Top 5 Defensive midfielders
Defensive midfielders, in my opinion, play one of the most taxing and sadly, underrated role in the world of football. Defensive midfielders are the ones who dictate the tempo of the game and hence, require immense ball control. They pass and intercept passes. They defend and create chances. They are tireless workers and as a result, have great stamina. They are the ones who make the highest number of passes in the game and occasionally even provide that killer pass. They are the guys who act as cover for full backs when they proceed to attack. They are players who cover the largest distance during a match and it is normal for a DM to over 10 kilometers in a typical EPL match. And sometimes, they chip in with that brilliant goal. So, to make things short, they are the most vital players on the pitch.
After giving a justification on why I considered defensive midfielders the best on the pitch, here’s a look at some players in the current era that I consider are the best for the job.
Andrea Pirlo: He isn’t called “I’architetto” (The architect) for nothing you know. As the nickname given by his fellow Italian teammates suggests, he is one of the best passers in the game and is not only a great DM but also one of the greatest players to have graced the game. And not just any passes at that. He provides those long chipped balls over the entire defensive line and with half the job done, the forward has to only tap the ball in the net. Though he is not known for agility, he is undoubtedly one of the best passers in the game. And when it comes to taking free-kicks, he is a complete menace.
Sergio Busquets: Before starting, I’d like to make something clear. When it comes to melodramatic diving and falling-on-the-ground-clutching-your-face-when-it’s-not-a-foul, the avid football fan will always relate with Busquests. But cheat (or actor or diver or all the above) or not, he is one of the most talented defensive midfielders in today’s football world, no joke. A master of the simple pass, he is the backbone of FCB and though he may not get much recognition (except in derby matches where he is the centre of attention AND controversy), he is one talented lad. And he is only 24.
Michael Essien: This guy has the exact build for a defensive midfielder. He is tall with a powerful build and has what seems to be unending stamina. No wonder they call him ‘the Bison’. And he also has a knack of scoring some truly beautiful goals and has won the ‘Chelsea goal of the Season’ award twice, and one of them was against Barcelona when he scored a blistering left-footed volley. And with great tackling, the Ghanaian is the complete defensive midfield package.
Xabi Alonso: Another Spaniard in this list, he is a personal favorite of mine. His very command over the ball is amazing and is arguably the best passer in the world. Though he not known for his tackling ability, he is the ultimate player and can play in anywhere on the pitch. And he is also a brilliant assist provider and sometimes even chips in with an awesome goal (Remember that long shot against Newcastle?)
Daniele de Rossi: He is great at tackling, shooting, passing and has great strength. To make it short, he is THE complete midfielder. Having played at AS Roma for 11 years, he is touted to be the next captain for the Roman side. And he is a versatile player as he can play both in defence and midfield. And unlike the others in this list, he manages about 7-8 goals in a season.
Best of the Rest
John Obi Mikel