who rarely gives the ball away.

Not only is he technically adept, but also possesses a great sense of footballing know-how that allows him to transcend others in the sport.

Lo and behold:

Whether it’s finding spaces in a crowded box, or knowing when to time a crucial pass, the German midfielder is in tune.

However, a sorry season from his teammates hasn’t helped him hit the heights acquired in the previous season, despite boasting such skill and presence of mind.

True, the early stages of this season have seen Kroos back to his best.

AppearancesMinutes ClockedGoals ScoredAssistsShots Per GamePass Success Rate
7622112.392%

Perhaps this season will be different, who knows?

7) N’Golo Kante

top 10 best midfielders in the world
Expect a torrid evening to play out if you’re being marked by N’Golo Kante

From the number eight position to number six, there isn’t a role that Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante can’t adapt to.

His ability to makeup ground quickly, position himself well and tackle cleanly and efficiently makes him one of the most difficult players to play against.

So much so, that even Arsene Wenger couldn’t help praising him. The Frenchman commented:

”He is one of the most influential midfielders I’ve seen play football. He constantly makes simple decisions and never overcomplicates it”.

Indeed, the two-time Premier League Champion and World Cup winner doesn’t give you an inch of space to exploit or make use of, such is the manner of which he defends and guards his patch of turf.

And that much was clear in his stats for last season’s campaign. Lo and behold:

AppearancesGoals ScoredAssistsBig Chances CreatedPasses Per MatchRecoveries
3644456238

Yet he has also shown that he can dabble in the art of goalscoring, making him just as coy in attack as he is in his defending.

6) Axel Witsel

top 10 best midfielder in the world
Witsel has been one of Dortmund’s players of the season

The Belgian deservedly earns the sixth position in our top 10 best midfielders in the world list for a stellar season that nearly saw his team clinch the Bundesliga title.

Running the engine room for BVB, Witsel has been ruthless in the centre of the park, whether it’s making crucial interceptions or retaining possession and kick-starting pacey counterattacks.

Indeed the 30-year-old has won 71 per cent of his tackles this year and has scored 3 goals that helped the Black and Yellow quartet to take the title chase to the last day of the season.

And this season he’s already proving to be just as crucial…

AppearancesGoals ScoredAssistsMinutes ClockedShots Per GamePass Success Rate
5134380.591%

Given that Dortmund will need to stake a similar challenge next year on Bayern, Witsel will need to emulate the successes of this year and once again pull the strings at the heart of the midfield.

5) Gini Wijnaldum

top 10 best midfielders in the world
Difficult to mark, slick with the passes, and cheeky with the skills…

When Liverpool invested in Fabinho and Naby Keita, many assumed that this would see Wijnaldum fall down the pecking order. Instead, Jurgen Klopp has found a way to involve him within the first-team plans, rejuvenating the heart of the Reds midfield.

The Holland international has displayed his versatility in excelling in both the number six and eight roles, yet is also capable of playing anywhere across the centre of the park – including the fullback roles that Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold currently hold.

And last season he showcased exactly that:

AppearancesGoals ScoredPasses Per GameAccurate Long BallsPassesRecoveries
35350571769182

His slick dribbling, passing ability and link-up play have made for an attractive midfield line-up, one that sees him leading the attacking charge – evident for all to see in his Champions League brace against Spanish giants Barcelona, despite the fact that he was ill the previous day.

Indeed, James Milner’s words summed it up nicely:

”It’s been a tough few weeks with players injured and ill. Georginio Wijnaldum was nowhere to be seen yesterday and then he produces a performance like that”

He more than anyone has stitched together Liverpool’s excellent defence with their excellent attack, and nabbed at £25 million from Newcastle, Merseysiders will be revelling in how much he has done for them for such a weightless price tag.

4) Bernardo Silva

top 10 best midfielders in the world
The goal that won City the title, delivered by Bernardo against Jurgen Klopp’s men

The ‘tireless playmaker’ – one of many monikers applied to the Brazilian – misses out on the big three in our top 10 best midfielders in the world, but in no way, shape or form does that detract from his performances this season.

Indeed, Bernardo has displayed great feats of stamina and determination ton continuously execute attacking movements for City and is often at the heart of such counterattacks with goals and assists alike.

https://twitter.com/bernardocsilva/status/1121170208507535361

None more so evident than in arguably the biggest and more important game they played this season at home against, then, fellow title contenders Liverpool.

With 13.7km of running notched under his belt, the 24-year-old netted in the 54th minute to seal the three points for the Sky Blues – Liverpool’s only defeat of the season, and what inevitably cost them the title.

And he was consistent with these performances across the season…

AppearancesGoals ScoredAssistsPasses Per MatchThrough BallsBig Chances Created
3677471010

Yet it was Silva’s slippery style of play, and determination to chase down everything that led to the chance being curated – one that in hindsight Reds fan can only sit back and rue.

3) Sergio Busquets

top 10 best midfielders in the world
Nothing gets past Busquets…

When asked to think of the most complete midfielder that comes to mind and most people will utter the name Sergio Busquets.

And you only have to look at some of the stats he’s already amassed this season to understand why…

AppearancesMinutes ClockedGoals ScoredAssistsShots Per GamePass Success Rate
5424020.290%

The Barca man is not the fastest, the most skilled or the wiliest in fouls. Instead, his ability to read the game, which comes to him as naturally as his native tongue, means he is always one step ahead of opposition players.

Hailed by the best in the world by what some call his long term replacement – Frenkie De Jong –  there is no doubt that the grace, poise and composure displayed by the Spaniard derive from some of the best we’ve seen in the great game that is football.

2) Luka Modric

top 10 best midfielders in the world
What a year it’s been for this man…

With a World Cup Golden Ball, UEFA Player of the Season award, and FIFA Player of the Season award all his, 2018 was a good year for Luka Modric.

As the penultimate figure in our top 10 best midfielders in the world, the Madrid maestro’s class and footballing know-how make him the first player on any team sheet and one that consistently dazzles in and around the centre of the park.

True, Modric is yet to get up and running this season…

AppearancesMinutes ClockedGoals ScoredAssistsShots Per GamePass Success Rate
110001193%

But he does have a tireless style of play:

“You never get tired of winning.”

Whether it’s picking out key passes or making darting runs into the box – as England fans will know only too well from their World Cup ventures – Modric is incredibly difficult to mark against and can pick out the killer ball to pick apart any defence.

1) Tanguy Ndombele

top 10 best midfielders in the world
Ndombele has been a beast of a midfielder this season for Lyon and is attracting attention from Premier League clubs…

Leading the charge in our top 10 best midfielders in the world is none other than Lyon’s Tanguy Ndombele.

The French midfielder is a beast of a player to mark and possess plenty of traits that make him one of the best in his position in the world.

Boasting 5.65 dribbles per game with an 81.6% completion rate, Ndombele is a natural and dangerous dribbler.

His dribbling style combined with an impressive strength on the ball allows him to power through opposition midfield areas without being knocked off his perch.

What’s more, to pair this stellar physical strength, Ndombele also has a great eye for creative passes and attacking flair – not only does he thrive in his own play, but can also be the provider with stunning through-balls.

The 22-year-old has a remarkable 89% pass success rate, which is what makes him all the more threatening in the final third.

And he’s shown exactly that in the early stages of the Premier League season under Spurs…

AppearancesGoals ScoredAssistsTacklesTackle Success RatePasses Per Game
5211675%38

Alongside his obvious attacking prowess, the Frenchman is also just as adept in defending, often breaking up play and reclaiming possession.

All the hallmarks suggest that this young Lyon midfielder will go on to become one of the best in the league, if not in world football.

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