Category: "Midfielder"

44. Paul Scholes

08/25/2014
Paul Scholes

Paul Scholes

Paul Scholes may not be recognized as an example for fair play (with more than 120 yellow cards and 10 red cards), but is widely regarded as one of the best midfielders of his generation.

Educated at the Manchester United training center, Scholes played more than 700 games with the club winning eleven Premier League titles (1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010–11 and 2012–13), three FA Cups (1995–96, 1998–99 and 2003–04) and two Champions Leagues (1998–99 and 2007–08). He was part of the team who realized a perfect season in 1998-99 winning three major titles.

In April 2003, The Premier League named him as a member of the Domestic and Overall Teams of the Decade (1992-2002).

In 66 games Scholes never won any honours with the England national team.

Paul Scholes is one of few players to have won the Premier League in three different decades.

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4. Zinedine Zidane

08/25/2014
Football against poverty 2014 - Zinedine Zidane

Football against poverty 2014 – Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Yazid Zidane, nicknamed “Zizou” is one of the players who has won everything.

Considered a national hero in France for his performance with the national team (even after the expulsion during the final of the 2006 World Cup), Zizou is famous for his performances at club level.

With Real Madrid and Juventus, he won the UEFA Champions League in 2001-02 (2 times runner-up), two Serie A (1996–97 and 1997–98) and La Liga (2002-03).

France won the 1998 World Cup against Brazil thanks to Zidane’s two goals in the 1998 World Cup final. It was in this year that Zidane won the Ballon d’Or.

Zidane’s achievements also include winning the UEFA European Football Championship in 2000 and reaching the final of the World Cup in 2006. He is, with Pelé, Vava and Paul Breitner, one of the only players to score goals during two different World Cup finals.

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48. Frank Rijkaard

08/25/2014
Frank Rijkaard

Frank Rijkaard

Member of the legendary Milanese Dutch trio together with Gullit and Van Basten, Frank Rijkaard’s physical qualities and ability made him one of the key elements of the Rossoneri’s success.

With Ajax, (261 games, 59 goals) Rijkaard won five Eredivisie (1981–82, 1982–83, 1984–85, 1993–94 and 1994–95), one UEFA Cup Winners’Cup (1986-87) and one Champions League (1994-95)

With AC Milan (142 games, 16 goals) he won two Serie A (1991–92 and 1992–93) and two Champions Leagues (1988–89 and 1989–90)

He won the European Championship 1988 with Netherlands (73 games, 10 goals) but finished third at the Ballon d’Or in 1988 and 1989.

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46. Enzo Francescoli

08/25/2014
Enzo Francescoli 2011

Enzo Francescoli 2011

Nicknamed “The Prince” because of the elegance that he displayed on and off the field, Enzo Francescoli is considered as one of the best Uruguayan players of all time.

With 73 caps, in which he scored 15 goals, he was the most capped outfield player of his national team.

It was with River Plate that Francescoli won most of his trophies including five Primera Division (1985–86, 1994 Apertura, 1996 Apertura, 1997 Clausura, 1997 Apertura), one Copa Libertadores (1996) and one Supercopa Sudamericana (1997).

He won the French Championship with Marseille during the 1989-90 season.

During his first competition with the national team, the 1983 Copa América, Francescoli scored during the final against Brazil, lifting the trophy. He went on to win two more Copa Américas with Uruguay ( 1987 and 1995).

In tribute to his talent and class, Zinedine Zidane named his first son Enzo.

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45. Didier Deschamps

08/25/2014
Didier Deschamps

Didier Deschamps

During his distinguished career, Didier Deschamps played as a midfielder for Nantes, Marseille, Juventus, Chelsea and Valencia and for the French national team.

Thanks to his tenacity and stamina, Deschamps won two Champions Leagues (with Marseille in 1992-93 and Juventus in 1995-96), two Ligue 1s (1989–90 and 1991–92), three Serie As (1994–95, 1996–97 and 1997–98) and an FA Cup with Chelsea (2000).

Best French player of 1996 according to France Football, Deschamps captained the French “Golden generation” to victories in the World Cup in France in 1998 and the 2000 European Championship. He set a new record of 52 games as French captain.

