With the way football has become specialised, with its attacking midfielders and holding midfielders and the way managers like Pep Guardiola want their players to be able to interchange at will, there are fewer and fewer pure pivots anymore.

The list below however, is made up of the best all-round midfielders in the world. We’ve used a number of stats from last season to quantify our rankings, as well as a player’s overall contribution to the game in recent times. So who makes it into our top 10?

All stats come from WhoScored.com and are correct as of the publish date.




10. Toni Kroos

2020/21 Season Stats:

  • 24 appearances
  • 3 goals
  • 10 assists
  • 93.6% pass success
  • 1.5 tackles per game
Toni Kroos (PA Images)

9. Marco Verratti

  • 2020/21 Season Stats:
  • 16 appearances
  • 0 goals
  • 2 assists
  • 91.7% pass success
  • 2.5 tackles per game
marco verratti (PA Images)

8. Paul Pogba

2020/21 Season Stats:

  • 21 appearances
  • 3 goals
  • 3 assists
  • 83% pass success
  • 1.4 tackles per game
Paul Pogba (PA Images)

7. Sergio Busquets




2020/21 Season Stats:

  • 32 appearances
  • 0 goals
  • 5 assists
  • 91.3% pass success
  • 1.8 tackles per game
Sergio Busquets (PA Images)

6. Frenkie de Jong

2020/21 Season Stats:

  • 35 appearances
  • 3 goals
  • 4 assists
  • 91.9% pass success
  • 1.2 tackles per game
Frenkie De Jong (PA Images)

5. Leon Goretzka

2020/21 Season Stats:

  • 18 appearances
  • 5 goals
  • 5 assists
  • 87.7% pass success
  • 1.0 tackles per game
Leon Goretzka (PA Images

4. Bruno Fernandes




2020/21 Season Stats:

  • 35 appearances
  • 18 goals
  • 12 assists
  • 78.3% pass success
  • 1.5 tackles per game
Bruno Fernandes (PA Images)

3. Joshua Kimmich

2020/21 Season Stats:

  • 25 appearances
  • 4 goals
  • 10 assists
  • 86.3% pass success
  • 1.5 tackles per game
Joshua Kimmich (PA Images)

2. N’Golo Kante

2020/21 Season Stats:

  • 24 appearances
  • 0 goals
  • 2 assists
  • 86.5% pass success
  • 2.6 tackles per game
N’Golo Kante (PA Images)

1. Kevin de Bruyne

2020/21 Season Stats:

  • 23 appearances
  • 6 goals
  • 12 assists
  • 81.7% pass success
  • 1.4 key passes per game




“For me, De Bruyne is the best playmaker in world football. The capacity he has to read the game, to play with appreciation of time and space is unique,” so says Belgium manager Roberto Martinez. Whether it’s linking play for Manchester City or his country or firing one of his laser-guided passes, the Belgian is world-class, hence his short-listing for the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year for last season. Despite missing a chunk of the season through injury (and ending his Champions League Final early), he led the Premier League in chances created from open play and had twice as many assists as any of his City teammates.

Kevin De Bruyne (PA Images)

Featured Image Credit: PA Images



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