Stats

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

Advertisement

Bruno Fernandes, Kevin De Bruyne and Jude Bellingham make the rankings for best midfield player in world football right now.

  •  While the likes of Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe take the world by storm as goal-scoring forwards, midfielders have been one of the most exciting to watch over the last year.
  •  The likes of Jude Bellingham, Kevin De Bruyne, and Declan Rice among others have been some of the highlights of world football.
  • We’ve now ranked the world’s best 20 midfielders right now.

They often say that the team dominating the midfield usually ends up winning the game. Whether it’s a midfielder who excels in defensive duties, one who can cover both ends of the pitch effectively, or an attacking midfielder who contributes with goals and assists, they often determine the outcome of a match.

In the past year or so, midfielders have taken the spotlight, with many high-profile transfers commanding significant fees since January. But who stands out as the best in the world? The Premier League boasts impressive talents, as do La Liga, the Bundesliga, and Serie A. Ranking the top 20 midfielders in the world right now might be challenging and controversial, but let’s dive into it anyway.

World’s Best Midfielders Ranked
Rank Name Team
1 Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City
2 Luka Modric Real Madrid
3 Rodri Manchester City
4 Martin Odegaard Arsenal
5 Jude Bellingham Real Madrid
6 Bruno Fernandes Manchester United
7 Pedri Barcelona
8 Ilkay Gundogan Barcelona
9 Joshua Kimmich Bayern Munich
10 Federico Valverde Real Madrid
11 Jamal Musiala Bayern Munich
12 Nicolo Barella Inter
13 Frenkie de Jong Barcelona
14 Toni Kroos Real Madrid
15 Declan Rice Arsenal
16 Bernardo Silva Manchester City
17 Bruno Guimaraes Newcastle
18 Gavi Barcelona
19 Piotr Zielinski Napoli
20 Alexis Mac Allister Liverpool

20. Alexis Mac Allister (Liverpool and Argentina)

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

Let’s start with a standout individual who made waves last year by contributing to Argentina’s World Cup victory and securing Europa League football for Brighton as well. This talented playmaker, despite his small stature, had a remarkable season for both his club and country. So, it wasn’t surprising when Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool came knocking in the summer.

Now, at Anfield, Mac Allister sees an opportunity to expand his trophy collection and undoubtedly enhance his skills under Klopp’s mentorship. While he may have some ground to cover to reach the level of other Premier League midfielders mentioned in this list, there’s little doubt that the Argentine will establish himself as one of the league’s top players as the season progresses.

Alexis Mac Allister Stats – 2022/2023
Games played 40
Goals 12
Assists 3
All stats from Transfermarkt

19. Piotr Zielinski (Napoli and Poland)

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

Piotr Zielinski might not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of Napoli’s standout players, especially with stars like Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia in the spotlight. However, he played a crucial role in their Serie A title win last season. Despite not grabbing as many headlines, Zielinski’s contributions were significant. He scored seven goals and provided 11 assists across all competitions, with nine assists in the league alone.

His impact extended beyond domestic competitions. In the Champions League, Zielinski showcased his talent, notably in Napoli’s impressive 4-1 win against Liverpool during the group stages. He scored twice and set up another goal in that match. While matching last season’s achievements might be a tough task, Zielinski has demonstrated his quality and why he’s regarded as one of Italy’s top talents.

Piotr Zielinski Stats – 2022/2023
Games played 48
Goals 7
Assists 11
All stats from Transfermarkt

18. Gavi (Barcelona and Spain)

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

Let’s give a round of applause to La Masia! Barcelona’s renowned academy has once again produced a midfield sensation in Gavi, joining the ranks of legends like Xavi and Andres Iniesta. Gavi, recently awarded the Golden Boy accolade, is quickly establishing himself as a key player at Camp Nou, poised to become the face of the Catalan club.

David Villa, a former Barcelona star, has expressed in the Daily Mail that Gavi ranks among the world’s top midfielders. It’s quite a statement considering he’s only 19 and already entrusted with a pivotal role in Barcelona’s midfield.

Gavi Stats – 2022/2023
Games played 49
Goals 3
Assists 7
All stats from Transfermarkt

17. Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle and Brazil)

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

Since joining Newcastle during the PIF era, Bruno Guimaraes has truly made his mark as one of the standout midfielders in the Premier League. His combination of strength and skill has been a perfect match for the team at St James’ Park. He played a pivotal role in Newcastle’s journey to the Carabao Cup final and securing a top-four finish last season.

