The 10 Best Central Midfielders in the World 2024

Best Central Midfielders in the World 2024: Midfielders play an important role in Soccer Fields. They’re like a boss on the field, controlling the pace, scoring goals, and even stopping the other team.

These super-skilled players are the heart and soul of their teams, pushing them to win and changing games with their magic. Deciding who’s the best Central Midfielder in the World in 2024 is a difficult task for us, with fans arguing and new legends added to the game.

Best Players In The World By Position

From tough defenders to creative wizards, each midfielder has something special to the middle of the pitch. They’re like artists with their feet, painting beautiful plays and leaving everyone glued to the game.

Best Central Midfielders in the World 2024

So, let’s explore the top central midfielders, where talent, hard work, and smart thinking combine to create football magic!

1. Federico Valverde

  • Country: Uruguay Spain
  • Age: 25
  • Club: Real Madrid

Federico Valverde is considered the best central midfielder in the world from our point of view. Fans and journalists all around the world praise him for being a well-rounded player. He is known for his speed, endurance, hard work, and scoring abilities. He can play as a defensive midfielder, right winger, and sometimes even as a right-back.

Valverde has made over 150 appearances for Real Madrid, securing various titles including La Liga, FIFA Club World Cups, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and the Copa del Rey.

Valverde has represented his country in the Copa América and the FIFA World Cup. Widely regarded as one of the best young players in the world, he received the FIFA Club World Cup Silver Ball Award in 2022 and was part of the La Liga Team of the Season in 2023.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Valverde is his adaptability and eagerness to learn. Under the guidance of Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid, he constantly evolves his game, adding new skills. This versatility makes him a valuable player and a mysterious force on the field.

2. Pedri

  • Country: Spain
  • Age: 21
  • Club: FC Barcelona

In the ranking of the best central midfielders in the world, Pedri secures the 2nd position. He typically plays in a flexible midfield role, allowing him to freely move around the pitch. Pedri prefers central areas and operating between the lines, but he can also venture out wide or drop deep into the defense to collect the ball.

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Image Source: Instagram

Originally a winger, Pedri transitioned to a central midfield role, showcasing versatility by also playing as an attacking midfielder, defensive midfielder, and even a center-forward. Known for his quickness, intelligence, creativity, and hard work, Pedri excels in technical skills, dribbling, ball control, passing, awareness, and vision. His ability to navigate tight spaces, exploit gaps, and deliver precise passes with either foot makes him an effective playmaker.

Pedri’s playing style, along with his slim physique, has drawn comparisons to former Barcelona legends Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, Michael Laudrup, and Lionel Messi. He is highly regarded for his dribbling skills, stamina, composure under pressure, and ambidextrous abilities. Overall, Pedri is recognized as one of the top central midfielders in the world, particularly for his exceptional dribbling and playmaking skills.

3. Gavi

  • Country: Spain
  • Age: 19
  • Club: FC Barcelona

Securing the 3rd position among the best central midfielders in the world is Gavi. In 2021, ESPN’s Graham Hunter praised Gavi as a highly promising young player, likening him to former Barcelona legends Xavi and Andrés Iniesta.

This comparison stems from Gavi’s exceptional qualities as a footballer, including his skills in dribbling, anticipation, intelligence, vision, passing, first touch, close control, change of pace, and ability to swiftly navigate tight spaces and initiate counter-attacks.

In 2022, Gavi’s achievements were recognized as he won the Golden Boy award and received the Kopa Trophy during the 2022 Ballon d’Or ceremony, showcasing his outstanding talent on the global stage.

Gavi’s impressive performance in Spain’s semi-final victory over Italy in the 2021 Nations League Finals drew praise from Italian defender Emerson Palmieri, who highlighted Gavi’s “huge potential.” These achievements further solidify Gavi’s position as a rising star in the world of football.

4. Eduardo Camavinga

  • Country: France Congo
  • Age: 21
  • Club: Real Madrid

Ranked 4th among the best central midfielders in the world is Eduardo Camavinga. Known for his athleticism, versatility, and technical skills, he typically plays as a central midfielder but can also be utilized as a full-back or defensive midfielder.

Camavinga initiated his career in Ligue 1 with Rennes, making his senior debut at an impressive age of 16 and quickly becoming a regular first-team player.

He made his senior debut for the France national team in 2020 at the age of 17, becoming the youngest debutant in over a century.

Despite his youth, Camavinga displays surprising calmness and composure on the ball. His ability to deliver precise passes, dictate the game’s tempo, and unlock defenses with intelligent movement and vision set him apart in the world of football.

5. Enzo Fernández

  • Country: Argentina
  • Age: 22
  • Club: Chelsea FC

Enzo Fernández is a versatile player known for his proficiency as a deep-lying playmaker and attacking midfielder. Graduating from River Plate’s academy, Fernández had successful loan spells with Defensa y Justicia, winning both the Copa Sudamericana and Recopa Sudamericana. His return to River Plate in 2021 contributed to their victory in the 2021 Argentine Primera División.

Source: Instagram

In 2022, Fernández joined Benfica, quickly catching the attention of Premier League giants Chelsea, who secured him in January 2023 for a British-record transfer fee.

