9. Kaka

It could be argued that Kaka, who won the 2007 Ballon d'Or award, deserves to be higher in this list.

However, the Brazil international has not been the same player since leaving AC Milan in 2009. For a period of three or four years, Kaka was undoubtedly one of the best midfielders in the world.

But once he lost that yard of pace that allowed him to effortlessly glide past opponents, the world-class Kaka was gone.

A disappointing spell at Real Madrid means he only makes ninth place in this list of the 21st Century's greatest midfielders.

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