Saturday, May 21

Top 11 midfielders in the 2022/23 Nations League

The 2022/23 Nations League will kick off in the summer and some of the world’s best midfielders will be in action for their countries.

France are the current champions having beaten Spain in the 2021 final, but will face competition from the likes of Belgium, England and Italy for the crown.

Here are the top midfielders some of those teams will be looking towards to unlock defences in the upcoming Nations League.

Christian EriksenChristian Eriksen

Eriksen has made a brilliant return to football / Martin Rose/GettyImages

A comeback story for the ages, Eriksen is bossing the Premier League again and has returned to the Denmark team with great success since his cardiac arrest at Euro 2020.

An incredibly hard worker with a keen eye for goal, the Brentford star is part of an excellent Denmark side looking to cause more surprises in the Nations League and the World Cup later this year.

Now a regular in the Italy starting XI, Barella’s intelligence and industry in midfield has turned the Azzurri into one of the most feared international teams in world football. Just don’t ask about the World Cup.

A vocal player with a great engine, the Inter ace will be running Italy’s midfield for years at just 25.

The phrase ‘generational talent’ gets thrown around a little too easily, but if there is a solid definition for it, Pedri fits the mould.

Still a teenager but already a vital midfielder for both Barcelona and Spain, Pedri wows crowds with his brilliant dribbling ability and impressed at Euro 2020, winning its young player of the tournament award.

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Rice has managed to shake the defensive midfielder tag he’d been given and is now earning rave reviews with his gut-busting runs for West Ham and England.

There are doubts over his big-game experience and management – see the Euro 2020 final – but with a high profile move most likely on the horizon, the England midfielder’s reputation will only continue to grow.

Bernardo SilvaBernardo Silva

Silva is a masterful playmaker / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Whatever position he’s given, Bernardo Silva always performs to a high standard.

While he probably hasn’t had a crowning moment at international level with Portugal, his performances with Manchester City have been impeccable and it’s only a matter of time before he makes a statement with the Selecao.

Descriptions of N’Golo Kante have been done to death, but here goes anyway. Few players can match the Chelsea midfielder’s stamina, while his progressive running in central areas is another strong point of his game.

Whichever players he features for France with, Kante’s industry gives them the platform to attack, making Les Bleus an incredibly formidable opponent.

Most players find it tricky to nick the ball off Verratti, such is his close control and generally mastery with the ball at his feet.

His injury record and disciplinary issues can count against him, but whenever Paris Saint-Germain and Italy play well, Verratti is almost always at the heart of it.

Stick Kimmich anywhere and he’s world class. At right back or in central midfield, it doesn’t matter – his excellent passing, tenacity and leadership set him apart from most midfielders.

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The settling period at Anfield is well and truly over for Thiago, who has reasserted himself as one of the best midfielders around at Liverpool after a disappointing 2020/21 season.

With no-look passes galore, the Spaniard brings style to whatever game he’s playing in, whether that be internationally with Spain or for Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.

At 36 and still playing to a ridiculously high standard, Modric is undeniably of the best midfielders around.

His influence on the Croatia team is pivotal and he’ll need to be at his brilliant best against the likes of Denmark and France in Group A1.

Kevin De BruyneKevin De Bruyne

De Bruyne has it all / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Shooting, passing, stamina – you name it, De Bruyne’s got it.

Belgium haven’t achieved as much as they should have with their golden generation, but with the Manchester City wizard in their ranks they remain one of the most dangerous international teams around.

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