5 Greatest Midfielders of All Time

Midfield is the most important position in football, as the team which has a strong midfield controls the game.

A team cannot win many titles without robust midfield. A Good Midfield is the key to success for football teams.

This List presents the Players who made their mark in the football world by successfully dominating the midfield.

5 Greatest Midfielders of all time List

5) Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane or Zizou is widely regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of all time. He was known for his exceptional technical ability, vision, and creativity on the ball, as well as his leadership and ability to control the tempo of the game.

Zidane was a master of ball control and could execute a wide range of tricks and moves with the ball at his feet.

He was also a clinical finisher, scoring many important goals throughout his career. His graceful playing style and impressive achievements have earned him the respect and admiration of fans and players alike.

Major Career Achievements:

  • FIFA World Cup (1998)
  • UEFA European Championship (2000)
  • UEFA Champions League (2002)
  • La Liga (2002)
  • Ballon d’Or (1998)

4) Andres Iniesta

Andrés Iniesta is a retired Spanish professional footballer who is widely regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of all time.

He spent most of his career with FC Barcelona, where he won numerous domestic and international titles. He is known for his exceptional technical ability, vision, and passing, which earned him the nickname “The Illusionist.”

He joined Barca’s youth academy at the age of 12 & made his first team debut with Barcelona in 2002. Since then he is one of the greatest Barcelona Players Ever & surely cemented his place to be the greatest midfielder ever.

Major Career Achievements:

  • La Liga: 9 Times
  • UEFA Champions League: 4 times
  • FIFA World Cup: (In 2010)
  • UEFA European Championship: (2008, 2012)

3) Ronaldinho

Ronaldinho Gaucho, is regarded as the most talented player ever to step on the football field. He was an Attacking Midfielder who used to dribble down defenders like a piece of cake.

He is a Global Star as he is truly famous for his style of play. He was a natural dribbler on the field & was a threat for opposing teams with his creativity.

In addition to his success on the pitch, Ronaldinho was also known for his positive attitude and joyous playing style, which earned him fans all over the world. His legacy as a footballer will likely continue to be celebrated for many years to come.

Major Career Achievements:

  • La Liga: 2 times
  • UEFA Champions League: (In 2006)
  • Serie A: 1 time
  • Copa America: (1999)
  • FIFA World Cup: (2002)
  • Ballon d’Or (2005)

2) Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff is regarded as one the greatest players of all time. He dominated the attacking midfield position with his clubs & country.

He is best known for his time at Ajax and Barcelona, where he was a key member of the Dutch national team that reached the final of the 1974 World Cup.

Cruyff was a creative and technically gifted player, known for his speed, vision, and dribbling ability. He was also a pioneer of the “Total Football” philosophy, which emphasized fluid, attacking play and the ability of all players on the field to contribute offensively and defensively.

This approach revolutionized the way the game was played and helped Ajax and Barcelona become dominant forces in European football.

He was also a highly influential figure in the world of football, known for his outspoken opinions and innovative ideas. He is remembered for his exceptional talent, his innovative approach to the game, and his lasting impact on football as a whole.

Major Career Achievements:

  • Eredivisie: 9 times
  • La Liga: 1 time
  • UEFA Champions League: 3 times
  • Ballon d’Or (1971, 1973, 1974)

1) Diego Maradona

‘El Pibe de Oro’, or simply Maradona, is widely regarded as the Greatest Player of All Time. He was a versatile player who could play in a variety of positions, but was most commonly deployed as a playmaker or attacking midfielder. He has inspired many young children to play football & therefore he is truly a Global Icon.

Diego Maradona was known for his exceptional dribbling skills and close ball control. He had the ability to keep the ball close to his feet and maneuver past defenders with ease.

His small stature made him a difficult player to defend against, as he was able to move quickly and change direction quickly. In addition to his technical skills, Maradona was also known for his creativity on the field and his ability to see passes and plays that other players couldn’t.

Major Career Achievements:

  • Serie A: 2 Times
  • FIFA World Cup: (1986)
  • FIFA Player of the Century

Honorable Mentions:

  • Xavi
  • Luka Modrić
  • Lothar Matthäus
  • Michel Platini
  • Didi
  • Kaká

FAQ Section

Who is the greatest midfielder in history?

The title of the greatest midfielder in history is subjective & often depends on personal preference. However, on Rankerspace list, Diego Maradona tops the list of the greatest midfielder in history.

What makes a midfielder great in football?

A great midfielder in football possesses a combination of skills including exceptional ball control, vision, passing ability & tactical awareness. They are often the link between defense & attack, controlling the game’s tempo and creating scoring opportunities. Additionally, their defensive contributions, leadership & ability to perform under pressure are crucial.

What are the different types of midfielders in football?

There are several types of midfielders in football, each with different roles & responsibilities.

Central midfielders often control the game’s flow, defensive midfielders focus on protecting the defense and breaking up opposition attacks, attacking midfielders create scoring opportunities, and wide midfielders operate from the flanks, providing crosses into the box.

Who are the greatest defensive midfielders of all time?

Some of the greatest defensive midfielders of all time include Claude Makélélé, Lothar Matthäus, Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira & Sergio Busquets. These players were exceptional at breaking up opposition attacks and protecting their defense.

Who are the greatest attacking midfielders of all time?

The list of greatest attacking midfielders of all time features players like Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff, Zinedine Zidane & Ronaldinho. These players were known for their creativity, goal-scoring ability and capacity to unlock defenses with their exceptional passing and dribbling skills.

Who are some promising young midfielders to watch?

Some promising young midfielders to watch include Pedri & Gavi from FC Barcelona, Jude Bellingham from Real Madird & Jamal Musiala from Bayern Munich. These players have shown exceptional talent and potential, making them ones to keep an eye on in the coming years.

Final Words:

At last, the midfield position in football is a crucial one, often determining the flow & outcome of the game.

Our list of the 5 greatest midfielders of all time features players who have absolutely inspired the sport with their exceptional skills, vision & creativity.

From Zinedine Zidane’s masterful ball control to Johan Cruyff’s innovative approach to the game, these players have redefined the role of the midfielder. Diego Maradona, with his extraordinary dribbling skills and ability to see plays that others couldn’t, tops our list.