Representing Argentina, Fernández played a crucial role in their 2022 FIFA World Cup victory, earning the Young Player Award. On the pitch, Fernández stands out for his quick and accurate passes, ability to break defensive lines, and tenacity in midfield duels.

Whether disrupting opposition attacks or orchestrating plays, he showcases a diverse skill set that has made him a standout figure in the football world.

6. Frenkie de Jong

  • Country: Netherlands
  • Age: 26
  • Club: FC Barcelona

Ranked 6th among the best central midfielders is Frenkie de Jong, renowned for his exceptional vision, passing, dribbling, technique, and strong defensive and attacking capabilities. Describing himself as a possession-oriented player, De Jong is highly versatile, capable of playing various midfield roles and even center-back.

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Source: Instagram

During his time at Ajax, he formed a formidable partnership with Matthijs de Ligt in defense, showcasing defensive stability and playmaking prowess. His defensive performances drew comparisons to the legendary Franz Beckenbauer.

In July 2019 Barcelona secured his signing for €75 million, and he earned recognition in the 2019 FIFA FIFPro World11. Xavi, a former Barcelona midfielder, praised De Jong for his ability to dominate the game, maintain possession, and contribute defensively.

De Jong’s attributes include outstanding vision, dribbling skills, control in tight spaces, precise passing, and the ability to read the game. Known for his natural dribbling and offensive runs, he boasts the highest dribbling success among all players in competitions during his last season with Ajax.

His style has drawn comparisons to football legends Andrés Iniesta and Johan Cruyff, and his performances at Barcelona align with the club’s philosophy, leading experts to consider him a player with “Barça DNA” born to play for the Catalan club.

7. Dominik Szoboszlai

  • Country: Hungary
  • Age: 23
  • Club: Liverpool FC

Ranked 7th among the best central midfielders is Dominik Szoboszlai, recognized as a box-to-box midfielder. Bundesliga expert Raphael Honigstein describes him as a technically skilled player with an imposing presence due to his height.

In January 2021 Szoboszlai moved to RB Leipzig in Germany for a reported fee of €20 million. In his time at Leipzig, he played a crucial role in winning two DFB-Pokal titles.

In July 2023, Szoboszlai made a notable move to Liverpool after the club paid his release clause of €70 million, making him the fourth-most expensive signing in the club’s history.

The Guardian listed Szoboszlai as the 52nd-best player in the world in 2023, highlighting his growing influence in the football scene.

8. Nicolò Barella

  • Country: Italy
  • Age: 26
  • Club: Inter Milan

Ranked 8th among the best central midfielders is Nicolò Barella, celebrated for his technical skills, work rate, and creativity. Widely recognized as one of the world’s top midfielders, Barella’s talent has earned him accolades, including being named the best young Italian player born in 1997 for two consecutive years.

Praised by football experts Andrea Pirlo and Alessandro Del Piero, he is described as an intelligent, promising, and composed midfielder with a diverse skill set, capable of dribbling through defenses, scoring volleys, and initiating counter-attacks.

La Gazzetta dello Sport likened Barella to Steven Gerrard, highlighting his dynamism, technique, vision, stamina, and physical strength despite his shorter stature. Known as a “mezzala” in Italy, he is a versatile player capable of various midfield roles, with a preference for the right-sided, offensive-minded central midfielder position.

Barella’s goal-scoring ability, late attacking runs, accuracy in free kicks and penalties, strong character, leadership qualities, and competitive spirit contribute to his standing as a top midfielder. However, his occasional excessive protests with officials during matches have drawn criticism. His teammate Jorginho has even compared him to the renowned N’Golo Kanté, further emphasizing his impact on the field.

9. Alexis Mac Allister

  • Country: Argentina Italy
  • Age: 25
  • Club: Liverpool FC

Claiming the 9th position among the best central midfielders in the World is Alexis Mac Allister. His journey led him to Brighton & Hove Albion in 2019, but he was initially loaned back to Juniors until the end of the season.

Subsequently loaned to Boca Juniors during his second year at Brighton, Mac Allister contributed to winning the 2019–20 Primera División. Upon returning from the loan, he had a breakthrough season with Brighton, emerging as a key player and finishing as their top scorer in the 2022–23 season.

He made his senior international debut in 2019 and played a significant role in Argentina’s success, including winning the 2022 Finalissima victory against Italy and being part of the squad that Won the 2022 FIFA World Cup, contributing to an assist in the final against France.

10. Warren Zaïre-Emery

  • Country: France Martinique
  • Age: 17
  • Club: Paris Saint-Germain

Ranked 10th among the best central midfielders is Warren Zaïre-Emery. Operating as a defensive midfielder, Zaïre-Emery possesses an impressive physique and remarkable technical abilities. His skill set includes excelling at winning the ball, initiating plays, and providing structure to team plays, bringing balance to the midfield.

A product of the Paris Saint-Germain Academy, Zaïre-Emery made history in August 2022 by becoming PSG’s youngest-ever player. In his debut season, he further demonstrated his talent by becoming the club’s youngest-ever goalscorer and the youngest player in UEFA Champions League history to start a knockout phase match at the age of 16, ultimately winning his first Ligue 1 title.

Known for his mature personality on the pitch, Zaïre-Emery takes on responsibilities with calmness and discipline, showcasing his exceptional qualities despite being in his teenage years.

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