Best attacking-midfielder/playmaker ever in football

best midfielder ever in football

Midfield players are the heart of a football team, mission control of the pitch. And these are the ten outstanding playmakers in that category:

10. Ariel Ortega (River Plate, FC Valencia, Sampdoria Genoa)

Unfortunately never lived up to his potential. He had a perfect technique, great vision and was a great playmaker. But he was never really consistent enough.
Achievements:
Strengths: Dribbling
Weaknesses: Temper, hothead

 

  • Key passing score: 85%
  • Playmaking score: 85%

 

 

9. Pablo Aimar (River Plate, FC Valencia, Zaragoza, Benfica)

One of my favourite players ever and actually the role-model of Lionel Messi. And you can see that. Spectacular tempo-dribblings, creative passing and perfect technique. Like Ortega he could have done much more.

Achievements: Champions League runner-up, La Liga champion with Valencia
Strengths: Dribbling, movement, technique
Weaknesses: Never a tier 1 player, consistency

  • Key passing score: 85%
  • Playmaking score: 90%

 

Additional reading: Best striker ever in football

 

8. Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United)

What?…is what some of you might say, since he had an awful time in Manchester and couldn`t fulfil the expecations. But I don`t care about that…it`s the two years before that with Borussia Dortmund, which made me fall in love with his game. And I am not the only one…ever since Kagawa left Germany, the #FreeShinji campaign was running – and thank God finally successful. The reason for this are two amazing seasons – 2010+2011-, when he led Dortmund to two Championship and one cup title and was probably the best player of the German Bundesliga during that time. His technique is flawless, the passing outstanding, the ball control insane. He always reminds me of anime hero Captain Tsubasa, who actually made Shinji become a footballer in the first place. And don`t forget: The transfer money was 350.000€ – steal of the century!!!

Achievements: Bundesliga champion and DFB-Pokal winner
Strengths: ball control, dribbling
Weaknesses: Physicality, consistency

  • Key passing score: 90%
  • Playmaking score: 90%

 

7. Juan Roman Riquelme (Boca Juniors, FC Barcelona, Villareal)

So here with have the next great Argentine midfielder. Kind of a stand footballer, a little lazy about the running part of the game. So he was the typical oldschool playmaker with brilliant ball distribution, lethal passing and accurate shooting, especially his freekicks were a treat for the eye! The last real number 10!

Achievements: Olympic gold medal
Strengths: Passing, playmaker, ball-control
Weaknesses: Speed, Movement

  • Key passing score: 95%
  • Playmaking score: 95%

 

Additional reading: Best central defender ever in football

 

6. Eden Hazard (Lille, Chelsea London)

Might be the next recipient of Ballon d`Or, once Ronaldo and Messi are out of the picture.

Achievements: Premier League player of the year, Premier League champion
Strengths: Dribbling, technique, acceleration, creativity
Weaknesses: Maybe work ethics a little, could have done more already

  • Key passing score: 95%
  • Playmaking score: 90%

 

5. Francesco Totti (AS Roma)

The AS Roma legend never left his club despite many offers. He is heart and soul of the team with amazing skills, very good and persistant scorer with both legs, creative passing, fighting spirit. His private life is pretty much THE main topic in Italian`s tabloids by the way. But he will be remenbered for his football game, an Italian icon!

Achievements: World cup champion 2006, Romas highest goal-scorer and most-capped player of all times.
Strengths: Creativity, playmaker, consistency/longevity
Weaknesses: Never in a tier 1 team

  • Key passing score: 90%
  • Playmaking score: 95%

 

4. Gaizka Mendieta (Valencia, Barcelona, Lazio, Middlesborough)

Another Valencia player with less credit than he deserved. Led his club to strong Champions League performances, amongst others destroyed the big FC Barcelona on various occasions. Amazing technique.

Achievements: Champions league runner-up twice
Strengths: Playmaker, creativity, technical skills, scored with both foots
Weaknesses: World class only for a short period and only in Valencia

  • Key passing score: 95%
  • Playmaking score: 95%

 

Additional reading: Best full-back ever in football

 

3. Ronaldinho (Gremio, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Milan)

Certainly one of the most talented players of all times, he had all the tools in the attacking box and used them well in Barcelona.

Achievements: Has won pretty much everything with Barca and Brasilian national squad
Strengths: Technique, ball-control, scoring, agility, acceleration
Weaknesses: Sometimes headstrong and too much partying

  • Key passing score: 100%
  • Playmaking score: 95%

 

2. Diego Armando Maradona (Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli)

Regarded by many as the greatest football player of all times. I beg to differ, but Maradona certainly was special. His quick feet, perfect ball-control, dribbling ability combined with his low center of gravity made it almost impossible to seperate him from the ball. He was a joy to watch, a magician on the football pitch and he had that special aura, which helped his teammates a lot.

Achievements: World cup victory 1986 (pretty much single-handedly)
Strengths: Dribbling, creativity
Weaknesses: A little extravagant, prima donna behaviour

  • Key passing score: 100%
  • Playmaking score: 100%

 

1. Zinedine Zidane (Bordeaux, Juventus, Real Madrid)

Elegance and effectivity perfectly united, the French-man even had a cabinet piece named after him. He was world and european champion and multiple league-champion in Italy and Spain, yet he will be remembered the most for his perfect ball-control. No matter how many opponents tackled him, thanks to his technique he always found a solution to solve the situation and inititate offensive action. Watching him play was a treat for the eye.
Achievements: World cup champion 1998, European champion 2000, Champions League victory 2002
Strengths: Amazing technique, his ball control was a feast for the eyes, great assists
Weaknesses: Hm…temper?

  • Key passing score: 100%
  • Playmaking score: 100%
Best playmaker ever in football
von Christophe95 (Eigenes Werk) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Attacking midfielders in football are among the most popular players, because they often provide the most spectacular skills. Who is in your opinion the best playmaker of all times?

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