Attacking midfielders come in different types; there are those that dribble their way into opponent areas and those that open up defenses with well-timed forward passes. The best-attacking midfielders in the world, therefore, are those that have consistently shown that they are at the top of their game.
They have shown that they have what it takes to play at the highest level, and have gained the love and admiration of their teammates and fans alike.
Of course, they have to play with quality forwards and strikers otherwise their chances created would go to waste, and nobody would get to appreciate the hard work that they put into the game. Good attacking midfielders soon get called up into big teams, where they can prove their mettle by winning laurels- perhaps that is the biggest validation for their skills.
Top 10 Best Attacking Midfielders In The World
1. Kevin De Bruyne
Team- Manchester City
It’s going to be difficult to find another attacking midfielder who can rival Kevin De Bruyne at the moment; the man has been an absolute master-class for Pep Guardiola in recent times.
The man did start the past season on a problematic note; too many injury problems and a general drop in form made him a shadow of himself. But they say form is temporary, class is permanent.
Kevin De Bruyne has picked up his form again and it seems like he has even become hungrier. He has added more silverware to his impressive cabinet, and he has once again become the dread of players and managers in the English League.
For emphasis; Kevin De Bruyne is a master of the counter-attacking style of football. Once the ball lands at his feet he switches gears and leaves his markers behind. In the opponent’s final third he always seems to pick out the correct pass which means the ball only needs to be tapped into the net.
The strange thing about this man is that he can keep doing this repeatedly for 90 minutes; meaning he can create 10 chances a game, and his team can go up with margins of up to 5 goals. Now that he has Erling Haalaand in front of him things are really going to get heated.
2. Luca Modric
Luca Modric is still one of the most complete players in the game. The Real Madrid midfield maestro may feel insulted to see himself coming in behind Kevin De Bruyne, but this is still an honorable position.
He is a complete player; he marks, blocks, and intercepts balls. He is a leader on the pitch; he physically points out positions to his teammates, telling them where to be.
Perhaps the most iconic aspect of Luka Modric’s game is his consistency. He plays week in and week out, and he is so dependable that one wonders what will happen to Real Madrid if he picks a knock or two.
His ‘banana pass’ is also audacious; he flings the ball forward sometimes with the outside of his boot and plays in a teammate, suddenly putting his team on the front foot.
He is difficult to mark, he is intelligent; he is just Luka Modric.
3. Joshua Kimmich
Team: Bayern Munich
Joshua Kimmich is sometimes labeled a defensive midfielder; but that all depends on who the team is playing, and what the coach decides is the best way to approach the game.
Whether he plays as a central midfielder, an attacking midfielder, or a defensive midfielder; one thing is clear- the destiny of Bayern Munich rests on the shoulders of Joshua Kimmich.
He is tasked with winning back the ball and starting the attacking moves. He has the work rate, the pace, the vision, and the passing ability to be the fulcrum of this great team.
The best way to snatch a win against Bayern Munich is close the passing lines to Joshua Kimmich; thereby denying the team of possession and momentum.
When Jorginho first landed at Chelsea he got hammered with criticism. Quite deservedly so; his performances were poor, and he did little to move the ball forward.
He couldn’t even string a few decent passes together! But now; it looks like a completely different Jorginho; one that is a fine attacking midfielder; confident on the ball, and very good with passing.
To prove his ability; he has been on a relentless trophy haul in recent times; he has picked up the Champions League, Euros, and the Club World Cup all in a space of 24 months!
He pretty much bosses the midfield, and seems not to be under any pressure at all. Everybody has taken notice of Jorginho; he was in contention for the Ballon D’or after spectacular performances with both Chelsea and Italy.
5. Marco Verratti
Marco Verratti is one of the most consistent performers in world football today. He is one of the best passers of the ball; his vision, movement, and presence in the midfield is something to behold. Marco Verratti’s contributions to games include tackles, marking, interceptions, and the ability to hold the ball.
He is the kind of player who knows how to control the pace of the game, and he has the ability to spot his teammate’s runs- supplying the killer passes to put the game in his team’s favor.
He is the complete midfielder; he has won several league titles in his more than 10 years at PSG, and he is still part of the club’s long-term plans. Furthermore, his recent exploits with Italy at the Euros prove beyond doubt that as far as quality midfielders go, you will not easily find one better than Marco Verratti.
6. Ilkay Gundogan
Team: Manchester City
Ilkay Gundogan is a joy to watch; he is a dynamic midfielder; the kind of player who can boss both boxes in a match. He can also hold the ball calmly in the opponent’s penalty area; playing in his teammates to shoot at goal.
In retrospect, he was a somewhat different player while at Dortmund; he was a box-to-box midfielder whose main job was to supply passes. This man has now transformed into a ball carrier.
He runs forward like Kevin De Bruyne, looking for that decisive pass- but calmly. He is never in a hurry, and the opponents do not even try to approach him. Ilkay Gundogan is now 13 goals per season midfielder. Imagine that kind of firepower linking up with Erling Haalaand. The balance of world football could rest at his feet!
7. N’Golo Kante
N’Golo Kante has previously been named as one of the best defensive midfielders. That is true; even if a list should be made about the best-attacking midfielders, best defensive midfielders, best central midfielders, or best any kind- of midfielders; N’Golo Kante deserves a spot on any of them.
He is dynamic; he averages about 2.6 interceptions per game and covers the pitch.
Trusted by the coach; he may be deployed in a number roles, depending on what the team needs on the day. The best part of his game is what he does after he intercepts the ball: N’Golo Kante accelerates like a Ferarri, finding pockets of space in the opponent’s half. He plays in his teammates and gets the goal.
8. Leon Goretzka
Team: Bayern Munich
Leon Goretzka has not yet attained fame like others on this list, but he already has enough Bundesliga Titles to lay claim to a spot on a list highlighting the best people in his trade. Leon Goretzka was already an excellent midfielder when he played for Schalke, but he has stepped his game up by far.
He has always been an agile box-to-box midfielder, but he is now more mature in his play; rather than let the ball fall deep into the Bayern half; he intercepts the ball very well, and supplies link up passes.
His partnership with Joshua Kimmich has been very strong; they combine flawlessly. It is only a matter of time for the world to stand up and take notice of his abilities.
9. Marcos Llorente
Team: Atletico Madrid
Marcos Llorente was at Real Madrid before they let him move across the city to Atletico in 2019. That has proved to be a bad move; Llorente has become phenomenal at Atletico; a real driving force- helping the team in every match.
He has proved invaluable with 12 league goals and another 11 assists recently. He has bossed the midfield and contributed both defensively, and in attack as well. Even in the Champions League, he has been a big force.
10. Declan Rice
Team: West Ham United
The English media is always going on about Declan Rice, and he does have a claim. He is a big influence in West Ham, and he is even more pronounced because he plays at a smaller team.
He is a box-to-box midfielder; he can shadow mark his opponent until help arrives, and he dominates the game, winning the ball, beating his marker, and providing the final pass to his teammates.
There is plenty of speculation about his future; he is currently linked with a number of teams.
The best-attacking midfielders in the world are proven game-changers on the field; in order to prove their worth, they have needed to win laurels.
What would football be? Without the magic of players in the middle of the field who duel for dominance for the benefit of their teams. They trade skills, exchange tackles, and give us fans something to talk about. Attacking midfielders need dribbling skills, near-perfect passing ability, and mobility.
Showing promise as a player is generally not enough; it is important to show their worth by facing up to their competitors in big games, proving how they can compare against the best of the best.