Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes, Zinedine Zidane: Who is the best midfielder of all time?

Paul Scholes

Football fans of varying allegiances have long been locked in numerous, seemingly never-ending debates. 

On English soil, the debate over England’s best central midfielder has persisted since the early 2000s. 

The rise of Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard all happened relatively in tandem, prompting fierce debate over which player was the best the country had to offer.

Further afield in Spain, the revered pairing of Andres Iniesta and Xavi rose to prominence around a similar time, forming a formidable midfield pairing that conquered the game at both club and international level for a period of time. 

But how did the Spanish magicians and the English trio compare to each other and also to some of the greatest midfielders in history? 

Whether you prefer a stat-based approach to vindicating your argument, or if you’re more of a purist who cites iconic big-game moments and instinctive analysis based on the eye-test alone, everyone wants to put their prognosis forward. 

It stimulates captivating debate, momentarily divides friendships, and without fail gets us no closer to providing a definitive answer to the question that stemmed the conversation. 


But that doesn’t stop us from returning to the debate. 

And now talkSPORT pundit Jamie O’Hara has offered his take on who he believes to be the greatest midfielders of all time. 

Indeed, while speaking on the radio earlier today, the former Spurs midfielder named Scholes, Gerrard, Glenn Hoddle and Zinedine Zidane as the four best midfielders in history. 

O’Hara was not finished there, though.

The regular pundit went a step further in his gushing admiration for Scholes by claiming the Man United legend would have been better than Xavi and Iniesta had he played for Barcelona during his storied career. 

You can see what O’Hara had to say in full below: 

It’s certainly a bold claim from the 34-year-old pundit, and even the starkest of Scholes admirers may struggle to agree with him here. 

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