Top 10 Best Defensive Midfielders In The World 2019 – Midfield Position is one of the most important positions a football team must equip well in any match they wish to play. The position is like the central position of the field- just like the CPU of a computer. Between the forwards and backward (team’s defender) is their position and through this point, they disseminate balls to other players at any angle.
They are the play-makers. Managers usually assign players to the midfield either as a central, defensive midfielder depending on the skills of the player. Each of these has its own specific task. Defensive midfielders, however, are trained to prevent any goal from scoring by the opponent. At times they move to block a shot or a pass depending on the condition. They are the first line of defense for the team. Thus as long as the defensive midfielder is intact, the team is half-complete. Here, we present to you the top 10 best defensive midfielders in the world right now. I will start from the back to the front. Here they are:
Top 10 Best Defensive Midfielders In The World 2019
1. Fernandinho – Manchester City
This is the juju man of Manchester City. The two games he has missed this season have been miserable losses for Manchester City as it has looked like Man City does not have a backbone without him.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk man has been absolutely vital to the English champions title defense hopes. Manchester City dominate the game and so passes must be excellent, and it is ( 73.5 passes per game, 87.5 percent accuracy, 0.8 key passes per game, three assists ) with Fernandinho driving them forward.
But this piece is about defense, Fernandinho is Manchester City’s midfielders anchor with 2.2 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, 2.7 clearances per 90 minutes. This is the man who wins back the ball for City, with 10.27 recoveries per game ( 38.9% in the opponents half ) ensuring that the opponents get pinned back in their own half.
Fernandinho is quite rough, and he can dish out an injury or two, most times without even getting a yellow card.
2. N’golo Kante – Chelsea
Another Grass to Grace story, Ngolo Kante, came from poverty in Senegal, to playing in the English lower division, to promotion with Leicester, to winning the English Premier League with Leicester.
Chelsea fell in love with him, as did the French National Team. N’golo Kante has never disappointed either of them, he has won the Premier League with Chelsea, and his stellar performances at the base of France’ midfield helped them win the World Cup.
Arguably, N’golo Kante is the best defensive midfielder in the world currently, but he losses the accolade because Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri has been playing him out of position.
The French player remains the one saddled with the job of winning back possession of the ball for Chelsea, despite the fact that he has to do it higher up the field. Maybe the idea is to keep the opponents pinned down in their own half of the field. Has it worked?
His statistics have dropped. Interceptions were 2.5 per game, tackles were 3.3, fouls were 1.2 per game. Now they are 1.4, 1.7 and 0.9 respectively. Chelsea has dominated possession in most of their games.
3. Sergio Busquets
The Barcelona man was actually trained by the team under its academy, La Masia after which he was recruited into Team A in 2008 and since then, he has been playing with balls on the pitch in order to achieve his goals. The Spanish man, who is just 28-years of age, has achieved a lot in the history of football and I know he will improve more on it in subsequent years to come. His uniqueness lies in his accuracy in the distribution of balls, strong ball tackling and also his height. He is actually known as a tactical genius.
Also when you play alongside great players like Luis Suarez and the Living Legend Lionel Messi you tend to go unnoticed because they take all the spotlight. Sergio Busquets is actually a better player than many fans and pundits give him credit for.
Barcelona likes to dominate games from start to finish, so as to make their opponents desperate and helpless. In order to do this, they need to win back the ball as quickly as they lose it. And that is where they need Sergio Busquets. Without a midfielder who anchors the team like Busquets, how on earth would Suarez or Messi get the ball in opponents danger areas so as to create the wonderful memories and nightmares as they do?
4. Gini Wijnaldum – Liverpool
When Fabinho and Naby Keita arrived at Liverpool for a combined fee of about 100 million pounds, many people thought that meant Gini Wijnaldum would be shown the exit door at Liverpool. Instead, Wijnaldum has outshone his rivals for the defensive midfield role at Liverpool. He fits in quite well either in the four three three formation, or the four three two one formation, where he shields the back four while stringing passes with teammates up ahead.
Let us look at some of his statistics. What he lacks in tackles and interceptions he makes up for with his ability to trouble opponents and pounces on mistakes. With 5.8 recoveries per game and 48.7% of those in the opponents half, Wijnaldum has been key to Liverpool’s success as they like to press their opponents high up the field.
Add a passing success rate of 91% ( from an average of about 51.5 passes per game- with 7.86 passes per 90 going into the opponent’s danger area ) this guy from Holland has been outstanding for Liverpool.
Genuine title contenders both in England and on the continent, Liverpool are a great team that is full of able and confident players. It would take a special offer to lure Gini Wijnaldum away from Liverpool.
5. Casemiro -Real Madrid
This guy is made in Brazil. This guy has the physical attributes that come with the job. Casemiro a white version of Wilfred Ndidi only that he is actually quite comfortable with the ball at his feet. His strength, size, and jumping ability makes him the ideal player to sit in front of the defense and ward off attackers.
