#3 N’Golo Kanté
Looking at the best defensive midfielders in the world, the one who stands out most in terms of their impact on their team is Chelsea star N’Golo Kanté.
Boasting a decorated career already, with two Premier League titles and the World Cup, the French superstar is just entering his prime. He is the first line of defense for Chelsea and France, and his ability to break opposition attacks through tackles or interceptions is second to none.
Kante’s remarkable ability to read the game and tremendous work rate allow him to interpret the opponent’s attacks, and make it impossible for attackers in the opposition team to get past him.
In addition to his defensive acumen, what makes him the world’s best is his ability to lead the transition from defense to attack by making forward runs, or picking out a pass to start a break. Along with Eden Hazard, Kante orchestrated Chelsea’s trophy-laden campaigns under Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri, and before that at Leicester City when they won the Premier League title against all odds.
The French midfielder was also instrumental in his nation’s World Cup triumph in 2018, under the management of Didier Deschamps.
Kanté’s rivals at the top of the pile of defensive midfielders include LaLiga legend Sergio Busquets and Real Madrid star Casemiro. While both of these players have had tremendously successful careers, their performances in the past couple of seasons have been below their standard.
Manchester City’s Fernandinho is another such player who deserves to be mentioned in the list of the best defensive midfielders. But being over 34 years old now, even his brilliance has begun to wane.
All of these factors put Premier League’s Kanté atop all the defensive midfliders from the top five leagues in the world.