Midfielders are the backbone of every football team, regulating the flow of play and managing the game. In this article, we honor the 15 best midfielders in the world who have contributed a lot to football of the world . These players did more than just play the game; their roles are more than midfielders, influencing generations of football fans. They were truly masters of their trade, and their legacy continues on in the beautiful game.
The 15 Best Midfielders In The World
1. Diego Maradona
While Peter Shilton may disagree, Diego Maradona is the greatest talented midfielder in the history of the game. “Undoubtedly, the best of the bunch,” Brazilian superstar Zico stated. “In my generation, in my era, he was simply the best.”He was always being observed, and he could always conjure up magnificent pieces of enchantment. He was the greatest midfielder in history.”
This position features a number of well-known players who may have a huge impact on game outcomes. Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, and Michael Laudrup are among England’s top 20 all-time midfielders. Among them are Johan Cruyff, David Beckham, Johan Neeskens, Luka Modric, and others.
2. Michel Platini
Michel Platini is one of France’s finest exports, having won the European Championships in 1984 while also being chosen the best player and scoring the most goals.
He achieved a lot of success in France with Nancy, Saint-Etienne, and Juventus.
3. Andres Iniesta
Andres Iniesta, like Xavi, is Barcelona’s midfield’s heartbeat.
The 28-year-old is a La Masia product and a devoted Catalan, embracing the tiki-taka techniques that his favorite Spanish club lives and dies by.
Pep Guardiola recently told Xavi that if he saw Iniesta’s abilities, he would retire them both one day; his close control and ability with the ball at his feet is simply mesmerizing.
Didi won two FIFA World Cups for Brazil (1958 and 1962), playing alongside legends like Garrincha and Pele.
He was praised for his perfect technique and trademark free kicks, which led to a transfer to Real Madrid. Despite his brief stint in Spain, he was able to win two European Cups.
5. Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane, the legendary midfielder, will be remembered for many reasons.
Juventini supporters will remember him fondly for his role in helping them win the Serie A title, Los Blancos fans will remember him for the UEFA Champions League trophy he helped them achieve, and French citizens will remember him for his outstanding performances on the international stage.
He was the world’s finest No. 10 when France won the 1998 FIFA World Cup on home soil, and the world’s most notorious when he headbutted Marco Materazzi in 2006.
6. Andrea Pirlo
There aren’t many players who have won the UEFA Champions League twice—although several appear on our list, so it may not appear so—but during Andrea Pirlo’s decade-long spell at AC Milan, that was just one of many laurels he received.
The Italian was a key figure in his country’s 2006 FIFA World Cup victory, as well as the hero of a Euro 2012 squad.
Domestically, he is as powerful as ever, commanding a midfield that seems certain to win the Scudetto for the second time in a row.
7 Paul Scholes
For the last two decades, Paul Scholes has been identified with Manchester United.
Under Sir Alex Ferguson, he won ten English Premier League championships and two UEFA Champions League winners’ medals, and he even came out of retirement last season to support his club.
He is largely anticipated to retire at the conclusion of the season, capping off an extraordinary career. Xavi looks up to Scholes as his idol.
8 Xavi Hernandez
Xavi, one of the few players on this list who is still active today, confirmed his value to Barcelona after the club’s 4-0 victory over Milan at the Camp Nou.
The Spaniard, now renowned as a pass maestro, is the metronome in a tiki-taka style employed at both the local and international levels, sending the ball out more than 100 times every game to keep his colleagues humming.
Given his immense talent, it’s difficult to find a more humble player.
9 Lothar Matthaus
Lothar Matthaus is one of the select few captains who have won the FIFA World Cup.
His outstanding skill set took him from Borussia Mönchengladbach to Bayern Munich in a flash, and he went on to join Inter and bring the Scudetto to the San Siro fans.
He has the most international caps (150) in German football history and has competed in nine major tournaments during his career.
10 Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard scored 20 or more goals in five consecutive seasons from 2005 to 2010.
He reached the 200-goal mark in March 2013, becoming Chelsea’s second all-time best scorer.
The club record is 202, and “Super Frank” will be looking to add three more before his contract ends this summer in order to take the top spot in Stamford Bridge’s history books.
11 Luis Figo
Luis Figo’s career is practically littered with medals, and he’s also one of the few players to have played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid — an act that prompted one irate fan to hurl a pig’s head at him while taking a corner.
The only thing missing from his trophy cabinet is an international medal, but he came close in 2004 as a runner-up with Portugal in the European Championships.
Clodoaldo was an important piece in Brazil’s 1970 FIFA World Cup-winning midfield, acting as a defensive midfielder and keeping the team together while the offensive talents broke loose.
He was naturally competitive and cautious, but his participation in Carlos Alberto Torres’ goal against Italy—in which “Corro” dribbled past four opposing players in his own half—surprised him.
He also contributed to Santos winning the Campeonato Paulista five times.
13 Johan Cruyff
Johan Cruyff has contributed much to football.
He was the face and essence of Rinus Michels’ complete football at both Ajax and the Netherlands, along with a few others, and he’s famed for scoring what has been nicknamed “the impossible goal.”
After he retired, he became an influential club manager, and much of Barcelona’s excellent work can be traced back to him.
14 Rob Rensenbrink
Rob Rensenbrink is a Dutch footballer who became a hero in Belgium thanks to his goalscoring exploits on the left wing for Anderlecht.
He played in two FIFA World Cup finals but lost both, sharing a team sheet with superstars such as Johan Neeskens and Johan Cruyff.
Gerson was instrumental in Brazil’s World Cup victory in 1970, sitting in the middle and spraying passes to his wingers with his exceptional range.
After being handed the “impossible task” of man-marking Garrincha in a cup final, he opted to join the bow-legged genius at Botafogo so he wouldn’t have to attempt again.
That’s all about The 15 Best Midfielders In The World have left an indelible mark on football history. Their creativity, vision, and ability to control the game have inspired countless players and fans alike. As we celebrate their achievements, we acknowledge their role in shaping the beautiful game and ensuring that their legacy lives on through the generations to come.
For more insights into the world of legendary football players and their monumental contributions, don’t hesitate to visit Chelsea FC Players.