In the fast-paced modern game, teams need to be able to transform from defence to attack and revert back like clockwork and the one player who is largely responsible for facilitating this is the defensive midfielder. Defensive midfielders provide added protection for the defence by stopping attacks before the ball gets into the final third.
A defensive midfielder, who is good at winning the ball and then quickly turning it over to his teammates so that they can kickstart a counter-attack, has proven to be vital in the modern game.
On that note, let's take a look at the 5 best central defensive midfielders in football right now:
#5 Marcelo Brozovic
Marcelo Brozovic has been one of Inter Milan's standout performers this season as the Nerrazzuri put up a decent fight for the Serie A title. Brozovic has been a consistent performer for Inter but his new role in Antonio Conte's setup has definitely improved his overall game.
Brozovic has been used more as a holding midfielder this time around as opposed to the box-to-box role that we're used to seeing him in. An unrelenting customer on the pitch, Brozovic is what you can call a midfield destroyer who helps collapse attacks whenever the opposition teams look to break.
The 27-year-old is a good passer of the ball as well and is not shy of taking a shot from distance either. He also has 3 goals and 7 assists across all competitions for Inter Milan.
#4 Sergio Busquets
Perhaps the best defensive midfielder of his generation, Sergio Ramos continues to be a strong presence in that Barcelona midfield even at the age of 32. A great passer of the ball, Busquets has been a significant part of the Barcelona midfield for years now.
Busquets can not only win tackles and latch on to a loose ball quite quickly, he is also pretty good at blocking shots. His languid elegance and calmness at the centre of the pitch is often what helps Barcelona dominate in midfield and they'll find it hard to replace him once he calls it a day.