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5 best central midfielders in the world right now based on ratings

There are many good central midfielders in the game at the moment.
There are many good central midfielders in the game at the moment.

There is no position on the football pitch in the modern game that is easy to play. That is partially due to the rise in significance of full-backs and wingers. One area of the field that is arguably the most difficult to play in is central midfield. That is primarily due to games being won or lost in the middle of the park more often than not.

While central midfielders seldom get their due credit, their influence on proceedings cannot be understated. Centre-backs and strikers are mainly judged based on their defensive and attacking skills. However, central midfielders need to be equally adept in defending, dribbling and shooting, while also being great passers of the ball.

Six central midfielders have won the #UCLFinal Man of the Match this century: 🇫🇷 Zinedine Zidane🇵🇹 Deco🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Steven Gerrard🇪🇸 Xavi🇪🇸 Andrés Iniesta🇫🇷 N'Golo KantéHe's in good company. 😏 twitter.com/SquawkaNews/st…

When one thinks of great midfielders of the 21st century, the Spanish duo of Xavi and Iniesta spring to mind. The Premier League has also been blessed with world-class box-to-box midfielders such as Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes.

There are many talented central midfielders among active players as well. Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Marco Verratti have been sublime throughout their careers. However, are they the best among the current lot?

Let’s find out as we rank the five best central midfielders in the world right now based on ratings (as per WhoScored).


#5 Toni Kroos - 7.2

RCD Espanyol vs Real Madrid CF - La Liga Santander
RCD Espanyol vs Real Madrid CF - La Liga Santander

Toni Kroos has been one of the best central midfielders of his generation. The Bayern Munich prodigy was snapped up by Real Madrid after his fine displays at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Considering Kroos’ €25 million transfer fee, the German midfielder’s acquisition was one of the best deals of the 2010s.

Kroos has formed a terrific partnership with Luka Modric, winning three consecutive Champions League trophies. Despite having a few sub-par seasons, he still ranks among the best players in his position across Europe’s top five leagues.

2021: Toni Kroos passing masterclass against Liverpool 🎯@ToniKroos | @realmadriden | #UCL https://t.co/7BbOipVQ5T

The Real Madrid No.8 has put his pin-point passing ability to significant effect by providing three assists in La Liga this season. The 32-year-old has also scored three goals across competitions for Los Blancos, including a couple in the Champions League.


#4 Sergej Milinkovic-Savic - 7.4

SS Lazio vs Udinese Calcio - Serie A
SS Lazio vs Udinese Calcio - Serie A

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the best central midfielders in Europe in terms of goal contributions.

The Lazio talisman’s 22 goal involvements (ten goals and 12 assists) in 2021 were more than any player in Europe’s top five leagues. He has started 2022 on fire, accumulating two goals and two assists in only four Serie A games.

Milinkovic-Savic is having the best season of his career. His seven goals and nine assists in 22 Serie A games are impressive numbers. He is just two goal contributions away from equalling his most prolific season (18 goals and assists) in 2020-21).

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is having another standout season for Lazio in the Serie A: 🏟 21 games ⚽️ 7 goals 🅰️ 8 assists 🔑 31 key passes 📊 82.5% passing accuracy Magician. https://t.co/hfcXiHPHH2

The Serbian midfielder is a few weeks away from his 27th birthday. It is astounding how no top European club has signed him yet. In an era where most teams play a 4-3-3 system, Milinkovic-Savic would be the ideal goalscoring midfielder.

#3 Bernardo Silva - 7.4

Manchester United vs Manchester City - Premier League
Manchester United vs Manchester City - Premier League

Bernardo Silva has been sensational in the Premier League this season. Manchester City are spoilt for choice in terms of attacking midfielders and wingers. While Silva is primarily a right winger or attacking midfielder, he has had to settle for a central midfield role this season. Needless to say, he has still excelled.

The former Monaco winger has scored seven Premier League goals this term, matching his highest return in the 2018-19 season. Just like in the 2018-19 campaign, Kevin De Bruyne hasn't played a big part in this season's title race. Silva has stepped up big time to make up for that.

Everything about this Bernardo Silva goal is magnificent 🔥https://t.co/OlYriEDPoS

The Manchester City No.20 will be among the Player of the Season nominees if City win the league title this season. While Silva hasn't been anywhere close to Mohamed Salah this season, he has been quite exemplary in his own right in central midfield.


#2 Joshua Kimmich - 7.5

1. FC Köln vs FC Bayern München - Bundesliga
1. FC Köln vs FC Bayern München - Bundesliga

Joshua Kimmich is among the best midfielders in the world. Equally capable of performing fabulously at right-back, defensive midfield or central midfield, Kimmich is a manager's dream. Any avid fan would expect the German midfielder to make such a list. On his day, Kimmich can pull the strings in midfield.

Before contracting COVID-19, Kimmich put in match-winning performances regularly. In the first six Bundesliga games this season, Kimmich had three goals and four assists, reason why is rated so highly.

Joshua Kimmich played the most accurate long balls (6), the most accurate crosses (2) and created the most chances (3) than any Bayern Munich player against Barcelona.Great performance. https://t.co/VvVM4WPNCR

The six-time Bundesliga winner has established himself as one of the elite midfielders of his generation. After disappointments in the Champions League and Euro 2020 last year, the 26-year-old will be keen to make 2022 a memorable one with club and country.


#1 Teji Savanier - 7.6

Teji Savanier is leading from the front for Montpellier.
Teji Savanier is leading from the front for Montpellier.

Teji Savanier has been impressive in this year's Ligue 1 campaign. The Frenchman has recorded five goals and six assists. In December, the midfielder scored two goals and registered as many assists. His exploits helped him win the Ligue 1 Player of the Month award in December.

Savanier has played in central midfield for most of his career. He is highly versatile, and can play defensive midfield or attacking midfield with equal proficiency too. The Montpellier captain has been playing a slightly advanced role this term.

🇫🇷⭐𝗧𝗲́𝗷𝗶 𝗦𝗮𝘃𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗲𝗿, with a 𝟴.𝟱𝟯, leads the way in this December’s @WhoScored Team of the Month!Who impressed you most? 🤔 https://t.co/yT09hVP7G5

The 30-year-old is having one of the best seasons of his career. It will be interesting to see if he can match the 14 assists he provided in the 2018-19 Ligue 1 campaign with Nimes. Nevertheless, he is having a campaign to cherish.

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Edited by Bhargav
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