Midfielders are the backbone of a football team. They determine the speed of play, get players into play and open up defenses by playing perfect passes in dangerous areas.
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Midfielders rarely enjoy the glory of forwards, but without them the whole system tends to crumble.
Europe’s top five leagues have the privilege of fielding some of the most gifted midfielders on the planet. Several of these world-class footballers have dazzled spectators with their accurate passing this season, and today we’re going to take a quick look at their performances.
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Now, without further ado, let’s take a quick look at the five midfielders with the best passing ability for the 2022-23 season:
#5 Toni Kroos – Real Madrid
For nearly a decade, Real Madrid maestro Toni Kroos reigned supreme as one of Europe’s most effective players. The German central midfielder is not as adventurous as some other names on this list today. However, when it comes to dictating the game, there’s little better than Real Madrid’s No.8.
Kroos is adept at short passes and knows how to hold the opponent in suspense. He also has the innate ability to switch play to wide areas with his long balls and is rarely dispossessed under pressure. In the 2022-23 La Liga season, Kroos averages 74.5 accurate passes (95% accuracy) and 6.3 accurate long balls (86% accuracy) per game. In total, Kroos has made 15 La Liga appearances this season, scoring twice and providing two assists.
In the Champions League, he provided two assists in five group stage matches. He averaged 86.5 accurate passes (95% accuracy), eight long balls (87% accuracy) and 2.2 key passes per game.
#4 Joshua Kimmich – Bayern Munich
Joshua Kimmich, Bayern Munich’s right-back turned central midfielder, has been in fine form since the 2022-23 season. The German international has appeared in 18 Bundesliga appearances this season, scoring three times, providing three assists and creating six big chances. Kimmich averages 2.7 key passes, 70.4 accurate passes (89% accuracy) and 5.4 long balls (74% accuracy) per game in the Bundesliga.
In the Champions League group stage, Kimmich provided three assists and created four big chances in five games. He averaged 68.2 accurate passes (91% accuracy), 4.2 accurate long balls (68% accuracy) and 2.2 key passes in that round.
#3 Luka Modric – Real Madrid
Despite his advanced age of 30, central midfielder Luka Modric, 37, has been one of Real Madrid’s best players this season. The Croatian superstar was immaculate in his cast, worked harder than most and created goalscoring chances quite frequently.
During the 2022-23 La Liga campaign, Modric has featured in 17 matches, scored twice, created five big chances and provided two assists. The former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder averages 1.3 key passes, 43.8 accurate passes (90% accuracy) and 2.4 accurate long balls (77% accuracy) per game.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup semi-finalist was also on fire in the 2022-23 Champions League group stage, scoring twice in four games. He averaged 56.2 accurate passes (90% accuracy), 3.2 long balls (59% accuracy) and 0.8 key passes per game.
#2 Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City
Arguably the best midfielder in the world right now, Manchester City ace Kevin De Bruyne is in a league of his own. He can not only dictate the pace of the game with his short passes in midfield, but also do damage with his passes that pierce the defense higher up. An in-form De Bruyne can take on any midfielder in the world and come out on top.
Since the start of the 2022-23 Premier League season, the Belgian has made 19 appearances, scored three goals and provided 11 assists. He created 20 big chances, the most in Europe; and played 20 accurate stray balls. The midfielder has an average of 44.95 assists per game in the Premier League.
The former Chelsea player has also been impressive in the UEFA Champions League. In the group stage, De Bruyne made four appearances, providing three assists, creating two big chances and averaging 2.5 key passes per game.
#1 Martin Odegaard – Arsenal
Arsenal are currently top of the 2022-23 Premier League table, and their captain, Martin Odegaard, has established himself as the team’s best player. The former Real Madrid player was reliable in possession, showed immaculate vision and unlocked defenses with his through balls.
In the English Premier League this season, the Norwegian midfielder has scored eight goals, five assists and created ten big chances. He averages 34.8 accurate passes (82% accuracy), 2.2 key passes and 1.6 accurate long balls (64% accuracy) per game.
Mikel Arteta rarely deployed him during the group stage of the 2022-23 Europa League season. He averaged just 37 minutes over six games, starting just two games. He created two big chances and averaged 1.3 key passes per game.