Best Defensive Midfielders of All Time
They are not known for scoring goals, but they are known for handling the entire tempo of their teams. They are defensive midfielders, capable of defending when required and capable of initiating an attack when asked
In football, it is mostly centre-forwards, strikers and wingers who are bestowed with all the awards and prizes for they score goals and win matches. Even midfielders are hailed as heroes because they are crucial when a team attacks. However, when it comes to defensive midfielders, not much appreciation is shown or showered. People tend to forget that the defensive midfielder of the team is like an anchor. Defensive midfielders stop the opponents way before they reach the last line of defence and at times, they move the ball forward to initiate an attack. In this feature, we have listed the best defensive midfielders of all time in football’s history.
Lothar Matthaus- Lothar Matthaus is undoubtedly the best defensive midfielder in the history of football. The man won everything there is to win in football. FIFA World Cup, Euro Cup, Ballon d’Or, Footballer of the Year (Germany) and more. In his long career, he played 150 games for Germany and as a captain; he led the team to the 1990 World Cup. Not to forget, he played in five FIFA World Cup campaigns and at the age of 38; he won his second German Player of the Year award. At the club level, Matthaus won seven Bundesliga, one Serie A and two UEFA Cup titles.
Frank Rijkaard- To the young football followers, Rijkaard is a successful football manager, but the old-gen football fans remember Rijkaard as one of the best players ever to grace the pitch of football. A powerful player on the pitch, Rijkaard was known for his physical involvements, which made him a nightmare in the eyes of his opponents. At the club level, he was phenomenal as the man from the Netherlands picked up five Dutch leagues, three Dutch Cups, two Seria A titles, and three Champions League titles. At the international level, he made 73 appearances for Holland and was a crucial member of the 1988 European Championship squad.
Apart from the above-mentioned legends, several other players deserve an honourable mention in this article. Those players are Roy Keane, Claude Makélélé, Didier Deschamps, Patrick Vieira, Sergio Busquets, Graeme Souness and Edgar Davids.