Now that we've made it through our goalkeepers and defensive players, let's move on to midfield.

1. Sergio Busquets, Barcelona

Sergio Busquets is una artista. The Catalan native is probably the most under appreciated player in all of football. Former Spain manager Vicente del Bosque said of Busquets, "[If] you watch the game, you don't see Busquets. [If] you watch Busquets, you see the whole game." Meaning by this, Busquets does his job so well, that he becomes almost invisible to the viewer. However, his talent as a defensive midfielder is evident. Fellow Barcelona and Spain legend Xavi said of him, "Without Busquets, Barcelona and Spain could never had achieved what we have achieved." Pretty high praise.

2. Blaise Matuidi, PSG

Perhaps the most aggressive center defensive midfielder on this particular list, Blaise Matuidi has made a name for himself in Paris as one of football's top tacklers. The Frenchman plays a key role in midfield for both club and country, and is utilized extremely often by PSG and France. Matuidi is known for his strong tackles, near perfect distribution, and important play in his teams' attacking build up. At 29, Blaise Matuidi still has many fine years left in him.

3. Javier Mascherano, Barcelona

While Mascherano currently plays as a center back for Barcelona, I much prefer him in the central defensive midfield role he plays for Argentina. Obviously, Sergio Busquets has that particular role anchored down for Barca, leaving Javier available to slide down to the center back role for the Catalan side. Mascherano still plays extremely well in defense, but his true talent lies in midfield. Like Busquets, Marscherano is extremely gifted technically and is an advantage anywhere on the field.

4. N'Golo Kanté, Chelsea

The second Frenchman on this list, Kanté is one of the most in-form players in football right now. His terrific form in 2015-2016 helped lead Leicester City on one of the most unexpected title runs in the history of sports. Kanté's recent transfer to Chelsea has put him even further into the spotlight. Undoubtedly, the defensive midfielder has excelled. Retired Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said of him, "N'Golo Kanté is by far the best player in the Premier League this season [2015/16]." Kanté is yet another player earning exceptionally high praise from the football world.

5. Xabi Alonso, Bayern Munich

As Xabi Alonso nears the end of his career, football will be losing one of its highest quality playmakers. A fantastic long passer and free kick taker, Alonso is an especially versatile player. Like fellow Spaniard Busquets, Alonso has been a staple on the Spanish national team for years. Despite his age, Xabi Alonso has made a relatively high number of appearances for his current club Bayern Munich, and he continues to produce at a high level.


Published by Joseph Lowery