Hello all! Welcome back to another installment in my personal Top 5 position lists! As stated above, I will be breaking down the top 5 center midfielders in the world in this article. Center midfielders are some of the most versatile players on the field. They are in control of defense and attack, pulling the strings and making plays happen. Every midfielder has a different style of play, which makes this a tough list to make! If you don’t agree with one of my selections, feel free to voice your thoughts in the comments! With that being said, here are my top 5 center midfielders in the world!
#5- Miralem Pjanic, Juventus
For the casual fan, this may not be a name they are familiar with. Pjanic hails from Bosnia and Herzegovina and has been playing in the Serie A for nine years. At 28 years old, the Bosnian still has multiple seasons left in his legs. His ability to create opportunities with excellent passing and dribbling is what makes him so dynamic as a player. Pjanic is also known to be a fantastic free kick taker, which only increases the chances his team finds the back of the net. With a fantastic team around him, Pjanic could very possibly rise up this list in due time.
#4- Toni Kroos, Real Madrid
I may catch some heat for putting Kroos at #4. Many people believe the German is one of the best in the world, especially at his position. Allow me to explain myself. After an awful showing at the World Cup this past summer, where Germany was knocked out in the group stage, Kroos has not looked the same since returning to Real. There is no doubt he is still a high quality player, but the signs of decline are showing. It’s a shame because on his day Kroos is one of the best center midfielders in the world. Madrid has suffered this season and Kroos has a been a reason for their struggles. Real currently sit 4th in La Liga, ten points behind Barcelona. To be honest, I’m not sure Kroos will ever be back to what he once was. Do you agree?
#3- Ivan Rakitic, FC Barcelona
Benefitting from the poor play of Toni Kroos is Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic. The man is a rock in the midfield for Barca and showed his ability this summer as helped lead Croatia to the World Cup final. His technical and defensive abilities help any team he plays for keep possession and dominate the ball. Rakitic also has the ability to hit shots with explosive power on either foot, which makes him a constant threat. He is the leader in the Barcelona midfield and it shows. When he is not on the field, Barca look lost in the middle. His ability is very apparent and his talent is unquestionable.
#2- Paul Pogba, Manchester United
People may look at this ranking and say Pogba is too high, others will say he belongs at the top. To try and please the masses I put him near the top but not at the highest point. Pogba’s talent is truly phenomenal. His size and skill on the ball are very difficult to match. He has a flair and skill about him that most center midfielders don’t possess. That skill is also matched perfectly by raw power and strength. The Frenchman is intimidating, standing at 6’4″ and weighing roughly 185 pounds (192 cm’s and 84 kg’s for my non-American readers). That size paired with his talent on the ball is absolutely devastating for opposing teams. Pogba’s dominance was obvious, as he ran riot this summer leading France to the World Cup title.
#1- Luka Modric, Real Madrid
When you win the Ballon D’or (The annual award given to the most outstanding male player as voted on by journalists from countries across the world) over players like Messi and Ronaldo, you deserve the number one spot on this list. Modric has been fantastic this past year. He led Croatia, alongside Ivan Rakitic, to the World Cup final and was a massive part of the team. He can do it all as a player, with outstanding dribbling and passing abilities. Not to mention he can defend and attack superbly as well. His talent is remarkable and yet I feel like he is under appreciated. Luka Modric is a fantastic player, his abilities and leadership qualities make him the best center midfielder right now in my books.