A look at the greatest midfield partnerships of the 21st Century
The game of football is cyclical in nature. Every now and then, one will find features that marked an era go completely out of vogue by the time the next generation comes around. However, despite all the various thesis, antithesis and synthesis (as explained by Hegel), one thing that has remained common has been the importance of midfielders.
The midfielders are the heartbeat of any team and they help in laying the foundation for the team’s success. Over the years, the role of the midfielder has also seen an evolution. While the box-to-box medios were in high demand in the early 2000s, these days we have specialist attacking and defensive midfielders.
Though the roles performed might have changed, their contributions remain as paramount as ever. Thus, as a tribute to these midfielders, we would look at the 5 best midfield partnerships of the 21st century.
Without further ado, here are the best midfield duos of the 21st century:
#5 Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso (Liverpool)
Xabi Alonso arrived in Merseyside in 2004 to mark the dawn of a new era at Anfield. Along with Luis Garcia, he was believed to bring the flair that Rafa Benitez dearly craved. However, it was his partnership with an existing Liverpool player which grabbed all the headlines.
Steven Gerrard had established himself as a firm favourite at Anfield yet he found another gear when paired with Alonso. The two complemented each other perfectly as the former was the epitome of a box to box midfielder and the latter always found him with laser-guided precision.
Having received his footballing education at Real Sociedad, Alonso was as accomplished a ball-player as any. While Gerrard did decently on his own at Anfield, the assurance of an elegant passer alongside helped him scale greater heights.
And the obvious beneficiary was their club, Liverpool. The duo inspired Liverpool to their famous 2005 UEFA Champions League triumph.
On the pitch, the two were as classy as they came and helped Liverpool dominate games in midfield. Thus, they rank at No.5 on our list.