Welcome to World Class: the 5 best central midfielders
We are now past the halfway point 90 minsWelcome to the World Class series.
Having ranked the best goalkeepers, full-backs, center-backs and defensive midfielders in the world, we are now in the center midfielder – one of the most crucial roles on the pitch.
There are many different ways to operate in the middle of the park, but modern CMs generally have to own the game, the physicality. and intelligence to excel.
Here are the five players who (according to our innovative metric) are doing it all at a world-class level in 2020.
From relegation fodder with Newcastle to an English, European and even world champion with Liverpool. Gini Wijnaldum had a career.
In terms of natural talent, there were a lot of better players than him on our list. However, his intelligence, pace of work and discipline make him irreplaceable in the Reds midfield.
He is also a man for the big occasion, evidenced by his memorable brace against Barcelona in the Champions League, which kicked off his team’s incredible comeback.
His route to the top might not have been conventional, but make no mistake, Wijnaldum is 100% world class.
Gini Wijnaldum ranks fifth in the 90-minute Welcome to World Class central midfield list. Learn more about why Wijnaldum is world class here.
Leon Goretzka received nothing from him during his career.
Whether it was an injury, illness or a manager playing him out of position, he always had to fight for his place at the first table of the game. However, since transforming into the world’s most stacked man during the lockdown, Goretzka has seemed indestructible.
He quickly established himself as a vital cog in Hansi Flick’s well-oiled midfielder and was still present as Bayern Munich beat a historic triple last season.
Now he’s finally proven to everyone that he deserves to be called world class, don’t expect him to let go anytime soon.
Leon Goretzka ranks fourth in the 90-minute Welcome to World Class central midfield list. Learn more about why Goretzka is world class here.
Some people still stubbornly refuse to accept that Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is world class. We are sorry to say, these people are dead wrong.
Without Henderson in the squad, the Reds are far from having the same devastating prospect. He plugs holes that no one else sees and squeezes through an unholy amount of underestimated legwork for his team.
Henderson is a born leader, a very talented operator who inspires a level of performance similar to those around him.
Forget what haters say. he East World class.
Jordan Henderson ranks third in the 90-minute Welcome to World Class central midfield list. Learn more about why Henderson is world class here.
World-class players like Thiago Alcantara make it all easy.
Whether it’s a ball test, a long precise pass, or a sumptuous first touch, Thiago does it all without breaking a sweat.
The stylish midfielder has had his injury issues, of course, but when he’s in top form, there are few more creative players on the planet than he is.
Bubbling with Barcelona’s DNA, there’s a reason Pep Guardiola insisted on signing him when he took over Bayern in 2013. After his arrival, he won the Bundesliga in each of his seven seasons, as well as ‘a Champions League earlier this year.
Thiago Alcantara ranks second in the 90-minute Welcome to World Class central midfield list. Learn more about why Thiago is world class here.
Here he is, the central midfielder who most deserves the “world class” label.
Toni Kroos has been at the heart of three of the most successful international clubs and clubs of the past decade. Namely, Bayern Munich 2012-2014, Germany 2014 and Real Madrid 2015-2018.
His trophy is just ridiculous, as are his skills. Anything that can be reasonably expected from a footballer can be played by Kroos at an elite level. Pass, shoot, tackle – he can do it all.
The 30-year-old is now entering the final act of his incredible career, but shows no signs of slowing down and looks set to consolidate his position at the best central midfielder in the world for years to come.
Toni Kroos ranks first in the 90-minute Welcome to World Class central midfield list. Learn more about why Kroos is world class here.