De Bruyne, Jorginho, Kante, Rice: Who is the best central midfielder in the world?


Kevin De Bruyne, N’Golo Kante, Leon Goretzka… football is in a pretty blessed era for central midfielders right now.

There are few better sights in football than watching a midfielder running the game from the middle of the pitch.

And no position provides more variety. You’ve got box-to-box midfielders, ball-winners, deep-lying playmakers and more.

Back in September, popular football magazine FourFourTwo ranked the top 10 in the world and they had Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes at no.1.

However, we’re three months into the 2021/22 season now and that calls for an update on their rankings.


Top 10 CMs in the world

Not only is Fernandes no longer no.1, he doesn’t even make the new list.

There’s no room for Fernandes’ teammate Paul Pogba either. He was fourth in the September rankings.


Enter Giveaway

Despite the absence of Fernandes and Pogba, the Premier League is still well represented. Five out of the 10 spots are occupied by players from England’s top flight.

So who’s in? Let’s take a look.

10. Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid)

9. Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan

8. Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich)

7. Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City)


6. Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain)

5. Jorginho (Chelsea)

4. Declan Rice (West Ham)


3. Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)

2. N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)

1. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)


De Bruyne ahead of everyone else? The Belgian has had an injury-hit year and has only started five games in the league this season, but at his best we would also argue that there’s nobody better in his position.

We have to talk about the inclusion of West Ham’s Rice. The 22-year-old is enjoying an outstanding campaign, taking his game to another level and inspiring the Hammers to third in the Premier League table.

To see him ahead of the likes of Verratti and Jorginho is quite remarkable.

Jorginho has been mentioned as a potential Ballon d’Or winner after a year in which he won the Champions League and European Championships, but it would be a shock if he won the individual award.

He’s the fifth best midfielder in the world, according to FourFourTwo, and if he won the Ballon d’Or it would prove how much France Football’s prize factors in team accomplishments.


Some noticeable absences, aside from Pogba and Fernandes, include the Real Madrid trio of Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.

Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong is also left out, although he must have been a consideration for FourFourTwo.

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