logo

Best Midfielders of All Time

Monday25 January 2021 | 4:30
Share
https://www.sportmob.com/en/article/939805-best-midfielders-of-all-time
Copy Link

What follows, is a list of football Best Midfielders of all time

When it comes to great players in the history of world football and particularly when it comes to the midfield role, the list is both long and divisive.

It is obviously not an easy feat to select one, 10, or even 100 of the "greatest" players of all time, and the issue is so arbitrary that views and ideologies are bound to differ as to who should be on the list.

So read the report on 12 of the best Midfielders of all time. Certainly, there are others, but there is no question about the identity of those 12.

Exclusive SPORTMOB video

Best Midfielders of all time

Let’s countdown to the Top 12

Best Midfielders of all time

Frank Rijkaard

Frank Rijkaard undoubtedly was one of the best midfielders in football history. Franklin Edmundo Rijkaard, a former Dutch footballer who played as the greatest midfielders ever, was born on 30 September 1962.

Rijkaard was considered one of the best midfielders in football history and one of his generation's best players, a fast, solid, full, and tenacious defensive midfielder who was lauded by experts during his career for his physical and athletic qualities.

His pace of work, positioning, acute situational intellect, and decision-making, as well as his excellent flexibility and ability to read the game.

On 23 August 1980, Rijkaard was just 17 when Ajax coach Leo Beenhakker handed him his senior squad debut, winning the Dutch league championship three times (1981-82, 1982-83, 1984-85) and the Dutch Cup three times (1982-83, 1985-86, 1986-87) by the end of his initial

Ajax

career.

He won the Cup Winners' Cup with Ajax over Lokomotiv Leipzig in the 1986–87 season, winning 1–0. Ijkaard walked off the playing field after a controversy with Cruyff and threatened never to play for him again. by and large he was one of the best midfielders ever.

Rijkaard played in Milan for five seasons, where he won the European Cup twice and the domestic Serie A championship twice, alongside fellow countrymen Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit. He scored the only goal to win the cup for Milan in the 1990 European Cup Final.

In 1993, Rijkaard returned to Ajax. With Louis van Gaal at the helm, the seasoned defensive core of the Ajax squad that won the first two of three consecutive Dutch championships was established by Rijkaard and Danny Blind. In the 1994-95 season, Ajax were the undefeated champions of the Netherlands and brought that success into Europe.

Rijkaard won the Champions League in his final game, with a 1-0 win over Milan in 1995 final.

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard was one of the greatest midfielders of all time. Steven Gerrard, an English professional football (soccer) player (born May 30, 1980, Whiston, England) who was considered one of the fullest footballers in the world in the early 2000s.

His amateur upper-division football club, Liverpool FC, spotted Gerrard at the age of nine. He played for the Liverpool youth team and signed a contract with them at age 17. His first-team debut came in 1998 and he became a regular starter the next year.

In the 2000-01 season, when Liverpool won the Football Association championship, Gerrard established himself as the

best Midfielders of all time

(FA) and Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) cups, and Gerrard received honors from England for Young Player of the Year.

In 2003, at only 23 years of age, Gerrard was elected

Liverpool

's captain. He guided Liverpool to the club's first Champions League title in 21 years in the 2004–05 season, scoring a vital goal in Liverpool's stunning three-goal comeback in the final against AC Milan.

He became interested in a high-profile contract battle with Liverpool during the following off-season, which almost led to his move to Chelsea FC before he eventually re-signed with his long-time side.

Gerrard then helped Liverpool win both the 2005-06 FA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup, and at the end of the season, he was voted Player of the Year by the Professional Footballers' Association.

Liverpool progressed to the final of the Champions League for the second time in three years in 2007 but lost 2-1 to AC Milan. In the 2008–09 Premier League season, Gerrard scored a career-high 24 goals, which earned him the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year trophy.

Related Article: 

Steven Gerrard Biography

Andrea Pirlo

Only a playmaker. A specialist set-piece. An engineer of pinpoint throwing precision in midfield. These, paired with a wonderful imagination, are just some of the qualities that make Andrea Pirlo an all-time great Italian.

To all the teams he played on, Pirlo was essential. Each time he was on the pitch and each time he was on the ball; the Maestro was able to make things tick. No other Italian was willing to deliver the sort of qualities that he did, and few other players anywhere.

