Ranked! the 10 Best Defensive Midfielders in The World
A great defensive midfielder is like a good insurance policy: you may not always see them doing their job, but you sure as hell notice when they’re not around. A good defensive midfielder will often go unnoticed during a game, but their importance to a team cannot be understated. They are the unsung heroes of the pitch, tasked with protecting the back line and stopping attacks before they even start.
In this list, we will be ranking the 10 best defensive midfielders in the world. These are the players who have been most instrumental in stopping attacks and keeping their teams clean sheets. From veteran stars to up-and-coming talents, these are the defensive midfielders who have made a name for themselves in the world of football.
Sergio Busquets is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team. Busquets is considered to be one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, and has been described as a “complete midfielder”.
Busquets was born in Sabadell, Catalonia, and began his career at local club Lleida Esportiu. He moved to FC Barcelona’s youth academy in 2005, and made his senior debut for the club in 2008. Since then, he has gone on to make over 400 appearances for Barcelona, winning 21 major trophies, including eight La Liga titles and three Champions League titles.
Internationally, Busquets has represented Spain at two World Cups and two European Championships. He was an integral member of the Spanish team that won the 2010 World Cup, and also played a key role in Spain’s successful defence of their European Championship title in 2012.
Fernandinho is a Brazilian defensive midfielder who plays for English club Manchester City. He is widely regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, and has been praised for his work rate, energy, and tackling ability.
Fernandinho began his career with Brazilian club Atletico Paranaense, before moving to Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk in 2005. He spent nine years with Shakhtar, winning the Ukrainian Premier League nine times and the Ukrainian Cup six times. He also helped them reach the final of the UEFA Cup in 2009.
In 2013, Fernandinho moved to Manchester City for a fee of £30 million. He has since made over 200 appearances for the club, winning two Premier League titles, two FA Cups, and four League Cups.
Fernandinho has also been capped 47 times by Brazil, and was part of their squad that won the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Casemiro is a Brazilian defensive midfielder who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Brazil national team. He is widely considered to be one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, and has been praised for his work rate, positional sense, and composure on the ball.
Casemiro began his career with Sao Paulo, before moving to Portuguese side Porto in 2010. He spent two seasons at Porto, winning the Primeira Liga title in 2011/12. In 2013, he joined Real Madrid for a fee of €6.5 million.
Since joining Real Madrid, Casemiro has establised himself as a key member of the team, helping them win three Champions League titles and one La Liga title. He has also won two Club World Cups and one Super Cup.
Casemiro has made over 200 appearances for Real Madrid, and has been named in both the FIFPro World XI and UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season on multiple occasions. He was also named in Brazil’s squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Assuming you are referring to the Liverpool player, Fabinho is a phenomenal defensive midfielder who is key to the Reds’ high-press style of play. He is an expert at winning the ball back and starting counter-attacks, and his positional sense is second-to-none.
In addition to his defensive prowess, Fabinho is also a gifted passer of the ball and has an excellent range of distribution. He is truly one of the best defensive midfielders in the world.
N’Golo Kanté is a French professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Premier League club Chelsea and the France national team. Kanté was born in Paris and began his career at Boulogne, where he spent two seasons before joining Ligue 1 side Caen in 2013. He helped Caen avoid relegation in his debut season and was named the Best Young Player of the Year.
The following season, Kanté was named in the Ligue 1 Team of the Year as Caen finished 12th. In 2015, he joined Leicester City for a fee of £5.6 million and helped the club win the Premier League title, becoming one of only two players to have won consecutive English league titles with different clubs after his move to Chelsea.
Kanté has been praised for his work-rate, energy, stamina, tackling and interceptions. A versatile player, he has also been used as a box-to-box midfielder or as an attacking midfielder. In 2018, he was named in both the FIFPro World XI and the UEFA Team of the Year.
In the modern game, the defensive midfielder is an increasingly important position. They are responsible for sitting in front of the back four, shielding the defence and offering protection against the opposition’s attacking midfielders.
Wilfred Ndidi is a young Nigerian defensive midfielder who plays for Premier League side Leicester City. He has been earmarked as a future star of the game and has attracted attention from some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Ndidi is a tall and powerful player, who is excellent at breaking up play and winning possession back for his team. He has developed into a superb tackler and has outstanding physicality. He is also comfortable on the ball and can start attacks with his incisive passing.
Ndidi has quickly become one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League, and he is still only 22 years old. He has all the attributes to become one of the best players in his position in the world.
Idrissa Gueye is a Senegal international who plays as a defensive midfielder for English club Everton. He is known for his high work-rate, tenacity and physicality.
Gueye began his career in his home country with Diambars, before moving to France in 2009 to join Lille. He made over 200 appearances for the club, winning the Ligue 1 title in 2010–11 and reaching the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 in 2010–11 and 2012–13. In 2016, he joined Everton for a fee of £7.1 million.
Gueye has been praised for his all-action style of play and has been compared to N’Golo Kanté. He was named in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations Team of the Tournament and was voted African footballer of the year by CAF in 2015.
Jean Michael Seri
Jean Michael Seri is a Ivorian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Fulham. He is known for his vision, passing, and dribbling ability, constraints that earned him the nickname “the little prince”.
Seri began his career with ASEC Mimosas, where he made 168 appearances and scored 11 goals between 2009 and 2015. In 2016, he moved to Nice for a fee of €1 million. In his two seasons with the club, Seri made 79 appearances and helped Nice qualify for the UEFA Europa League twice. In 2018, he signed for Fulham in the Premier League for an undisclosed fee.
In the world of football, there are many great defensive midfielders. However, only a handful can lay claim to being the best in the world. One player who is often considered to be among the elite is Tiémoué Bakayoko of AS Monaco.
Bakayoko is a powerful and physical presence in midfield. He is excellent at winning the ball back for his team and then starting attacks with his accurate passing. Bakayoko is also a threat going forward, as he has scored some important goals for Monaco over the past few seasons.
There are few players in world football who can match Bakayoko’s all-round ability. He is one of the best defensive midfielders in the world and will no doubt continue to be a key player for Monaco in the years to come.
Danilo Pereira is one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. He is a physical presence in the middle of the park and has the ability to break up play and start attacks with his passing.
He is also a threat at set pieces and has scored some important goals for Porto over the years.
Danilo is a well-rounded player who is comfortable in possession and can pick a pass. He is strong in the air and reads the game well.
He has been linked with a move to some of the biggest clubs in Europe, but he remains at Porto for now.