On a football field, the job of central midfielders is perhaps the most thankless one. Not only do they run the game from the middle of the park, but the men in the engine room, connect the defense with the attack, helping in transition and link-up play.
Midfielders have to contribute on both ends of the pitch and they run the show for the whole 90 minutes.
Despite their key role, they often live in the shadows of strikers, who take away all the appreciation by scoring goals. One must not forget, the work of a midfielder in the build-up to a goal.
In the next article of our series of best players in the world, we will take a look at the top 5 central midfielders in the world, based on 2019-20 season.
5) Idrissa Gueye (Paris Saint-Germain / Senegal)
Few would have expected Idrissa Gueye’s name of this list, but if you talk about the best midfielders from 2019-20, the ranking won’t be complete without his mention.
Since making the move from Everton ahead of this season, the Senegalese player has been nothing short of a sensation.
Stats wise, Gueye has provided just one goal and three assists in 19 appearances for the Parisians, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story.
He has been almost indispensable in the midfield trio of PSG, standing head and shoulders above opposition midfielders. The 30-year-old has been a true revelation, and he is expected to deliver the goods for many years at the Parc des Princes.
4) Toni Kroos (Real Madrid / Germany)
Talk about the most consistent midfielder across all of Europe, and Toni Kroos’ name will come out on top.
After a slugging 2018-19, the German sniper has found his rhythm once again this term, as he’s played a big role in Real Madrid’s renaissance of 2019-20.
Kroos is the one who decides the tempo of the game, he’s the pass master, and his passing accuracy rarely falls below 90%, which is truly mind-boggling.
The 30-year-old has racked up five goals in 33 matches for Los Blancos, laying on a further six assists. He has been a loyal servant for Madrid down the years and continues to be one of the best in business.
3) Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich / Spain)
Arguably one of the most exciting players in the Bundesliga, Thiago Alcantara since moving to the Allianz Arena, has been treating German fans to midfield masterclass year after year.
The 29-year-old was signed under the reign of Pep Guardiola and he has become a key player for both club and country in recent seasons.
In 2019-20 alone, Thiago has played 32 matches for Bayern, scoring three goals and providing two assists in the process.
An excellent passer, whose vision and intelligence are unparalleled, the Spanish midfielder is an exciting talent and he deserves a place on this list.
2) Alejandro Gomez (Atalanta / Argentina)
A surprising pick on this list, Alejandro Gomez has been the most lethal playmaker in the Serie A in 2019-20. Starring for an Atalanta side that has been punching well above its weight, Gomez has contributed seven goals to the cause.
Add to that his tally of 12 assists across all competitions, and you will know why the 32-year-old features so high up this list of top midfielders in the world.
This season, Gomez has lit up the Italian league with his stunning contributions. Having said that, the veteran player will have to prove that he’s no one-season wonder next year onwards.
1) Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City / Belgium)
For the past couple of years, Kevin De Bruyne has been the best midfielder in the world, period. He’s perhaps the most complete footballer ever.
The 28-year-old is a two-footed player, and when he’s at his best, De Bruyne makes other players look amateur. In 2019-20, the Belgian has nine goals and 18 assists to his name already, and remember the Premier League hasn’t even finished yet.
Moreover, the thing that makes him special is that De Bruyne makes difficult things looks easy, like opening up a defence with a gorgeous through ball, or scoring from outside the box.
And to that do all of this, on a regular basis, in the most competitive league in the world? Magnificent.
All stats courtesy: WhoScored.com
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