Pirlo, best known for his time at

AC Milan

and Juventus, debuted as a young player in Brescia, and during the early days of his career, he even spent some time at Inter Milan. Then, before retirement in 2017, he traveled to the United States to play for New York City FC in the twilight of his playing days.

Pirlo was named footballer of the year in Italy three times, won Serie A six times, won the European Super cup twice, won the UEFA Champions League twice, among many other victories.

At the 2000 U21 European Championship, he was named Italy captain, a tournament that the Azzurri went on to win, and after which Pirlo was named tournament player.

From a very young age, he was recognized as a top talent, and everyone was able to see just how talented he was until he started performing at senior level on the international stage, making his much-anticipated debut in 2002.

During his 13-year international career, Pirlo went on to make 116 appearances for Italy, scoring 13 times. His 116 caps placed him sixth on the Italian players' most-capped list. by and large, he was one of the

best midfielders ever.

Related Article: 

Andrea Pirlo Biography

Bobby Charlton

Sir Robert Charlton is a former English footballer who played as the best Midfielders of all time that born on 11 October 1937. He is considered one of the best players of all time and was a member of the English squad that won the FIFA World Cup in 1966, the year he won the Ballon d'Or as well.

At

Manchester United

, he played nearly all of his club games, where he became legendary for his defensive instincts, his midfield skills, and his ferocious long-range shot, as well as his fitness and agility. Just twice in his career was he cautioned; once against Argentina in the 1966 World Cup and once against Chelsea in a league match.

Charlton was the long-time leading goal scorer for both Manchester United and England, and the long-time record appearance maker for United, as well as briefly for England before Bobby Moore overcame his 106 caps in 1973. When Ryan Giggs did so in that year's Champions League final, his appearance record of 758 for United took until 2008 to be beaten. With 249 goals, after his record was broken by Wayne Rooney in 2017, he is currently United's second-highest all-time goal scorer. He is now England's second-highest goalscorer after Rooney again exceeded his record of 49 goals kept until 2015. Undoubtedly he was one of the best Midfielders of all time

He left Manchester United for the 1973–74 season to become Preston North End chairman. The next season, he moved to a player-manager. He next took a position with Wigan Athletic as a manager, then became a member of the board of directors of Manchester United in 1984 and remains one as of the season 2020-21.

Luis Suarez Miramontes

Luis Suarez Miramontes was one of the greatest midfielders of all time. Luis Suarez went on to become one of Spain's best Midfielders of all time after learning his craft with a ball of rags on the streets of La Coruna, and in 1960 he became the first and only Spaniard ever to win France Football's prestigious Ballon d'Or.

Born in 1935, Suarez currently works in the technical secretary's office at his old Inter Milan club, where during the trophy-laden 1960s of I Nerazzurri's, his beauty, ability on the pitch, imagination, and vital goals were highly admired.

Before making the move to Barcelona in 1954, the young Suarez had first caught the eye at home club Deportivo La Coruna, where during his seven-season stay he went on to win two league championships, two Spanish Cups, and two Inter-Cities Equal Cups.

But his magnificent spell at the Catalan giants ended in the final of the 1960/61 European Cup with the humiliation of a 3-2 loss to

Benfica

. That's the only black mark on my time in

Barcelona

.

"There have been a lot of Spanish players who have deserved that award, "The age in which you find yourself living depends too much. When another great player of your generation doesn't do quite so well, you need the slice of luck that comes. Some talented players had never won the trophy before. It isn't such a great deal." Undoubtedly he was one of the world's best midfielders of all time.

Ronaldinho

The Brazilian former professional footballer is Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (born 21 March 1980), commonly known as Ronaldinho Gaúcho or simply Ronaldinho. He mainly played as an attacking midfielder, but he was used as a winger as well. Ronaldinho, frequently regarded as one of his generation's top players and perceived by many to be one of the greatest of all time, received two FIFA World Player of the Year awards and a Ballon d'Or. He was one of the

best midfielders in football history.

In 1998, Ronaldinho made his professional debut at Grêmio. Before signing for Barcelona in 2003, he transferred to Paris Saint-Germain in France at the age of 20. He received his first FIFA World Player of the Year award in his second season with Barcelona, as Barcelona won the 2004–05 La Liga crown.

