Ranking the Top 10 Greatest Central Midfielders In football History

The game of Football is incomplete and incompetent without support from midfield. Midfields are the driving force of the game. From Playmaking the goals to strengthening the back end of the defense, they cover every ground. It will be not wrong to say that, midfielders drive the game and set the game peace. So, today I brought the All-Time Greatest Central Midfielders In Football.

The players are ranked on the below-mentioned factors and their roles or position in midfield. Before jumping to the final list, let’s discuss the following aspects:

  • Central Midfielder positions
  • Factors to select the All Time Greatest Central Midfielders In Football.

Central Midfielder Positions

The definition of Central midfielders covers these roles

  • Box-To-Box: A midefielder who is alligned to do both defensive and offensive role. The help attackers to set the game. Score Goals as well help their defense.
  • Deep-lying playmakers: such players lay way back in the defense line and support CB, However, understand the game truly and help to set the pace.
  • Regista: They are the playmaking central midfielder who operate in the heat of midfiled. They operate the game from tight space.
  • Attacking Half Back: Midfileder who played way wider then usual. Part of attack and high crosses. Covers the center ground once the counter attack starts
  • Destroyer: Their job is disrupt opposing team attacks as the first shield Infront of defense. Gattuso, Kante, Makelele are some of the most famous names who played this role.


The All-Time Greatest Central Midfielders In Football ranked on the following factors

  • Career Trophies
  • Individual achivements
  • Game impact and Presence on the filed
  • Career duration
  • Peak Years
  • Midfield role
  • Big-game performances
  • Longevity and consistency

(Note: I only included players who featured and excelled regularly in either a two-man or three-man central midfield. Such midfielders, who played further up the pitch were not considered. So, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldinho, David Beckham, and Zico were not selected)

So, base on the factors, let’s view the Top 10 All-Time Greatest Central Midfielders In Football.

#10. Jozsef Bozsik

Jozsef Bozsik

Jozsef Bozsik was the greatest deep-lying midfielder from Europe. He was known for his flawless technique, flair, tactical nous, passing accuracy (both short and long-range), reliable ball possession, and control of the game with ease.

He holds the record for most Caps and most consecutive years of Caps for the Hungary national team.

#9. Patrick Vieira

Patrick Vieira

Patrick Vieira is one of the most decorated midfielders of All time. He won trophies with the club and national team. With France’s national team, He won World Cup and the Euro cup.

However, his premier league title-winning in 2004 was the highlight of his career. As the man himself lead Arsenal to an invincible season.

#8. Luka Modric

Luka Modric

Luka Modric ended the 10-year dominance of Leo Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo on Ballon d’Or.

He took Croatia to the 2018 Worldcup final by handing defeats to teams like Argentina, Spain. He ended 2018 as the Ballon d’Or winner.

#7. Falcao

Falcao or Paulo Roberto Falcão is regarded as the “8th King Of Rome”. He was the greatest midfielder in the world from the late 1970s to the 1980s.

Falcao is termed AS Roma’s greatest player.

#6. Didi

Waldyr Pereira or Didi

Waldyr Pereira or Didi was one of the very first Brazilian free masters. He graced the game of football by becoming the man of steel in the midfield position.

Didi is believed to be responsible for coining the term ‘The Beautiful Game. He won 2 world cups with National teams.

#5. Andrea Pirlo

Andrea Pirlo

Andrea Pirlo is the Maestro of midfield. He always bossing around in the opposition box, showing no sign to let go, always pressing high.

He won six Serie A titles and two UEFA Champions Leagues. Furthermore, he won two UEFA Super Cups, a FIFA Club World Cup, a Coppa Italia, and a Supercoppa Italiana.

#4. Andres Iniesta

Andres Iniesta is the only player who won the MOM award in Euro Final, Champions League Final, and Worldcup final.

On top of that, He won the most trophies as a midfielder (36). He got himself the name of “Don” due to his gameplay.

The ”Don” is one of a kind player. His partnerships with Xavi & Leo Messi at Barcelona were the highlight of his career.

#3. Frank Rijkaard

Frank Rijkaard

Frank Rijkaard is the wizard of defensive midfield. His game vision on a football pitch was on another level.

He was Nightmares for opposition Strikers. He ended his career with a luxury scene winning the first UEFA Champion League in 1995.

Despite being a defensive player, He scored more than 150 goals in all club competitions.

#2. Xavi Hernandez

Xavi leads the most dominated side of Barcelona that grace the game. He was an integral and core part of the Pep Guardiola team. Xavi defined the entire tiki-taka style play through his game.

In his career, he won all trophies with his club & Country. 1 time Fifa WorldCup, 2 UEFA Euros, and 4 champions league. Xavi Hernandez was truly the greatest ever to grace the game.

#1. Lothar Matthaeus

Lothar Matthaeus

Lothar Matthaeus was Germany most proflic Midfilder. Won the European Championship in 1980 at the age of 19.

He was the driving force behind Germany’s 1990 WorldCup triumph. Socred 4 goals in 1990 WorldCup. Lothar Matthaeus Won the 1990 ballon d’Or for that magnificent performance. His success with national team and his Bayern Munich side is unmatched even to this date.

FAQs Regarding The List

How many goals Xavi had scored in his career?

Xavi had 95 career goals to his name including club & country

Which player from the list won the ballon d’Or?

Lothar Matthaeus & Luka Modric are the only ballon d’Or winner

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