Arsenal captain, Martin Odegaard, has taken his game to a whole new level in 2022/23 to become one of the best midfielders in the world.
Midfielders are the engine rooms of every football team, and as such, matches can be decided by midfield battles. The best midfielders in the world are very integral to their teams’ success.
Midfielders are the link between the defence and attack. They control and dictate the tempo of the game from the centre of the pitch.
Here, FootballOrbit brings you the top 10 best midfielders in the world 2023.
1. Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin De Bruyne is not just the best midfielder in the Premier League by far, he is also the best on planet earth.
The Belgian has been very consistent in the last decade, making him one of the best attacking midfielders of this generation.
Furthermore, De Bruyne’s output for Manchester City has been nothing short of phenomenal.
A 4-time Premier League winner over the last 5 years with Manchester City, he is also the only player besides Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo to have won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year on consecutive occasions.
De Bruyne has struck a phenomenal partnership with City’s new striker Erling Haaland in 2022/23, making Pep Guardiola’s side sometimes unplayable.
In 39 matches so far in all competitions this season, Kevin De Bruyne has scored 7 goals and provided 24 assists.
2. Joshua Kimmich
Since converting from a full-back to a midfielder, Joshua Kimmich has become vital to how Bayern Munich build-up play.
He progressively carries the ball into the opposition half, allowing his wingers and other forwards to come into play.
Apart from being comfortable in possession, Kimmich is also known for his precise passing and crossing, and shoots the ball well.
He has registered 5 goals and 9 assists in 39 matches so far this term.
3. Luka Modric
One of the greatest midfielders of the modern era, Luka Modric continues to be the engine and the creative heartbeat of Real Madrid.
The 37-year-old was extremely important as Real won the UEFA Champions League and La Liga last season.
He also starred at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, earning a place in the Team of the Tournament.
4. Toni Kroos
Despite his advanced age, Toni Kroos still continues to show that he is among the best midfielders in the world.
The 33-year-old still masterfully controls the engine room at Real Madrid and cannot be afforded too much time on the ball.
With his defence-splitting long balls, Kroos can dissect any backline effortlessly.
The German veteran has already made 40 appearances in all competitions this season, netting twice and supplying 5 assists.
Rodri is regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world and is well known for his passing and defensive abilities.
Last season, he had the highest pass completion rate of any midfielder in the Premier League — with 91.8% successful passes per 90 minutes.
He was integral as Man City won the 2021/22 Premier League title.
Rodri has further stepped up his game this season, becoming an even more rounded midfielder.
The Spaniard has scored 6 goals and provided 3 assists in 43 games in 2022/23.
Alongside Modric and Kroos, Casemiro formed the best midfield triumvirate in the world.
He won 18 trophies at Real Madrid, including 5 Champions Leagues, 3 La Liga titles, 1 Copa del Rey and 3 FIFA Club World Cups.
The Brazilian is known for his ability to provide balance to his teams by supporting his more offensive-minded teammates defensively, and distributing the ball to them accurately after winning back possession.
Furthermore, he is a well-rounded midfielder who possesses a powerful shot from outside the penalty area, reliable ball distribution, as well as the ability to get forward with his runs off the ball, or start attacks with his passing.
When Manchester United signed him for around £70m last summer, eyebrows were raised as to why such huge sum would be paid for a 30-year-old.
But Casemiro has quickly shut critics up, showing even more of his abilities as a complete midfielder and helping Erik ten Hag transform the Red Devils.
Furthermore, he has already won the League Cup, scoring the opening goal in the final against Newcastle United at Wembley.
Casemiro has played 40 matches in all competitions, contributing 5 goals and 7 assists.
Gavi slightly edges fellow Barcelona midfielder, Pedri, to make this list.
The 18-year-old possess great qualities like dribbling, vision, passing, close control, change of pace, as well as the ability to turn quickly to get out of tight spaces and initiate counter-attacks.
In 2022, Gavi won the Golden Boy award and received the Kopa Trophy, awarded by France Football during the 2022 Ballon d’Or ceremony.
The youngster was named in Spain’s squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, in which he started in all 4 matches.
Moreso, his goal against Costa Rica at the tournament saw him become the 3rd youngest player (only behind Pelé and Manuel Rosas) to score in a World Cup match.
Gavi has featured in 40 games across all competitions in 2022/23, registering 2 goals and 6 assists.
8. Jamal Musiala
Considered one of the best young footballers in the world, Jamal Musiala is a versatile player capable of playing as a winger and anywhere across the midfield.
The 20-year-old has great eye for passes, efficiently gets into the right spaces, very confident on the ball and can dribble well.
Musiala has matured into a top player for Bayern Munich this season, registering 15 goals and 13 assists in just 39 games so far!
9. Martin Odegaard
Martin Odegaard was highly rated as a youngster, which convinced Real Madrid to sign him when he was still a teenager.
He failed to establish himself in the Madrid senior team and was sent on successive loans spells.
After impressing initially on loan at Arsenal, the Gunners signed him permanently in 2021 in a transfer worth an initial £29m (€35m).
After a successful first full season with Arsenal, Odegaard was announced as the club’s captain ahead of the 2022/23 season.
Subsequently, he took his game to a whole new level to become one of the best midfielders in the world, as well as leading Arsenal to a Premier League title challenge.
Maartin Odegaard has played 37 matches so far and has 10 goals and 8 assists.
Furthermore, the Norwegian was awarded Premier League Player of the Year at the 2023 London Football Awards on the 13th of March.
10. Frenkie de Jong
Frenkie De Jong was at the centre of a massive transfer saga between Barcelona and Manchester United last summer.
Barca were desperate to sell him to raise more funds, but De Jong refused to be sold, asserting his love and commitment to the club.
He eventually got his wish and quickly hit the ground running this season, showing why he’s one of the best central midfielders in the world.
Frenkie de Jong loves driving the ball up the pitch and can easily avoid opposition press with his outstanding turn and spatial awareness.
The Dutchman has appeared 34 in games in all competitions so far, scoring 2 goals and provided 1 assist as Barcelona continue their quest to win the La Liga.