If Eddie Howe’s squad hopes to replicate that success this season, they’ll need Bruno firing on all cylinders throughout. With the team’s inconsistency this campaign and Joelinton’s unfortunate injury, the spotlight is on Bruno to lead the charge and deliver when it counts.

Bruno Guimaraes Stats – 2022/2023
Games played 40
Goals 5
Assists 5
All stats from Transfermarkt

16. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City and Portugal)

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

Meet Bernardo Silva, the first Manchester City player on this list, and trust me, he won’t be the last. Bernardo has been the engine driving Pep Guardiola’s transformation at the Etihad. His ability to adapt, whether on the wings, as a number ten, or even in a deeper role, makes him indispensable to City’s success.

Sure, he might not rack up goals like Kevin De Bruyne or pull off flashy assists, but what he lacks in glamour, he makes up for in grit. Bernardo’s willingness to put in the hard yards, track back, and get stuck into the dirty work doesn’t go unnoticed by Guardiola. Last season alone, he featured in 55 matches across all competitions. His reliability and consistent performances week in, week out easily rank him among the top 20 midfielders globally.

Bernardo Silva Stats – 2022/2023
Games played 55
Goals 7
Assists 8
All stats from Transfermarkt

15. Declan Rice (Arsenal and England)

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

After landing a lucrative deal with Arsenal last summer, Declan Rice has really shown his worth as one of the top central midfielders in the Premier League. He made a significant contribution to his former team, West Ham, securing the Europa Conference League towards the end of the previous season, which was a fantastic way to exit. Since joining Arsenal, he’s hit the ground running, even netting a crucial late goal in their 3-1 victory over Manchester United.

At only 24 years old, Rice has plenty of peak years ahead of him. With his move to Arsenal, he’s surely eyeing up more silverware in his future. Serving as a key player in both Arsenal’s and England’s midfield, he has the potential to become either the best holding midfielder or box-to-box midfielder globally. It’s all in his hands now.

Declan Rice Stats – 2022/2023
Games played 50
Goals 5
Assists 4
All stats from Transfermarkt

14. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid and Germany)

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

Toni Kroos, a key figure in Real Madrid’s midfield trio during the 2010s, has truly embodied class on the field at Santiago Bernabeu. Despite crossing into his 30s, the German maestro continues to showcase his prowess in controlling matches at the highest level.

While there are hints of him being gradually edged out of the starting lineup under Carlo Ancelotti, Kroos has still featured in all four La Liga games this season. Last year, he was virtually omnipresent, making a total of 52 appearances. Although time may be catching up with him, Kroos’ exceptional vision and passing abilities remain as sharp as ever.

Toni Kroos Stats – 2022/2023
Games played 52
Goals 2
Assists 6
All stats from Transfermarkt

13. Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona and Netherlands)

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

Manchester United had their sights set on Frenkie de Jong back in the summer of 2022, but the midfielder opted to remain with Barcelona, showcasing once again his exceptional skill on the field. His graceful dribbling and composure under pressure, even in his own defensive zone, highlight why he’s considered one of the finest midfielders globally. It’s no wonder Erik ten Hag spared no effort in attempting to secure his signature.

De Jong’s role is crucial if Barcelona aims to reclaim their former glory in the Champions League. From his beginnings with Ajax to his elegant performances at Camp Nou, he remains a joy to watch and a key asset for his team.

Frenkie de Jong Stats – 2022/2023
Games played 43
Goals 2
Assists 4
All stats from Transfermarkt

12. Nicolo Barella (Inter and Italy)

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

Nicolo Barella played a crucial role in Inter’s journey to the Champions League final last season, showcasing why he’s so essential to the team. With nine goals and ten assists in 52 games, he demonstrated remarkable consistency and made significant contributions when it mattered most – including scoring in the intense 3-3 draw against Barcelona at the Camp Nou.

His stellar performances extended to Italy’s Euro 2020 triumph, where he was a key player in the final alongside Jorginho and Marco Verratti. While a move to the Premier League might not be on the cards for him anytime soon, Barella has consistently shown his elite-level skills in Serie A and on the European stage.

Nicolo Barella Stats – 2022/2023
Games played 52
Goals 9
Assists 10
All stats from Transfermarkt

11. Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich and Germany)

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

Last year, Jamal Musiala showed incredible talent while playing for Bayern Munich, the Bundesliga champions. With 16 goals and 16 assists in 47 games across various competitions, he proved himself as an outstanding player, especially at just 20 years old. It’s clear he’s on a trajectory to become even better in the future.