The following season is considered one of the best in his career as he won the 2005-06 UEFA Champions League in Barcelona, their first in fourteen years, and another La Liga title, earning Ronaldinho his first double career, obtaining in the process the 2005 Ballon d'Or and his second FIFA World Player of the Year.

Ronaldinho became the second Barcelona player to earn a standing ovation from Real Madrid supporters at the Santiago Bernabéu after scoring two stunning solo goals in the first 2005-06 El Clásico, after Diego Maradona in 1983. Undoubtedly, he was one of the top midfielders of all time.

Ronaldinho left Barcelona to join Milan, where he won Serie A 2010-11. He was included in the UEFA Team of the Year and FIFA World XI three times respectively and was named UEFA Club Footballer of the Year and South American Footballer of the Year 2013 for the 2005-06 season. He was named one of the best living players in the world by Pelé in the 2004 FIFA 100 rankings.

Zico

Arthur Antunes Coimbra, also known as Zico, is one of the best footballers in the history of Brazilian football. For his genius attacking moves and specialization in free-kicks, he was also labeled as "white people." Under the Brazilian soccer team, Zico participated in three World Cups from 78 to 86 and captured the hearts of millions of people. The god of football, Pelé, once said, "Zico is the only one that resembles my method of playing." On this cocker sensation called Zico, we present a brief biography here and outline his professional experience.

On March 3rd, 1953, Zico was born into a lower-middle-class family in Rio de Janeiro,

Brazil

. By birth, he was Portuguese and it is believed that football is in every Portuguese's blood, and Zico was no different. He has an outstanding ability to compete in the Juventude club and also bunk courses. It was an obscure street team from Brazil, but they became very famous in the area after bringing Zico into the team. From there, he began his soccer journey, and now he is in the process of professional coaching by leading top clubs worldwide. by and large he was one of the best midfielders ever

After his final match for

Kashima Antlers

, Zico will become the same team's boss. That will be the beginning of a new era of life within the coaching ring. With all clubs (Kashima Antlers, CFZ, Fenerbahçe SK, Bunyodkor, CSKA Moscow, Olympiacos, Al-Gharafa, and FC Goa) and national teams, Zico has been the manager (Japan and Iraq). He is currently coaching Goa FC, an Indian Super League side.

Exclusive SPORTMOB video

Related Article: 

Zico biography

Andres Iniesta

Andrés Iniesta Luján (born 11 May 1984) is a Spanish professional footballer who is the captain of the Japanese team Vissel Kobe and plays like the best football midfielders of all time.

He spent the rest of his career in Barcelona, where he worked for three seasons as captain. Iniesta is generally known to be one of his generation's finest players and one of the

greatest midfielders of all time

.

After an early exodus from his birthplace, Iniesta came through La Masia, the Barcelona Youth Academy, and was impressed from an early age. In 2002, aged 18, he made his first-team debut. During the 2004–05 season, he started playing consistently and remained with the squad until 2018.

Iniesta was an integral member of the Barcelona team, winning two historic trebles in 2009 and 2015, making him, with his 35 trophies, including nine La Ligas and four UEFA Champions League wins, the most decorated Spanish footballer of all time. Iniesta signed with Japanese club Vissel Kobe in 2018 after twenty-two years in Barcelona.

Iniesta was invited nine times to the FIFA FIFPro World XI and six times to the UEFA Team of the Year. He was named in the Euro XI All-time UEFA. In 2012 he received the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award and in 2012 and 2013 he was named the IFFHS Best Playmaker in the World.

Iniesta was the 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or runner-up to Lionel Messi and reached third place in 2012. Undoubtedly, he was one of the top midfielders of all time.

Xavi Hernandez

There is no one more cherished by his team-mates on the pitch than the best football midfielders of all time. A striker's supply is sealed off without their service, and the vulnerability of defense is laid bare without their shielding.

The maker, the destroyer, the engines and the enigmas, the anchors, and the orchestrators come in various shapes and sizes. Given these distinct flavors, it has become fiendishly difficult to win the absolute best the world has ever seen down to eight options, divided by just four levels of retired athletes.

The Russians would not have been the first to fly into space if Xavi had been born at a different age. Mercifully, Xavier Hernandez Creus was born in Terrassa, Catalonia, 30 kilometers from his spiritual home of La Masia, to football lovers. Undoubtedly, he was one of the

top midfielders of all time

There he would become not only a follower of the ethos of Barcelona, but his greatest-ever proponent, and he still followed what he preached. For the sake of it, the guy who set and re-set too many passing records is often lumbered with espousing 'tiki-taka', an often-insulting term related to keeping the ball in the midfield.

