The 10 Best Defensive Midfielders in the World 2022/2023

Best Defensive Midfielders in the World 2022

The Best Defensive Midfielders in the World 2022: The position of defensive midfielder or pivot is one of the positions that has evolved the most in recent years thanks to the approaches and style of the best coaches in the world. Because of this, it is common for all types of centers to focus on one aspect or another of the game without allowing them to fulfill their primary function: patrolling the defensive midfield area.

Lately, thanks to the big school of teams like FC Barcelona, ​​Bayern Munich or currently Manchester City, it is common for the profile of pivots to adapt to a specific idea or style. Among the underdogs of the best teams in the world, the pivot position is one of the most valued and improved.

This is due to the great mental capacity these players must have to be aware of their position on the pitch, their role, and their contribution to both recovery and creation. For this reason, many agree that defensive midfielders are the underrated greats in football, as their excellent work goes generally unrecognized.

That’s why we have created another ranking of footballers. This time focusing on the best defensive midfielders in the world today. That way, you can know which ones are better in certain aspects that set them apart from the rest, and you can appreciate the sacrifice of pivot points on the pitch a little more.

Best Defensive Midfielders in the World 2022/2023

In the lower ranks of the best teams in the world, the pivot position is one of the most valued and developed.

10. Tomas Soucek (West Ham United)

Tomas Soucek is the player who opens the ranking of the best defensive midfielders in the world today. This Czech player has become an absolute reference for West Ham and, in the Premier League, he has dominated with his size and excellent footwork, which have catapulted him to be one of the best pivots on the planet.

In addition to this, Soucek is a defensive midfielder with a lot of scoring nose, since he has scored 10 goals in the 2020/2021 Premier League On a defensive level, Soucek has added these impressive statistics:


  • Games: 38
  • Interceptions P / P: 2.1
  • Inputs P / P: 1.3
  • Clearances P / P: 2.7
  • Assists: 1
  • Goals: 10

9. Fabinho (Liverpool FC)

Fabinho is one of the players that has been affected the most in relation to the previous year’s ranking. Thanks to his impressive season in which he was crowned champion with Liverpool, Fabinho was located in the fifth position of our ranking. However, currently, and motivated in part by his injuries and his positional change, he has dropped four notches on the list.

The Brazilian played quite a bit for Liverpool this season. However, finding himself without center-backs, Klopp opted to put Fabinho in this position for much of the season, so it would be unfair to measure his performance as a center-back in the same way as with the other candidates.


  • Games: 30
  • Interceptions P / P: 1.5
  • Inputs P / P: 1.9
  • Clearances P / P: 2.2
  • Assists: 0
  • Goals: 0

8. Declan Rice (West Ham United)

Declan Rice has become one of the pivots with the greatest projection in the world. The West Ham player, much sought after by clubs of the stature of Manchester United and Chelsea, has been a fixture with the English team in the EURO and has played wonderfully in the Premier League with the Hammers.

For this reason, due to his youth and his great projection , he makes his debut in our ranking of the best defensive midfielders in the world.


  • Games: 32
  • Interceptions P / P: 1.8
  • Inputs P / P: 1.8
  • P / P Clearances: 1.1
  • Assists: 1
  • Goals: 2

7. Jorginho (Chelsea FC)

Jorginho has had one of his best seasons as a professional at both Chelsea FC and the Italian national team. Therefore, it deserves to debut in our ranking in a fairly high position. His impact on both teams has been such that with Chelsea he managed to lift the Champions League being important and with Italy he raised the EURO being the undisputed starter.

For these achievements, many people have asked for the Ballon d’Or for the Italian midfielder. However, currently, everything seems to indicate that the award will go to Leo Messi’s showcases.


  • Games: 28
  • Interceptions P / P: 1.4
  • Inputs P / P: 2.0
  • P / P Clearances: 0.7
  • Assists: 1
  • Goals: 7

6. Joshua Kimmich (FC Bayern München)

Joshua Kimmich is, in short, the player who was most affected in the positioning of our ranking. After finishing last year in the first position, the midfielder has signed an irregular season with Bayern in a Bavarian machine that was left to duty at the big events.

