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Europe’s Midfield Magicians (Part 2) – Season 2012/13

by on February 22, 2013

The second and final part of my review on Europe’s top midfielders this season. My apologies if you don’t find a player you expected to see. I tried my best to bring varied and talented players across the most important leagues in this and the previous blog. Looking forward to your suggestions and valuable feedback!

Eden Hazard (Chelsea FC & Belgium)

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Chelsea acquired the services of the young and talented Hazard from Lille for a hefty fee of 30 million + Euros at the start of this season. He  certainly lived up to the price tag by winning consecutive MOTM for the club and becoming one of the most fouled players in the league. Loves to dribble, loves to layoff and has a superb passing accuracy. His ability to keep himself up on the pitch despite numerous challenges coupled with his mercurial change of pace and direction greatly trouble defenders. Already has 9 goals and 14 assists to his name in his first season. The best is yet to come from the flamboyant 22 year old.

Fernandinho (Shakhtar Donetsk & Brazil)

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A defensive midfielder with blistering pace. He is a box to box type of player who loves shooting from long range. His shooting and passing accuracy coupled with his pace helps Shakhtar in breaking opposition defenses. His most notable performances this season came against European champions Chelsea guiding Donetsk to a memorable and crucial 2-1 win at home. His regular assists in the Super Cup and Ukrainian Cup proved crucial to Shakhtar in winning those games.

Mario Götze (Borussia Dortmund & Germany)

Mario-Gotze

An amazing talent of the German CAM revolution of late. His technique has attracted praise from the great Beckenbauer as well.His deadly combinations with both Marco Reus and Robert Lewandowski have left opposition defenses reeling. Primarily an attacking midfielder but can play on either wing. He possesses an ominous counter attacking threat. Loves to short pass and dribble creating goals for Dortmund.Already has 12 goals to his name this season and will continue to be a vital part of Jurgen Klopp’s ambitions in Europe and home.

Jack Wilshere (Arsenal FC & England)

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A product of the Arsenal youth academy and certainly the best talent the Gunners have developed as of late. After the departure of Robin Van Persie the young Wilshere inherited the number 10 jersey and is certainly living up to it with his string of impressive performances. His vision, technique and combination style of play is delightful to watch. A future talisman for both club and country I consider him to be the best English player at the moment. As long as he is fit he can work wonders for the team.

Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur FC & Wales)

Tottenham Hotspur's Bale celebrates after scoring during their English Premier League soccer match against Manchester City in Manchester

The young Welsh footballer has developed into one of the most dangerous left wingers in the world. Though the comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo are exaggerated, there is no denying the wealth of attacking prowess this lad possesses. His pace leaves defenders in pieces. His free kicks of late have become deadly accurate. He scored at Old Trafford in the beginning of this season and helped Tottenham to a historic 3-2 win against the Red Devils.He already has 17 goals to his name this season and will certainly notch up some more to help Spurs progress in the Europa League and the Premiership.

Isco (Malaga & Spain)

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This young attacking midfielder became La Liga’s Breakthrough Player in 2012 and won UEFA’s Golden Boy Award as well. In his first season for Malaga he helped them qualify for their first ever Champions League. In his first ever Champions League game this season he netted twice helping the Andalusians beat Zenit St Petersburg and qualify comfortably for the knockout stages. He also netted against Real Madrid at La Rosaleda leading Malaga to their first ever victory against the Los Blancos in over 29 years.This season his goal tally stands at 10 in over 29 appearances. After playing under Santi Cazorla’s shadow he’s made a name for himself this season drawing comparisons to those who preceded him in Valencia, such as David Silva and Juan Mata. Certainly a big name to reckon in the years to come thanks to his creativity and play making abilities.

Mesut Özil ( Real Madrid & Germany)

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The best attacking midfielder to emerge from Germany of late. He set the bar high with his smashing performances last season for Real Madrid making more assists than Xavi and Iniesta combined. He can devastate any defence by providing impossible assists for his team mates to score. Add to that a great ball control and awareness. In the Euros for Germany he earned successive MOTM for his impressive performances. His crucial assist to Ronaldo helped Madrid draw with the Catalans at Nou Camp. His free kick against Dortmund earned a vital point for Madrid in the Champions League group stage. This season he’s grabbed 5 goals and made 15 assists for the Kings of Madrid. Him and Mario Gotze are the magical duo of the German national side thanks to their similar technique, style of play and skill set.

Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid & Spain)

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He has been bossing the Spanish and Madrid midfield for the past few years. Considered the nerve of the Madrid midfield, Alonso releases Cristiano Ronaldo to make those speedy runs.It is said that if you can shut down Alonso, you can effectively shut the Madrid midfield. A constant threat to keepers from long range he is also one of the best passers of the ball. Xabi caught everyone’s attention at Liverpool and became the player that he is today thanks to Madrid. A crucial first team player for Real this season he initiates the play from central midfield and also draws back to perform his defensive duties.

Franck Ribéry ( Bayern Munich & France)

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Currently the jewel of French football, this scar faced left winger has contributed tremendously to Bayern Munich’s consistent league performance this season in the Bundesliga. Fast, tricky and possessing a precise control of the ball Ribéry has provided 13 assists and scored 5 goals this season for Munich.  Permanently occupying Munich’s left win he has dazzled in that position. This season Munich have certainly been the most consistent club in Europe scoring goals and conceding very few. A big part of that achievement goes to Ribéry who cuts down the left flank to assist Mario Mandžukić and Mario Gomez in scoring. Ribéry will certainly play a crucial part in Munich’s Bundesliga and Champions League ambitions this season.

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