Yet the No6 was a man of action, as shown by his amazing 184 assists for the Blaugrana, including playing the first critical move too many times outside of the final.

As he says, it's because he is fascinated with space. Wiping out midfielders of opposition from it, setting out some onto acres of it. No midfielder has had a greater appreciation of his craft throughout the history of football by and large he was the

greatest midfielders ever

.

Michel Platini

The former French football player, trainer, and administrator, Michel François Platini, is (born 21 June 1955). He was banned from football in 2015 as the president of UEFA because of legal violations.

In 1983, 1984, and 1985, Platini won the Ballon d'Or three times, making him one of the greatest footballers in history, and has been in FIFA's seventh-century polls since the seventh century. In recognition of his achievements, he was named a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur in 1985 and became an Officier in 1998.

Platini played for the Nancy, Saint-Étienne, and

Juventus

clubs throughout his career. Le Roi (The King) is nicknamed for his skill and leadership. He was a prolific goalscorer, despite mostly acting as an advanced midfield playmaker; between 1983 and 1985, he won the Serie A capocannoniere award three consecutive times and was the top scorer of the triumphant Juventus 1984-85 European Cup campaign.

Platini was a central player in the national team of France, which won the European Championship in 1984, a competition in which he was the highest scorer and best player, and reached the semi-finals of the World Cups in 1982 and 1986.

Platini coached the French national team for four years after retiring as a player and was one of the hosts of the 1998 World Cup in France. In 2007, he became the first retired player to be elected president of the Federation of European Football Associations. Uh. (UEFA).

He has served as a Member of the FIFA Strategic and Development Committee and Vice-Chairman of the Federation of Football of France. In 2015, however, the FIFA Ethics Committee banned him from football management for conflict of interest. Undoubtedly, he was one of the

world's best midfielders of all time.

Lothar Matthaus

The Bundesliga has provided world football with some of the best Midfielders of all time ever since 1963; names that not only go down with the suffix 'legend' added in the history books but have had a significant influence on the game in Germany and outside its borders.

Matthäus was properly heralded as one of the greatest players in the world in the 1980s and 1990s, and one of the most successful No. 10s of all time, the guy who put on a German jersey more times than anybody else, with 150 caps.

In 1991, one year after leaving the FIFA World Cup as Germany's captain in one of the record five World Cups in which he appeared, Matthäus was a seven-time Bundesliga winner and made a total of 464 appearances in Germany's top flight with Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayern Munich, with an attacking midfielder job behind the strikers, mostly in the number 10 spot.

After a stint with MetroStars (the present New York Red Bulls) in Major League Soccer in 2000, he retired from the game, while he made one more professional appearance for FC Herzogenaurach, the club where his career started in 1971, at the age of 57.

It was always my hope to play my last professional game here, said Matthäus, 47 years after the career of one of the world's greatest players of all time started in the Bavarian village, after playing for the sixth division team.

Related Article: 

Lothar Matthaus Biography

Zinedine Zidane

Formed on 23 June 1972, Zinedine Yazid Zidane, popularly known as Zizou, is a former French professional football player who played as the

best football midfielders of all time

. He is the new boss of

Real Madrid

's La Liga club and is one of the world's most famous coaches.

Zidane was generally considered one of the best players of all time, an elite playmaker is known for his grace, intuition, passing, handling of the ball, and technique. As a player, he has won several individual honors, including being named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1998, 2000, and 2003, and winning the Ballon d'Or in 1998.

Zidane moved into coaching after retirement as a footballer and started his head coaching career at Real Madrid Castilla. Until taking the reins of the first team in 2016, he remained in the post for two years.

Zidane became the first coach to win the Champions League three years in a row in his initial two and a half seasons, winning the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup twice respectively, as well as the La Liga crown and the Supercopa de España.

This performance resulted in Zidane being named in 2017 as the Best FIFA Men's Coach. In 2018, he left, then returned to the club like a boss in 2019 and managed to win another championship in La Liga and Supercopa de España. although he was one of the world's best midfielders of all time.

READ MORE:


source: SportMob