Midfielders control the flow of the game. They dictate how the game is played and are often important in transitioning from defense to attack or in stopping the opposition attackers.While attacking midfielders, forwards, and wingers usually get all the credit and limelight, it is often the central midfielders who do all the leg work and allow these attacking minded players to express themselves.The entire philosophies of some teams and squads are built on the strength of their midfield and the talent of their midfielders. With so many talented and legendary central midfielders to choose from, it is no easy task to choose the 10 best.Without much ado, let us take a look at;The 10 greatest central midfielders of all timeNote: Only central midfielders have been considered. Players who primarily played as attacking midfielders or wingers (like Zidane, Ronaldinho, Maradona etc) have not been included in this list.#10 Frank Lampard Frank LampardPart of England's golden generation, Frank Lampard was an integral part of Chelsea's emergence as a European superclub. One of the greatest box-to-box midfielders the world has ever seen, Lampard's tendency to arrive late in the box helped him grab many crucial and match-winning goals.
The only midfielder to have scored more than 150 goals in the Premier League, Frank Lampard won an incredible 13 trophies with Chelsea. The former England international was arguably at the peak of his career from 2004-06 and even came second in the Ballon d'Or standings in 2005 losing out to the legendary Ronaldinho.An accurate penalty and set-piece taker, Frank Lampard will forever be remembered fondly by Chelsea fans for his important contributions and inspirational performances.#9 Johan Neeskens Johan Neeskens in action
An extraordinary player in his own right, Dutch midfielder Johan Neeskens was often overshadowed by his more famous countryman, Johan Cruyff. The steel to Cruyff's grace, Neeskens was an integral part of Ajax and the Netherlands national team which played some beautiful and stunning football in the 1970s.The Dutch midfield maestro was known for his tireless running, relentless pressure on the opposition and immense passing skills. He was also extremely talented and skilled on the ball. Neeskens' presence in the Ajax and Dutch national teams helped the more creative players express themselves and play with freedom.NO 59 JOHAN NEESKENS , Yes one of the very greatest Dutch players of all time and one of the greatest players in history too and the man who ran the show with Cruyff in the 1970‘s for Ajax and Holland winning 3 European cups and reaching the World Cup final twice with Holland pic.twitter.com/vbTH14APT2— The Great Julio Umbongo (@Jazz54203625) February 9, 2021A true team man, Neeskens played an integral role in Ajax's 3 consecutive European Cups. He also had a successful stint at Barcelona before winding down his amazing career in the United States of America.#8 Luka Modric Luka Modric with his Ballon d'Or award
The 2018 Ballon d'Or winner, Luka Modric, comes in at number 8 on this list. One of the most complete midfielders to ever play the game, Modric has consistently been among the best players in the world for over a decade.Capable of picking defense splitting passes and equally adept at doing his defensive duties, Modric has continuously evolved and improved his game in the last few years.Modrić is one of the most used players by Zidane. He's played 2,074 minutes, only Casemiro, Benzema, Varane and Courtois have more. He's the 2nd player who completed the most passes(1,131) and the first who completed the most dribbles(39).🇭🇷@diarioas pic.twitter.com/NyK11lBf4p— Madrid Xtra. (@MadridXtra) February 10, 2021A crucial part of the Real Madrid team which won 3 UEFA Champions League trophies in a row, the Croatian midfielder was the first player in over a decade to break the dominance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and win the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year Award in 2018.Still going strong for Real Madrid, the 35-year-old will undoubtedly go down as one of Real Madrid's greatest ever signings.
Published 12 Feb 2021, 12:33 IST
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