In today's modern era of football where fans are inclined towards attacking and eye-catching football, there are various world-class players who silently guard their teams defensively and play a key role in the build-up.
They are defensive midfielders, one of the most underappreciated player yet arguably the most important players in their teams. While many established defensive midfielders like Sergio Busquets, N'Golo Kante, Fernandinho and Casemiro rightfully get the plaudits they deserve, there still are players who have been exceptional this season as a defensive midfielder but have gone under the radar and so is this man: Marcelo Brozovic.
For those who don't know this exceedingly talented player, Marcelo Brozovic is a 26-year-old Croatian international who plays for the Italian club Inter Milan as a defensive midfielder. In a season stacked with inconsistency, Inter still sit at the third position in Serie A and Brozovic has arguably been their best performer this season.
Sitting in the base of the midfield, Brozovic is fundamental to Luciano Spaletti's possession-based tactics. Brozovic is responsible for setting the tempo of the game and his vast passing range is crucial for Inter's patient build-up. Moreover, Brozovic also shields the defence and his unabating stamina is crucial while defending.
Statistics are one of the most key measures to determine how a player has performed and following the statistics of Brozovic in Serie A this season further exemplifies how good he has been.
The Croatian has a whopping 80.4 passes per game (highest in Serie A), an impressive 1.6 key passes per game, and an incredible 7.3 accurate long balls per game (highest in Serie A).
Defensively, he makes an unbelievable 3.5 tackles per game (four highest in Serie A), a splendid 1.5 interceptions per game, and wins a fierce 6 duels per game.
He successfully makes 0.8 dribbles per game, which is impressive for a defensive midfielder, while getting fouled at least once a game.
These statistics depict what a complete and efficient midfielder Brozovic is. In fact, very few midfielders in the world have been able to have a substantial impact in both ends of a pitch, Moreover, some of his statistics are even better than seasoned players like Busquets, Fernandino and Casemiro.
It is really baffling that with the incredible statistics and unerring consistency Brozovic has shown this season, he still remains underappreciated and never comes in the list of the best midfielders this season.
The Croatian, however, continues to perform superbly and remains a vital cog of Inter Milan. If he continues to perform the way he has been this season, there is no doubt that the European giants will start lurking around him, vying for his signaturePublished 27 Feb 2019, 23:31 IST