Defensive midfielders are the greatest ball-winners, anchor men, tough-tacklers and water-carriers on the planet.
We might not have been able to publish the top defensive midfielders in the world twenty years ago.
Midfielders of the 1990s were not divided into specialised duties, according to raging Sky pundit Roy Keane, and they were all expected to come forward and make tackles when necessary.
So, without further ado, here are the top defensive midfielders in the world.
1. Casemiro (Real Madrid)
Real Madrid’s Casemiro is ranked first on our list, having shown himself to be one of his team’s most consistent performers thus far this season.
The Brazilian defensive midfielder, who is widely considered to be one of the best defensive midfielders of all time, has had another strong season in Spain and is currently the indisputable world’s top defensive midfielder.
2. Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)
Because of his injury issues this season, Joshua Kimmich is only ranked second on our list.
However, after regaining full fitness, the versatile German midfielder has continued where he left off and is now unquestionably one of Europe’s top defensive midfielders.
3. Fabinho (Liverpool)
Fabinho has matured from the wobbly, indecisive player he was in his first season with Liverpool.
Since then, the Brazilian midfielder has adapted to the English Premier League and has established himself as the league’s greatest defensive midfielder.
4. Ngolo Kante (Chelsea)
Ngolo Kante has struggled to stay healthy this season, but the Frenchman has done enough to earn a spot on our list in fourth place.
Kante will always give world-class performances whenever he returns to full fitness, no matter how long he is out injured.
5. Rodri (Manchester City)
Rodri is undoubtedly one of the numerous reasons why Manchester City are still in contention for the Premier League title this season.
All season, the Spanish international has kept Fernandinho out of Pep Guardiola’s starting XI, demonstrating his ability to play defensive midfield.
6. Declan Rice (West Ham)
Declan Rice has blossomed into one of the best defensive midfielders in the English Premier League this season for West Ham United.
The Englishman has been in superb form all season and is without a doubt one of the best defensive midfielders in the country.
7. Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan)
While Inter Milan’s season has been mainly erratic, one player who can be proud of his efforts thus far is Marcelo Brozovic, who has been outstanding in his defensive midfield role.
8. Aurelien Tchouameni (AS Monaco)
Aurelien Tchouameni is still one of the most sought-after defensive midfielders in the world, having been a target for Manchester United and Chelsea last summer.
The young Frenchman has gained many fans at Monaco and has demonstrated that he is more than a one-season wonder, having produced consistently in back-to-back seasons in Ligue 1.
9. Thomas Partey (Arsenal)
Thomas Partey finally appears to be living up to his expensive £45 million price tag at Arsenal this season.
The Ghanaian midfielder has profited from the Gunners’ improved quality and has gone about his business in the defensive midfield role with swagger and confidence.
10. Sergio Busquets (Barcelona)
Sergio Busquets may never be the same player he was during his golden years at Barcelona, but the Spanish midfielder appears to have regained much of his confidence and form in the months since Xavi Hernandez was named Barcelona’s new head coach.
Do you agree with my selection of the world’s top ten defensive midfielders? You may also leave a list of your own in the comments area.