Football cannot be so much fun without Midfielders who create goals for the Strikers. Midfielders dictate the tempo of the game a lot hence their importance to any football team. For this reason, it is important to find out who the best midfielders of all time are.
Granted, there are so many yardsticks for choosing “the best”. In most cases, “the best” is relative.
So to avoid such thoughts on our best midfielder of all time rank, we will use trophies won as a yardstick for choosing “the best”.
Numbers don’t lie, they say. We believe the number of trophies won will eliminate the subjective notion that clouds choosing “the best”.
Furthermore, to be clear, attackers or inverted wingers don’t count here. Only holding, centre, or attacking midfielders count in this case.
Now let’s highlight the best midfielders of all time by the number of trophies won in summary and later in details.
Best Midfielders of All Time in Summary
|SN||Name||Nationality||Number of Trophies Won|
|15||Yaya Toure||Ivory Coast||18|
|18||Kevin De Bruyne||Belgium||16|
|26||Juan Roman Riquelme||Argentina||12|
|28||John Obi Mikel||Nigeria||12|
Read further below to get details on each player.
1. Andres Iniesta | Spain| 39 Trophies
Iniesta graduated from Barcelona La Masia to join the first team in Barcelona. After a very successful career with Barcelona, he played about 600 matches for the Club.
In all, Iniesta won 39 trophies in his glittering career, including World Cup and Champions League trophies.
To emphasize how good and exceptional Iniesta was, he is one of the Best International Players of all time. Watch the best of Iniesta below.
2. Sergio Busquets *|Spain| 33 Titles
Busquets graduated from La Masia and made his first-team debut as a teenager on Pep Guardiola. He later developed into an excellent pass master who dictates the tempo of the game from the middle.
The holding midfielder has made over 600 appearances for Barcelona already and has 33 titles to his name.
Sergio Busquets has an excellent chance to surpass Andres Iniesta as the best midfielder of all time because he is yet to retire.
Related Article: The Best Liverpool Players of All Time
3. Xavi Hernandez |Spain| 33 Titles
It is no surprise to find Xavi on the list, considering his top-notch performances over the years as a player.
In his playing days, Xavi was one of the best creative midfielders in the world. Xavi’s trophy haul of 33 makes him the 3rd Best central midfielder of all time in this rank.
Read Also: Madrid’s Highest Goal Scorers of All Time
4. Toni Kroos | Germany | 29 Titles
German Midfield maestro Toni Kroos is one of the most successful midfielders ever in football history.
Kroos has won a total of 29 titles in his career including 1 World Cup and 5 Champions League medals.
It is also important to mention that Kroos is in the top 20 Real Madrid assist providers of all time.
5. Paul Scholes | England | 27 Titles
During his time, no one played long balls better than Paul Scholes. In addition, Scholes was known to be a tough-tackling midfielder.
Nonetheless, he was really successful a player. Scholes won a total of 27 trophies with Manchester United.
However, Scholes’ success as a player counted for less when he became a coach.
Scholes is one of the Top Footballers who did not have a great Coaching Career.
Read Also: The Most Overrated Strikers in Football
6. Luka Modric | Croatia | 26 Titles
There is no doubt that Luka Modric is one of the best midfielders of all time in football history.
The former Tottenham man forged a formidable partnership with Kroos and Casemiero to win 5 Champions League titles with Real Madrid.
In all Modric won 26 trophies so far in his career.
7. Javier Mascherano | Argentina | 24 Trophies
Naturally, Mascherano played as a Defensive Midfielder but often time he played as a Center Back.
The Argentine Defensive midfielder did not win a Trophy at Liverpool until he moved to Barcelona.
Mascherano was so important to the Barca team that he made a total of 264 appearances.
In his glittering career, he won 24 team trophies.
Mascherano will go down as one of the best defensive midfielders of time.
8. Frank Rijkaard | Netherlands | 23 Trophies
Rijkaard is undoubtedly one of the best defensive midfielders during his playing days. He was not just a tough-tackler; he was also a great winner.
During his career, Rijkaard won a total of 23 team trophies.
