Ten best central midfielders in history revealed [See list]
The best central midfielders in the history of football have been ranked.
These are players who possess a wide range of qualities, such as excellent vision, passing accuracy and the ability to read the game.
Contemporary midfielders also need to be comfortable with both defensive and offensive responsibilities.
The best central midfielders are physically strong, mentally resilient and possess excellent communication skills.
According to ChatGPT’s ranking, via Sportskeeda, here are the 10 greatest central midfielders of all time.
10 Clarence Seedorf
The former Netherlands international was a dominant force in central midfield for nearly 20 years with a powerful frame, sublime technique and a tireless work rate. He won four Champions League titles with three different clubs: Ajax, Real Madrid, and AC Milan.
9 Johan Neeskens
The midfielder helped the Dutch national team reach two consecutive World Cup finals during his playing days. Neeskens was versatile and could play anywhere across the midfield. He scored over 100 goals in his career. The Dutchman won several titles in his club career, including two Dutch Eredivisie titles and three European Cups with Ajax.
8 Paul Scholes
The midfielder spent his entire footballing career at Manchester United. He was known as a master of the art of passing. He dictated the tempo of the game and won 11 Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues, and three FA Cups with United.
7 Andrea Pirlo
Also known as “Il Professore”, the midfielder is known for his passing ability. Pirlo won numerous titles with AC Milan and Juventus as well as the 2006 World Cup with Italy.
6 Frank Rijkaard
Rijkaard was known for his physicality, technical ability, and leadership while at AC Milan, a club he helped win back-to-back European Cups in the late 1980s; he also helped the Netherlands win the 1988 European Championship. A versatile midfielder, Rijkaard could play as a central defender as well as a second striker.
5 Lothar Matthaus
Matthaus was a true box-to-box player. His tireless running and physical presence made him a nightmare for opponents. He also had the ability to read the game and make interceptions. He went on to win six Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich as well as the 1990 World Cup and the 1980 European Championship with Germany.
4 Michel Platini
Platini won the Ballon d’Or three times. With his technique, vision and finishing ability, the Frenchman scored over 300 career goals. He led France to victory in the 1984 European Championship. Nicknamed “Le Roi ”, Platini won two Serie A titles, one French Division 1 title, one European Cup, and one European championship.
3 Zinedine Zidane
Zidane was a gifted midfielder and master craftsman. He had elegant touch, vision, and dribbling ability. Zidane won numerous titles with Juventus and Real Madrid, as well as the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship with France.
2 Andres Iniesta
A former Spain international who is still in the game of football. Iniesta was a key member of the legendary Barcelona and Spain teams that dominated world football. He helped Spain win the 2010 World Cup, scoring the winning goal. The Spaniard won four Champions League titles and nine La Liga titles with Barcelona.
1 Xavi Hernandez
A true midfield genius, Xavi was the heartbeat of the Barcelona team that won three Champions Leagues in six years. Xavi won 25 trophies with Barcelona, including eight La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues. He is currently the manager in charge of Barcelona. Xavi helped Spain win the 2010 World Cup and the 2008 and 2012 European Championships.