For this reason, despite having a positive year in terms of statistics, Kimmich did not play at the level we were accustomed to last season, neither in the Bundesliga nor in the EURO.


  • Games: 27
  • Interceptions P / P: 1.5
  • Inputs P / P: 1.1
  • P / P Clearances: 0.7
  • Assists: 10
  • Goals: 4

5. Sergio Busquets (FC Barcelona)

Sergio Busquets continues to show year after year that, when they want to retire him, he still has a lot to show and teach the great schools that study defensive midfielders. In FC Barcelona he did not sign a masterful year. However, his level was as regular as ever, which made him the captain of the Spanish team at the EURO.

Already in the continental tournament, Busquets chained masterclass after masterclass that earned him the trophy for the best player of the match on more than one occasion. For this reason, at 33 years old, Sergio shows why he is considered the best pivot in history.


  • Games: 36
  • Interceptions P / P: 1.5
  • Inputs P / P: 1.8
  • Clearances P / P: 0.5
  • Assists: 0
  • Goals: 5


  • Matches: 4
  • Interceptions P / P: 2.3
  • Inputs P / P: 2.8
  • Clearances P / P: 0.5
  • Assists: 0
  • Goals: 0

4. Carlos Casemiro (Real Madrid CF)

Carlos Henrique Casemiro is a pivot of those who no longer exist. The midfielder of the Brazilian national team and Real Madrid has played the 2020/2021 season at a high level. However, the lack of titles in the Real Madrid season slightly conditions his position in relation to the previous year.

Controversy aside, Casemiro’s season was quite good both at the national and club level. However, having lost the final of the Copa América and not having enjoyed titles with Madrid make him lose weight this year.


  • Games: 34
  • Interceptions P / P: 2.1
  • Inputs P / P: 2.5
  • Clearances P / P: 1.2
  • Assists: 4
  • Goals: 6

3. Rodri (Manchester City FC)

The 2020/2021 season was the confirmation of Rodri’s good work and excellent projection. The Spanish midfielder was a key player in Manchester City who dominated in the Premier League, which is why he is currently in the top 3 of the best pivots on the planet.

While it is true that his role in the EURO was quite irregular, being relieved by Busquets when he returned to concentration, that is the only blemish in a season that could conclude with a flourish of having raised the apricot against Chelsea.


  • Games: 34
  • Interceptions P / P: 1.1
  • Inputs P / P: 2.1
  • Clearances P / P: 1.6
  • Assists: 2
  • Goals: 2

2. Frenkie de Jong (FC Barcelona)

Frenkie de Jong has played his best year as a culé in the 2020/2021 season. The defensive midfielder has been one of Ronald Koeman’s great wild cards throughout the course. Therefore, in our opinion, he is the player who takes the silver medal in our pivot ranking.

However, it is true that their inclusion in the ranking may have something of a trap. Since it would be difficult to classify Frenkie de Jong as a pure pivot. However, his defensive and creative versatility have led him to play in this position, as a central defender, as a pure midfielder and as an attacker. In this way, we have decided to reward this versatility.


  • Games: 37
  • Interceptions P / P: 1.0
  • Inputs P / P: 1.2
  • P / P Clearances: 0.7
  • Assists: 4
  • Goals: 3

1. N’golo Kante (Chelsea FC)

To close, we have N’golo Kanté. The charismatic midfielder has completed a dream year with the London team, managing to lift the long-awaited Champions League and reaping golden statistics in the Premier and continental competition.

Indeed, his impact this year was such that, depending on France’s EURO result, he came to be seen as a strong candidate to win the Ballon d’Or this year.

Here at Fútbol Moderno, we have prepared an article reviewing his great campaign so that you can learn in-depth the statistics that make Kanté the best defensive midfielder in the world today.


  • Games: 30
  • Interceptions P / P: 2.0
  • Inputs P / P: 2.6
  • Clearances P / P: 0.9
  • Assists: 2
  • Goals: 0


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