Best Midfielder in 2021- German maestro Gündoğan, Italian cup-winning duo or veteran Real Madrid superstar again?
December is largely considered the most wonderful time of the year, not just for all the Christmas frolicking but also the fact that you can sit back and reflect on your best footballing moments of the year. Here at Alley Sport, we have done just that and so we bring you our pick of the best midfielder in 2021, judged by his individual as well as team performances throughout this entire year.
Best Midfielder in 2021- Notable Mentions
Before focusing on our top contenders who deserve the title of ‘best’, let us take a look at all the other midfielders who shone in different parts of Europe this campaign, much beyond everyone’s expectations. Manchester City’s German midfielder İlkay Gündoğan took the Premier League by storm at the start of the year. Blasting in 15 goals over the year, he truly deserves praise for the way he carried the Citizens through tight fixtures and led them to two trophies and the Champions League Final.
Another Manchester maestro leading his team was Portuguese attacking midfielder Bruno Fernandes. Despite dwindling numbers toward the end of 2021, his stats are incredible with 22 goals in the calendar year. Real Madrid duo Toni Kroos and Luka Modric have been outstanding as always, forming a remarkable midfield trio together with Casemiro. Special praise should also go to Kevin de Bruyne as always, along with defensive midfielders N’Golo Kante, Fabinho and Joshua Kimmich for their outstanding contributions at the back which are often overlooked.
Best Midfielder in 2021- The Top 3
The first of our top picks for the tile of best midfielder of 2021 is Bayern’s steely and explosive Leon Goretzka. After roaring to global stardom in the lockdown era, he has over this year established himself as one of the world’s premier midfielders. With a passing accuracy averaging over 87% and Goretzka still only 26, the German can go on to become the undisputed best of his time.
Joining Goretzka in our top 3 are Italian duo Jorginho and Marco Verratti. Both of them were instrumental in Italy’s triumph at the Euro 2020 played this year, building a base for their pacy wingers ahead to shine. Jorginho also led Chelsea to the Champions League crown and his vision all throughout the year has helped both his national team and club massively. Verratti too has been outstanding in every department at PSG and has been described by manager Pochettino as incredible, numerous times.
Best Midfielder in 2021- The Winner
According to us, if the world was a completely fair and just place, the Italian midfielder on this year’s Ballon D’Or podium would have been Marco Verratti. Verratti receives the crown of the best midfielder in 2021 from us not just for his tremendous performances in the Euros, where arguably anyone watching would have told you he was the best midfielder there, but for his integral role in the middle of the park at PSG as well which is conveniently overlooked.
We think that there are only two factors that have stopped Verratti from becoming a unanimous pick for everyone’s best midfielder this year- playing in a league which is considered easy and his patchy injury record. But, it is a struggle to find any game in which the Italian is not one of the best, if not the best performers on the pitch by miles and that is what convinces us to crown him the best midfielder over the year 2021.
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