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Five of the best midfield metronomes in football

| 20.11.2015

Matt Haynes | November 20, 2015

Over the last decade, as football and teams’ systems have evolved, the deep-lying playmaker has become even more important. So, it got us at Coral thinking: Who have been consistently the five best in this role that are still playing?

Xavi Hernandez

Arguably one of the best of his generation. The Spaniard, who has won two European Championships and a World Cup with Spain and everything there is to win with Barcelona, was the heartbeat of his club and country and a key protagonist of ‘tiki taka’, which saw both entities dominate their competition for a number of years. He now plays for Al-Sadd.

Andrea Pirlo

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Final - Juventus v Barcelona - Olympiastadion
There was a period of time when Italian football seemed to massively undervalue the contribution that the playmaker had, though, in the last five years especially, he has become known as one of the best long-range passers in the game. However, he also is adept at putting himself in enough space to make his passes as effective as possible, simultaneously identifying players’ runs ahead of him.

Ivan Rakitic

Having replaced Xavi in the Barcelona midfield, the Croatian is a little bit more dynamic and expresses his passing repertoire with a little bit more urgency further up the pitch, often chipping in with goals and a number of assists.

In his first season at the Catalan club, he won the treble under Luis Enrique and is firmly establishing himself as one of the best midfielders in La Liga which, considering the amount of talent on show at a number of clubs, is saying something.

Bastian Schweinsteiger

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Old Trafford
Despite not being in the best of form since switching to the Premier League, the German was the brains of Bayern Munich’s midfield for more than a decade. Now at Manchester United, who are 7/1 with Coral to win the Premier League, he is focusing on creating a midfield partnership with Michael Carrick.

Luka Modric

Another Croatian, the 30-year-old still plays an important part at Real Madrid and provides the link between defence and attack. Former Los Blancos man Xabi Alonso also deserves a mention, however Modric is slightly more mobile.


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Matt Haynes

A long-suffering Leeds fan, Matt studied Sports Journalism at university, and has a plethora of multi-industry experience. Having worked on behalf of multiple hedge funds and top-tier investment banks in executive search, he has also had a stint with the BBC and the Press Association. Outside of work, he pursues entrepreneurial activities and likes to keep fit.
Although he has interviewed current England manager Roy Hodgson as well as Rafa Benitez and a number of other names, he is honoured to have spent time in the company of Gordon Banks. Matt enjoys cultivating long-lasting professional and personal relationships, is solution orientated, and supports Coral’s sports content provision.