10 greatest attacking midfielders of all time

  • There have been many attacking midfielders, but few stand out due to their vision, dribbling skills and goal-scoring ability. Here's a list:
Pravir Rai
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 06 Feb 2019, 14:21 IST

Ronaldinho and Zinedine Zidane
Ronaldinho and Zinedine Zidane

There have been numerous attacking midfielders in the history of football, but few of them stand out due to their vision, dribbling skills, and goal-scoring ability. They are known as 'playmakers' who can move to the forward area and create chances for their team.

A common trait among them is that most of them wear "number 10" shirt while playing for their team. This list is unique because all the players have been chosen on the basis of their goal-scoring ability, assists, awards won, and ranking in the 'FIFA 100' or 'World Player of the Century' polls. Here we take a look at 10 best attacking midfielders.

#10. Ruud Gullit

Ruud Gullit of AC Milan
Ruud Gullit of AC Milan

Ruud Gullit was a versatile player, who won the Ballon d'Or in 1987. He led Netherlands to victory in UEFA Euro 1988. Gullit was an attacking player with amazing heading and dribbling skills. He was tall and muscular which enabled him to be fast and strong on the field.

Gullit was known for sporting unique dreadlocks and distinctive moustache. He epitomized the concept of 'Total Football' which was displayed by the Netherlands in the 1980s and 90s.

Gullit played 380 club matches and scored 126 goals with 21 assists. He also played 66 matches for his national team and scored 17 goals. They named him one of the 'Top 125 greatest living footballers of all time' in 2004.

#9. Gianni Rivera

Gianni Rivera
Gianni Rivera

Gianni Rivera was known as the 'Golden Boy' of Italy. He is widely remembered for his exceptional performance in 1970 World Cup semi-final match, where he scored the decisive goal to beat West Germany 4-3.

Rivera was a creative, elegant, and offensive playmaker with a high degree of footballing intelligence, class, and leadership. His passing skills were outstanding. He won the Ballon d'Or in 1969. 


The IFFHS placed him on the 19th position in 'World Player of the 20th Century' poll. Rivera played 639 club matches and scored 168 goals with two assists. He also scored 14 goals in 60 matches for his national side.

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Published 06 Feb 2019, 14:21 IST
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