As a Germany international, Musiala appears poised to become a key player for both his club and country. His performance already rivals that of seasoned players, and if he keeps it up, he could easily find himself in the discussion for the Ballon d’Or before long.

Jamal Musiala Stats – 2022/2023
Games played 47
Goals 16
Assists 16
All stats from Transfermarkt

10. Federico Valverde (Real Madrid and Uruguay)

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

Federico Valverde, a key player under Carlo Ancelotti, is like the Swiss Army knife of football, capable of adapting to various roles on the field. He’s often been deployed on the right side to provide defensive support, but truly shines when given the chance to play in midfield.

Last season, he showcased his goal-scoring abilities, netting seven times in La Liga, including a crucial goal in a 3-1 win against Barcelona. With veteran players like Luka Modric and Toni Kroos nearing the end of their careers, Valverde is poised to become a vital pillar in Real Madrid’s midfield restructuring.

Federico Valverde Stats – 2022/2023
Games played 56
Goals 12
Assists 7
All stats from Transfermarkt

9. Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich and Germany)

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

When Pep Guardiola talks about working with players who are eager to learn and praises someone’s desire, will, and passion, it’s a clear sign of their talent. Joshua Kimmich, at just 21, received such accolades from Guardiola, indicating his potential as a top player. Following in the footsteps of Philipp Lahm, Kimmich transitioned from a right-back to a versatile midfielder adept at both thwarting opposition attacks and leading forward movements with speed and precision.

Now 28, Kimmich has been integral to Bayern Munich’s dominance in Germany, contributing to their eight consecutive Bundesliga titles since joining from RB Leipzig in January 2015. He was also pivotal in Bayern’s Champions League triumph during the 2019/2020 season. While Bayern might not have replicated those achievements in recent years, Kimmich has consistently delivered strong performances in midfield.

Joshua Kimmich Stats – 2022/2023
Games played 47
Goals 7
Assists 11
All stats from Transfermarkt

8. Ilkay Gundogan (Barcelona and Germany)

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

While Ilkay Gundogan may have moved on to Barcelona by now, his impact on Manchester City’s success in recent years cannot be understated. Under Pep Guardiola’s guidance at the Etihad, the German international flourished even further. Initially known for his silky and creative playmaking skills, Gundogan transformed into one of Europe’s top goal-scoring midfielders.

In the past year alone, Gundogan found the net 11 times, with standout performances in the crucial final weeks of the season as City chased down Arsenal for the title. His four goals in two pivotal matches against Leeds and Everton played a significant role in securing the Premier League trophy for City. He will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the club’s greatest players of all time.

Ilkay Gundogan Stats – 2022/2023
Games played 51
Goals 11
Assists 7
All stats from Transfermarkt

7. Pedri (Barcelona and Spain)

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

After years of searching, Barcelona might have finally found their long-awaited successor to Andres Iniesta. Pedri, brought in from Las Palmas in 2019, has quickly emerged as a top talent in Spain. At just 20 years old, he’s already making a significant impact on his team. Last year, he scored seven goals in 35 games across all competitions, and this season he’s already opened his account with a late goal against Cadiz in La Liga.

Pedri’s smooth dribbling and precise passing give him the feel of a product of Barcelona’s renowned La Masia academy. It’s clear why there’s so much hype around him. He’s not just the future of Barcelona’s midfield, but potentially of Spain’s national team as well.

Pedri Stats – 2022/2023
Games played 35
Goals 7
Assists 1
All stats from Transfermarkt

6. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United and Portugal)

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

In his time at Manchester United, Bruno Fernandes has left an indelible mark with an impressive tally of 65 goals and 55 assists in just 189 games, a feat that’s especially notable considering he’s not a striker. What sets him apart is his consistent productivity, maintaining a goal count of more than ten per season since his move from Sporting CP. One of his standout seasons was in 2020/2021 when he managed 18 goals and 11 assists in 37 Premier League games alone – not too shabby, right?

Fernandes isn’t just about scoring; he also possesses a keen eye for delivering killer passes and isn’t afraid to take risks to find the net. He’s emerged as a leader for Manchester United, boasting numbers that rival the very best in the game. If you’re in search of a midfielder who can find the back of the net with regularity in the modern era, look no further than the 29-year-old Portuguese sensation.