Real Madrid has struggled this season, and some blame must land at Casemiro’s door. Perhaps it’s the Ronaldo effect still affecting them, causing them to play poorly, or maybe it’s the fact that opponents no longer see reasons to fear them since Ronaldo is no longer in the picture.
6. Ander Herrera – Manchester United
This youngish looking midfielder is actually in his late twenties. He grew up at Real Zaragoza, but made the switch to Manchester United no doubt to win laurels and stamp his name on football history. Has that been a wrong move? Time will tell.
Manchester United have lost form and dominance in England, and since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down from the helm, questionable miracle wins have almost been a thing of the past.
Ander Herrera has very good marking skills and wins balls quickly when his team loses possession of the ball. This helps boost his teams’ confidence and enables them to press forward in search of winning goals.
7. Thomas Partey – Athletico Madrid
This guy plays for one of the (if not the) most well-organized defenses in the world. He came with a good height, strength, and stamina, but coach Diego Simeone has sharpened his tackling, interceptions, air prowess and mentality. His position is just in front of the defense, and his training is not to let attackers through even at the cost of a red card.
He does not claim to be skillful, neither have I ever heard it said that he has a vision, or remarkable passing abilities. But I have seen him sliding in to make tackles, pulling shirts, kicking players, in short doing whatever it takes to keep attackers away. He is especially aware when Athletico have the lead in a game and are determined to sit on that lead.
8. Lucas Torreira – Arsenal
Small body, big engine! Arsenal doled out 25 million pounds for this guy and no wonder! The stingy club knew how good he is, and how much better he can get in the future.
Before his arrival, Arsenal was shaking like a drunken tree, but he has given them steel and stamina. His tackles are good and his interceptions are vital. This guy with his menacing midfield presence allows Arsenal to play with more confidence.
He is quick on the counter, has become a fan favorite, with his neat forward passing. We expect him to improve even more in seasons to come.
9. Wilfred Ndidi – Leicester City
Since we are talking about defensive midfielders, his defensive abilities bring him into the reckoning. This Nigerian international has been getting applause for his ability to act as a buffer for the Leicester defense.
Although his shooting ability needs drastic improvement, at least he has good speed and can cover ground very quickly either going forward or tracking back. His tackles are precise, he is good in the air, and he does not shy away from a physical battle with an opposite number.
For lovers of statistics let us state that Wilfred Ndidi boasts an average of 3.2 tackles, two interceptions, and 2.5 clearances per game. Don’t blame him, Leicester don’t play much of the ball, all they do is clear it away.
10. Axel Witsel – Borussia Dortmund.
Some will say they are not familiar with this name. Well come back in a season or 2, and dare to say you don’t know him. He is a good marker, a good tackler, and his general defensive abilities are top notch. But he is also not lacking on the attacking side of the game. He is a goal scoring threat, and a dribbler to be reckoned with on any day. He is surprisingly well rounded for a defensive player and is so blessed with leadership abilities to direct the run of play, and his teams approach any game.
Final Word On The Best Defensive Midfielders In The World 2019
Strictly speaking, we are discussing Defensive Midfielders and not general player abilities. While we recognize the fact that player styles of play and their abilities differ, we must give recognition to players who do the actual defending.
We praise Axel Wixel for his abilities on the ball, but today we are talking about defensive play. Sergio Busquets is a great player, but sometimes Barcelona intimidates and obliterates their opponents so completely that they hardly do any defending.
Is Fernandinho better than N’golo Kante? Well, blame Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri for playing Kante out of position, favoring a Jorginho that looks like an Orphan.
That’s all about The Top 10 Best Defensive Midfielders In The World 2019.
The game of football has changed tremendously over the years, and players have been forced to change with it. During the Early 2000s when football was domiciled in Italy and AC Milan taught the world how to play, midfielders were more specialized in roles they played and the responsibilities they carried out in the team. For example, Gennaro Gattuso was a defensive midfielder and his job was to get the ball from the opponents or at least make it difficult for them to enter his team’s danger area. He did this in a terrific and terrible manner, earning a reputation as one of the toughest players of his time. On the other hand, there was Clarence Seedorf, the attacking midfielder, whose job was to bring the ball forward and then find the strikers. He had the vision and ability to thread the ball through a crowd onto the path of his strikers.
But football has changed from the days of Claude Makelele and Frank Lampard; this is the era of the box to box midfielder. Midfielders are now expected to run from their danger areas to opponents danger areas throughout the game. Despite this change, however, there are still players with a superior ability to ward off opposition attacks, make timely interceptions, accurate tackles and are the ones on the list of top 10 defensive midfielders in the World currently in 2019
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Ranking Updated By @ikepius