Read Also: Messi vs Ronaldo: A Classic H2H Battle
9. Patrick Viera |France| 22 Trophies
You can’t mention Arsenal Legends without talking about the great Patrick Viera.
Throughout his career, he aimed to break up opposition attacks, and this earned the status as arguably one of the best in his position.
Viera won a total of 22 Trophies in his glittering career.
It is important to also mention that Viera was part of the Arsenal invincible team that won the Premier League without a defeat. See their stats for that season.
10. Lothar Matthaus | Germany | 21 Trophies
The younger generation of football fans may not know so much about the great Lothar Matthus. He was an incredible player for the German National Team and Bayern Munich.
Matthaus’s success as a player cannot be overstated. He won a total of 21 Trophies, which is why he is considered one of the very best in the middle of the park.
11. Andrea Pirlo | Italy | 20 Titles
Mention one Italian Free-kick specialist better than Andrea Pirlo – perhaps very few.
Pirlo achieved a lot of success during his playing days at AC Milan, Juventus, and the Italian National Team.
Overall, Pirlo won 20 titles, including the World Cup and Champions League, during his amazing career.
Read Also: Best Free Transfers in Football
12. Rivaldo | Brazil | 20 Titles
In the ’90s and early 2000, the Brazil National team was never complete without the great midfield Legend Rivaldo. Such was his importance to the Selaco squad.
Rivaldo won the World Cup and 19 other Trophies during his great career that he amassed with the National team and other clubs he represented.
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13. Clarence Seedorf | Netherlands | 20 Trophies
Seedorf made a name for himself, especially at Ajax and AC Milan. He won a total of 20 trophies during his career.
The Dutchman is known for his attacking prowess and eye for goal.
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14. Roy Keane | Ireland | 19 Trophies
Having played his entire professional career at Manchester United, Keane was indeed very successful. In fact, he is arguably the most successful Irish Footballer.
Keane won a total of 19 Trophies during his playing days, and that makes him not just a Manchester United Legend but also one of the best central midfielders in football history.
15. Yaya Toure| Ivory Coast |18 Trophies
King Yaya Toure is one of the most decorated African Footballers ever.
The Ivorian made a name for himself, especially at Barcelona, Manchester City, and the Ivorian National team. It is noteworthy to mention that Toure won the AFCON with the Ivory Coast.
Toure is the first-ever Ivorian to win the Champions League.
In all, Toure won 18 trophies in his great career.
16. Xabi Alonso |Spain| 18 Trophies
One of Alonso’s best qualities is his long-range of accurate passes. This quality of his improved dramatically at Liverpool and earned him a Champions League medal.
In his illustrious career, Alonso also won the World Cup with Spain, and he is arguably one of the world’s best defensive midfielders in history.
17. Cesc Fabregas | Spain |18 Trophies
Some Arsenal fans call him “FabrePASS” he was so good with the ball at his feet. Fabregas quickly became a superstar at Arsenal, but eventually became even more successful at Barcelona and Chelsea.
Fabregas is a World Cup winner and, in all, has won 18 trophies during their career so far.
18. Kevin De Bruyne | Belgium | 16 Titles
For many years now, De Bruyne has been playing top-level football consistently and helped Man City to dominate the Premier League.
So far De Bruyne has won 16 titles in his career including 4 Premier League titles.
No wonder the Belgian is regarded as one of the best Manchester City players.
In addition, KDB is one of the best Premier League midfielders ever.
19. Michael Laudrup | Denmark | 16 Titles
Laudrup is one of the few incredible midfielders who represented both Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The former Dane superstar is known for his trickery and blistering pace.
This quality helped him beat defenders easily and led to his success as a player.
During his playing days, Laudrup won 16 Trophies.
20. Claude Makelele | France | 15 Titles
Makelele did not score so many goals during his career, but no one can say that he is not one of the best defensive midfielders ever.
The Frenchman had just two tasks during football matches – break up the opposition’s attack and protect his Center Backs. He did this to perfection, and that is why he was really successful.