Didier Deschamps played 665 official games, scoring 25 goals.

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42. Ryan Giggs

08/25/2014
Ryan Giggs lifting the Premier League trophy

Ryan Giggs lifting the Premier League trophy

Ryan Giggs is the most decorated player in the English football history.

With 35 titles, Giggs is one of the best midfielders of all time and was voted “Best Manchester United player of all time” by the Manchester United supporters in 2011.

Playing for Manchester United for 23 years, he won 13 Premier League titles, a record (6 times runner-up), four FA Cups, four League Cups, 9 Community Shields and two Champions Leagues.

With Manchester United, Giggs broke numerous records including the player with the most UEFA Champions League appearances and the first player to have scored in 21 successive Premier League campaigns.

Ryan Giggs played 64 games for Wales and more than 970 matches for Manchester United.

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36. Bastian Schweinsteiger

08/25/2014
Bastian Schweinsteiger

Bastian Schweinsteiger

Voted best German player in 2013, Bastian Schweinsteiger is distinguished by his technical abilities, the accuracy of his passes and his powerful shot. He organises the midfield for his club and for ‘Der Mannschaft.’

With the Bayern, Schweinsteiger has played more than 480 games (up to November 2014) and won seven Bundesliga titles (2002-03, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2007-08, 2009-10, 2012-13 and 2013-14), seven cups (2002-03, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2007-08, 2009-10, 2012-13 and 2013-14) and the Champions League in 2012-13 (runner-up in 2009-10 and 2011-12).

Schweinsteiger has earned over 100 caps for Germany and played in three World Cups – winning the trophy in 2014 and two third places as well as reaching the final of the European Championship in 2008.

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32. David Beckham

08/25/2014
David Beckham

David Beckham

David Beckham is one of the best English players of the 20th century.

“Becks” (aka “Golden Balls”) played a key role during Manchester United’s domination of the Premier League at the end of the 1990s into the early 2000s.

With Manchester United, he won six Premier League titles (1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01 and 2002–03), two FA Cups (1995–96 and 1998–99) and the Champions league in 1998-99.

After 400 matches and 85 goals, he became the third English player to sign with Real Madrid where he won La Liga (2006-07) and the Supercopa de España (2003).

With England, Beckham was by the end of his career the second most selected player in the history of England with 115 appearances, just ahead of Steven Gerrard (114).

Beckham played three different World Cup and two European Championship tournaments.

Renowned for his free-kicks, Beckham won a lot of individual titles but never received the Ballon d’Or (second in 1999).

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31. Patrick Vieira

08/25/2014
Patrick Vieira

Patrick Vieira

Recognized for his winning mentality, Vieira was tactically intelligent with incredible strength and stamina.

With Arsenal (9 years in the club) he won three Premier League titles during the season 1997-98, 2001-02 and most famously as captain of the “Invincibles” who went unbeaten for the whole of the 2003-04 season. With the Gunners he also won four FA Cups (1997–98, 2001–02, 2002–03 and 2004–05) and four Community Shields.

Vieira stayed just one year with Juventus because of the Calciopoli scandal, moving on to Internazionale where he won four Italian championship titles in four years (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10) and two Supercopas (2006 and 2008).

With France, Vieira won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship and helped the French team reach the final of the 2006 World Cup with two consecutive matches with one goal and one assist.

For many years Vieira was a pillar of the French national team (107 games, 6 goals).

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30. Ruud Gullit

08/25/2014
Ruud Gullit 1988

Ruud Gullit 1988

Ruud Gullit, with his athletic profile, his long shots, long runs and his speed, was one of the leading representatives of Total Football in its heyday.

With Van Basten and Rijkaard, “The black tulip” was one of the greatest footballers at the end of 1980s.

Gullit won three Eredivisie (1983-84, 1985-86 and 1986-87), two Champions Leagues (1988-89 and 1989-90), three Serie A (1987-88, 1991-92 and 1992-93) with Milan and a European Championship with the Netherlands in 1988.

Designated Dutch footballer of the year, winner of the Dutch golden shoe, Netherlands League top scorer and European footballer of the year, he won the Ballon d’Or in 1987 (runner-up in 1988).

Gullit played during his professional career as a forward, a midfielder and a defender.

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