For the goal scorers to get the glory, they need the ball. This job goes to the real artists of the game, the midfielders, who create the style and flow of play. Here is a look at the top midfielders for 2011. Not surprisingly, this list is dominated by Spanish players or players in Spain’s La Liga.
Xavi Hernandez continues to be the heart of the Barcelona style and the best midfielder in the world. With his speed and accuracy, he is most responsible for the beautiful play of the Catalan team. Xavi is not only the best midfielder of 2011, but we may look back on his career as the best midfielder of all time.
David Silva has been an integral part in making Manchester City a legitimate title contender in the English Premier League. Silva’s creativity, and specifically his chemistry with new striker Sergio Kun Aguero, have changed the style of the team to help create one of the most explosive offenses in the English Premier League.
Spain’s dominance of the list continues with Andres Iniesta. Although he has been hampered by injuries, he has (along with Xavi) created some of the greatest possession soccer of all time with Barcelona, and with the current world champions on Spain’s national team.
Angel Di Maria
Angel Di Maria brings an explosiveness and speed that make him a lethal threat for Real Madrid. Although he loses points for his theatrics, Real Madrid depends on him more than any other player. The Argentinean has had his career rejuvenated under the watch of manager Jose Mourinho.
Wesley Sneijder is at the heart of Inter Milan and the Dutch national team. Although he lost some of his spark after the 2010 World Cup, he has recovered his great form with his club and national team to become one of the most efficient midfielders in the world.
Nani took advantage of an injury to the Ecuadorian Antonio Valencia to win the starting spot in the Manchester United midfield. With the added minutes, the Portuguese player has become the most dangerous player on the field with his speed and creativity. He has also extended his great form to the national team, where he is slowly coming out of the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Like any good German, Bastian Schweinsteiger is efficient but not flashy. With Bayern Munich dominating the Bundesliga (and UEFA Champions League for that matter), Schweinsteiger has been a key part of its success by helping the transition of play in the midfield.
Gareth Bale is the reason that Tottenham made its Cinderella in lsat season’s UEFA Champions League and the reason the English team is now third in the Premier League ahead of Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool.
Mesut Özil has been one of the best signings made by Mourinho. The German has been so effective in the midfield that he has won the starting spot from Kaka. He can create scoring opportunities or score the goals himself to give his team the lead.
Daniele de Rossi
Daniele de Rossi is slowly becoming the best player in the Italian squad. As the leader of the AS Roma midfield, de Rossi could transfer to one of the world’s elite clubs when his contract runs out at the end of the season.
For more sports news, visit Terra.com.