The top five midfielders in the last ten years

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Midfielders are the players who often set the tone of play in a football match. From setting up chances to breaking up attacks, midfielders are pivotal for any top football team in the world.

It is no surprise then that the teams which have dominated world and club football in the last decade have some world class midfielders capable of changing the game in an instant.

Choosing just 5 midfielders in the last decade is no easy task. Some legends of the game like Xavi and Andrea Pirlo left top quality European football in 2015 while some new names have stepped up in the recent past and really staked a claim for the top spot.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the 5 best midfielders of the last decade

Note: The time period considered is 2011-2021


#5 N’Golo Kante (Boulogne, Caen, Leicester City, Chelsea, France)

Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final
Manchester City v Chelsea FC – UEFA Champions League Final

One of the best midfielders in world football at the moment, N’Golo Kante’s rise has been meteoric. Starting in Ligue 2 with Boulogne, Kante had a quiet beginning to his career. Things changed rapidly, however, when Leicester City signed him from Caen in 2015.

A tenacious ball winner, Kante’s all action displays inspired Leicester City to a fairytale Premier League triumph. His performances at Leicester secured him a big move to Chelsea where he cemented his legacy as one of the best midfielders of this generation.

Winner of the Premier League player of the season award in 2016-17, Kante then went on to play a crucial part in France’s incredible 2018 World Cup triumph. Most recently, the French midfielder played a starring role in Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League triumph last season, putting in man-of-the-match displays in the knockout stages.

A big-match player, Kante is undoubtedly one of the greatest defensive-minded midfielders to ever play the game.


#4 Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Germany)

Real Madrid v Club Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final
Real Madrid v Club Atletico de Madrid – UEFA Champions League Final

One of the best passers in world football at the moment, Toni Kroos has been integral to Real Madrid’s and Germany’s successes in the last decade. Having won multiple UEFA Champions League titles and the 2014 World Cup, Kroos is one of the most decorated footballers of this generation.

Blessed with impeccable technique and great passing range, Kroos, who is still only 31, is capable of dictating the tempo of the match. One of Real Madrid’s greatest ever midfielders, Kroos also played a crucial role in Bayern Munich’s 2012-13 UEFA Champions League triumph, scoring 3 goals in 9 appearances.

A brilliant set-piece taker and a true modern day great, Toni Kroos’ elegant passing and grace on the ball is unparalleled. The German midfielder will be hoping to perform at the very highest level for at least another 2 seasons.

Blessed with impeccable technique and great passing range, Kroos, who is still only 31, is capable of dictating the tempo of the match. One of Real Madrid’s greatest ever midfielders, Kroos also played a crucial role in Bayern Munich’s 2012-13 UEFA Champions League triumph, scoring 3 goals in 9 appearances.

A brilliant set-piece taker and a true modern day great, Toni Kroos’ elegant passing and grace on the ball is unparalleled. The German midfielder will be hoping to perform at the very highest level for at least another 2 seasons.





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