Position Power Ranks: Midfielders

Barcelona's Neymar headlines ranking of the world's top 10 midfielders

Updated: August 28, 2014, 10:38 AM ET
By Adrian Melville | ESPN Insider

Position Power Ranks: Forwards | Midfielders | Defenders | Goalies

The construction of a midfield has become more compelling and intricate during the past several years as the prevalence of four-banded tactical formations like the 4-2-3-1 and 4-1-4-1 have affected how players impact their respective teams.

World-class midfielders must be flexible enough to fit in most, if not all, of the different tactical philosophies in order to remain relevant. The elite modern midfielder must be prepared to attack from both a central and wide position, while also providing the defensive instincts to cut out opposing runs and pass sequences to win back possession.

In outlining the world's top 10 midfielders, I based the ranks on performance throughout the 2013-14 domestic season and, where applicable, the 2014 World Cup. Note that these players are defined by their primary position/role with their club teams, and unlike in the forward rankings, versatile players such as Thomas Muller, who can feature in all areas of the attack, are classified in this midfield category.

Here is my ranking of the world's top 10 midfielders heading into the 2014-15 club season.