Makelele won 15 trophies during his glitter career as a player.
21. Edgar Davids | Netherlands | 15 Titles
There were very few combative Defensive Midfielders who were better than Davids during his playing career.
Davids enjoyed great success at Ajax and AC Milan especially. Davids won a total of 15 team trophies.
Read Also: The European Super League in Detail
22. Graeme Souness | Scotland | 15 Trophies
Being a Liverpool Legend, Souness won most of the team trophies at the Merseyside Club.
Souness is regarded as one of the best central midfielders of his generation because he won 15 team trophies during his successful playing career.
Consider Reading: The Best Football Pairings in History
23. Michel Platini | France | 13 Trophies
Platini is one of the greatest French Footballers ever.
Platini played as an attacking midfielder or a playmaker most times, and he terrorized defences with ease. He won a total of 13 Trophies during his illustrious playing career before retiring.
Consider Reading: Is Pogba World Class or Just a Flop?
24. Zidane | France | 13 Tittles
In the history of football, only very few midfielders are better than Zidane. He was hugely successful at Real Madrid and Juventus.
The Frenchman played primarily behind the striker and dictated the tempo of the attack.
Zidane did this so well that he won 13 Trophies during his incredible playing career.
25. Frank Lampard |England | 13 Trophies
At Chelsea, Lampard is a renowned Legend. Though he’s been retired since 2017, Lampard remains the highest goal scorer for Chelsea.
During his playing days, Lampard was one of the most prolific midfielders in the world.
Lampard’s goal-scoring ability helped him and his teams to win 13 major Trophies.
There is little wonder that most Chelsea fans consider him the world’s best midfielder ever.
It is also worthy of note that Lampard is the Best Midfielder in Premier League history, and also the highest goal-scoring midfielder in Premier League history.
Related Article: The Best Chelsea Players of All time
26. Juan Roman Riquelme | Argentina | 12 Trophies
Riquelme literally carried Villareal on his back during his stint at the Club.
Though he failed to win a single Trophy in Europe, he won most of his Trophies at Argentine Club – Boca Juniors.
To a large extent, Riquelme is one of the best Midfielders of all time.
Read Also: Pele Vs Maradona: Who Was Better?
27. Marco Tardelli |Italy| 12 Trophies
Tardelli was a trendy figure in Italy in the ’80s. He was a tenacious and energetic midfielder who played most of his career at Juventus and Inter Milan.
Before he retired, Tardelli amassed a total of 12 trophies.
Read Also: 20 Best MLS Transfers From European Teams
28. John Obi Mikel| Nigeria | 12 Titles
There are not too many African players who are more successful than John Mikel Obi.
In his 11 incredible years at Chelsea, Mikel won the Champions League, Europa League, and 10 other Trophies.
29. Kaka | Brazil | 11 Trophies
The first player to beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi to the Ballon D’or is Kaka.
The Brazilian superstar was really successful as a player, especially at AC Milan, where he won the Champions League.
In addition, Kaka won the World Cup with Brazil, and he was an important part of the team for many years.
Without thinking twice, sure you will agree that kaka is one of the best attacking midfielders Football has ever witnessed.
30. Steven Gerrard | England | 11 Trophies
Before he retired, there was hardly any Midfielder who was better at scoring from a long distance.
The Liverpool Legend inspired his team to Champions League glory in 2005. Overall, he won a total of 11 team trophies before he hung his boot.
Best Midfielders FAQs Answered
Andres Iniesta is the greatest Midfielder of all time by the measure of total team trophies won – 39. No other Midfielder in football history has won more.
Well, the answer to this question is subjective. However, Ronaldinho is largely regarded as the most skillful Midfielder or attacker in football history.
By measure of trophies won, Andres Iniesta is the best playmaker in football history.
Going by trophies won, Kevin De Bruyne is a better midfielder than Bruno Fernandes.
To remind you, see below the full list of the best midfielders of all time.
Considering the statistic of the Trophy won, it is safe to say that Andres Iniesta is the best midfielder of all time. However, his former teammate Busquets can surpass him before retirement.