His brilliance was on full display in Portugal’s 9-0 victory over Luxembourg earlier in the 2023/2024 season, earning him a perfect 10/10 rating from Sofa Score, a testament to his exceptional performance.

Bruno Fernandes Stats – 2022/2023
Games played 28
Goals 6
Assists 5
All stats from Transfermarkt

5. Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid and England)

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

It’s pretty mind-boggling to realize that at only 20, Jude Bellingham is making waves like this. He adapted seamlessly to life at Borussia Dortmund, and his remarkable progress there quickly made him the talk of the town over the summer, with top clubs across Europe vying for his signature.

Ultimately, it was Real Madrid who secured him, and he’s wasted no time in justifying his hefty price tag. In his first four La Liga appearances this season, Bellingham has scored five goals, including clutch late winners against both Celta Vigo and Getafe. Considering he’s got plenty more years ahead of him in his career, and he hasn’t even hit his prime yet, there’s a real possibility he could be in contention for a Ballon d’Or down the line.

Jude Bellingham Stats – 2022/2023
Games played 42
Goals 14
Assists 7
All stats from Transfermarkt

4. Martin Odegaard (Arsenal and Norway)

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

Despite all the praise showered upon rising stars like Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli during Arsenal’s push for the title last season, it’s important not to overlook the remarkable contributions of the team’s captain. Martin Odegaard’s tally of 15 non-penalty goals in the Premier League set a new record for midfielders in the league’s history, surpassing some iconic figures in the process.

Considering the caliber of players he’s outshone, it’s truly impressive. It’s hard to believe Odegaard is only 24, given his long-standing presence in football since his teenage years at Real Madrid. While it took him some time to adapt, the Norwegian star has now comfortably settled into life in north London. With the prospect of Champions League football at the Emirates, one can confidently expect him to demonstrate his exceptional talent to the rest of Europe.

Martin Odegaard Stats – 2022/2023
Games played 45
Goals 15
Assists 8
All stats from Transfermarkt

3. Rodri (Manchester City and Spain)

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

Right now, Rodri is really making a case for himself as the top midfielder globally. When he first came over from Atletico Madrid, a lot of folks figured he’d be the one to fill Fernandinho’s shoes at Manchester City, you know, that guy who holds things down in the middle, breaks up plays, and keeps it simple with his passing to set up the creative players. But man, Rodri’s impact on the team has been something else entirely.

Lately, he’s even started scoring goals, like that clutch winner he got in the Champions League final against Inter last season, which was a historic moment for City. This season, he’s already bagged two goals in just four Premier League matches. You can bet he’s going to be absolutely vital for City if they want to defend their treble.

Rodri Stats – 2022/2023
Games played 56
Goals 4
Assists 7
All stats from Transfermarkt

2. Luka Modric (Real Madrid and Croatia)

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

What’s a list of top midfielders without Luka Modric? The guy’s practically the lifeblood of Real Madrid since he made the switch from Tottenham. Winning the Ballon d’Or in 2018, interrupting the Ronaldo-Messi domination, just shows how much respect and talent he commands.

Not only has he bagged five Champions League trophies with Madrid, but he’s also the driving force behind Croatia’s national team, which has punched above its weight on the international stage. Remember how they made it to the World Cup final in 2018, only to be edged out by France? And even last year, they reached the semis. Modric’s a big-game player, no doubt about it. So yeah, he definitely deserves a spot on any list of the greatest midfielders.

Luka Modric Stats – 2022/2023
Games played 52
Goals 6
Assists 6
All stats from Transfermarkt

1. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City and Belgium)

The 20 Best Midfielders in the World (Ranked)

Is there anyone else who could fill Kevin De Bruyne’s shoes? Despite his struggles with injuries, there’s no denying his status as one of the world’s top players, particularly in his position. During his tenure at Manchester City in the Premier League, De Bruyne has displayed magical skills, and it’s almost shocking if he’s not leading or near the top of the assists chart in any given season.

Consistently, he’s been the standout player for one of England’s top teams, and even for a squad as well-coordinated as Pep Guardiola’s, it’s clear that City would be a vastly different team without him.

Kevin De Bruyne Stats – 2022/2023
Games played 49
Goals 10
Assists 31
All stats from Transfermarkt
Advertisement

NaijaSport247 ☑️

NaijaSport247 is a sports platform for the latest sports news, live football streaming, transfers, sports highlights, livescores, and transfer windows.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button