Attackers score goals and defenders keep the ball out, but it is the midfield that dictates how the game is played. Buried in stats and deep analytics, we often ignore the unsung heroes of the game we love – midfielders. These architects, who set the tone and tempo of a match, deserve more recognition than they currently get.
Today, we will take a look at the top five European midfield units that are guiding their teams to glory. These midfields not only have the best players in the business, but they also possess unmatched chemistry, which allows them to dominate any opposition. Now, without standing at the ceremony, let’s get to it!
Special mention: Manchester United, FC Barcelona.
#5 Paris Saint-Germain – Ligue 1
Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain are desperate to win the Champions League in the 2021-22 campaign. To achieve their goal, they have created one of the most fearsome teams in the world, capable of winning against any opponent on their day.
New signing Lionel Messi is obviously the star of the show, and it is the forward’s versatility that makes PSG dangerous. Traditionally a forward, Messi can also play in the hold behind Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, feeding them defence-piercing passes at will.
Even if Messi sticks to the right wing, PSG have the likes of Gini Wijnaldum, Idrissa Gueye, Danilo Pereira and Ander Herrera in midfield. Julian Draxler and Angel Di Maria have also played in midfield time and again throughout their careers. With this roster, it would be a shame if PSG do not hit their goal of winning the Champions League at the end of the season.
#4 Bayern Munich – Bundesliga
With 31 Bundesliga titles and six Champions Leagues, Bayern Munich are the most decorated team in Germany. The current Bundesliga holders have attracted many extraordinary players over their illustrious history and the current crop is no less impressive.
The Bavarians have a rather flexible system under Julian Nagelsmann and are accustomed to drawing inspiration from wingers. Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane help out in midfield when needed, making Bayern spoilt for choice in the middle of the park. Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich are arguably the best in their respective positions and support Raumdeuter (space-invader) Thomas Muller perfectly.
Muller slides into little pockets of space whenever possible and runs the opposition ragged. His tenacity allowed him to provide 21 assists in two successive Bundesliga seasons, which is a testament to his quality.