De Bruyne, Fernandes, Modric, Foden: World’s best attacking midfielders ranked

  • Rob Swan
World’s best attacking midfielders have been ranked into four tiers as Kevin De Bruyne turns 31

French TV show After Foot RMC have ranked the world’s best attacking midfielders into four tiers.

A shortlist of players was whittled down to 24, with the likes of Luka Modric, Kevin De Bruyne and Bruno Fernandes all making the final cut.

Those who missed out on a place in any of the four tiers were: Thomas Muller, Jesper Lindstrom, Dominik Szoboszlai, Piotr Zielinski, Sergio Canales, Dani Parejo, Lucas Ocampos, Nabil Fekir, Dimitri Payet, Lovro Majer, Benjamin Bourigeaud, Angel Di Maria, Teji Savanier, Aleksandr Golovin and Renato Sanches.

Now let’s take a look at After Foot RMC’s four tiers:

Tier 4

Martin Odegaard

Lucas Paqueta

Luis Alberto

Ruslan Malinovskyi

Paulo Dybala

Dani Olmo

Six quality players here including Arsenal’s Odegaard and Dybala, who is seen to be a free agent as his seven-year spell with Juventus comes to an end.

Whichever club wins the race for the 28-year-old’s signature will be landing themselves a top attacking player with plenty of experience.

Paulo Dybala
TURIN, ITALY – MAY 16: Paulo Dybala of Juventus acknowledges the fans during a tribute from teammates and fans following their draw in the Serie A match between Juventus and SS Lazio at Allianz Stadium on May 16, 2022 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Tier 3

Hakan Calhanoglu

Mason Mount

Hakim Ziyech

Bruno Fernandes

Jamal Musiala

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes only makes the third tier, which will come as a surprise to many.

The Portuguese midfielder may have blown hot and cold for the Red Devils last season but has mostly been fantastic over the past two-and-a-half years.

Chelsea’s Mason Mount also misses out on a place in the top two tiers.

Mason Mount
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 19: Mason Mount of Chelsea in action during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea at Molineux on December 19, 2021 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Tier 2

Florian Wirtz

Lorenzo Pellegrini

Nicolo Barella


Leon Goretzka

Ryan Gravenberch

Three of these attacking midfielders – Wirtz, Gavi and Gravenberch – are under 21 but have showcased their incredible qualities over the past couple of seasons.

Barcelona’s Gavi, born in August 2004(!), is still only 17 years old and has the world at his feet, while 20-year-old Gravenberch has left Ajax for Bayern Munich this summer.

Tier 1

Luka Modric

Kevin De Bruyne


Bernardo Silva

Christopher Nkunku

Phil Foden

But sitting at the top of the pile in Tier 1 are six hugely talented ballers.

Modric has been magnificent for Real Madrid over the past decade, while Man City’s De Bruyne has cemented his status as an all-time Premier League great.

De Bruyne Modric
MADRID, SPAIN – MAY 04: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City runs with the ball whilst under pressure from Luka Modric of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final Leg Two match between Real Madrid and Manchester City at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on May 04, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

De Bruyne’s teammates Silva and Foden are also exceptional, as is Barcelona’s Pedri.

RB Leipzig and France ace Nkunku, meanwhile, was named the 2021-22 Bundesliga Player of the Season after scoring 20 goals and registering a further 13 assists in 34 appearances.

BERLIN, GERMANY – MAY 21: Christopher Nkunku of RB Leipzig reacts during the final match of the DFB Cup 2022 between SC Freiburg and RB Leipzig at Olympiastadion on May 21, 2022 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

QUIZ: How many of these Serie A ballers do you remember?

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