These are players who I believe to be the greatest Central Midfielders I have ever seen play.

10) Scott Parker

If you cut this boy open he would bleed Inspiration. The way he carries a team is nothing short of genius. Recently at West Ham his inspirational team talk reportedly sent Carlton Cole to tears. His leadership skills, shooting and passing ability and huge engine in the middle of the park is what could have kept the Hammers in the top flight last season, if it wasn't for his injury problems. Capello has finally cottoned onto the fact that he has undoubted ability and he has dislodged Frank Lampard. 

 

9) Juan Roman Riquelme

This silky Argentine first caught my eye playing for Villarreal after a not very successful at Barcelona. He carried an average La Liga side to the Semi-Finals of the Champions League, eventually losing to an Henry inspired Arsenal team. His greatest attributes are his passing, shooting, vision, technique and the ability to set the tempo of a game. He now resides back in his homeland playing for, one of my favourite teams, Boca Juniors.

 

8) Jay Jay Okocha

So good they named him twice. How or why he was never snapped up by a "Super Club" is beyond me. His trickery and skill was absolutely breathtaking at times. I was absolutely gutted when he retired from football, and to retire at Hull is such a shame.

He lit up the Premier League in his years at Bolton and thrived under the management of Sam Allardyce. His main philosophy was to bring joy to the supporters, he didn't care about of the opposition he just wanted to entertain.

 

7) Pedro Mendes

Possibly one of the most underrated stars of our generation. He caresses the ball with grace and guile. Although not the quickest he makes up for it with his timing and vision.

He was once brutally elbowed in the face by Ben Thatcher whilst playing for Portsmouth. I felt extremely sorry for him and came to the conclusion that he was targeted by Thatcher, and his Man City teammates, due to his brilliance on the pitch. 

One of his greatest admirers, apart from me, is Harry Redknapp. And if he's good enough for 'Arry he's good enough for me. 

 

6) Patrick Vieira

This guy changed the modern game whilst at Arsenal. His presence at the heart of the "Unbeatables" was unprecedented. He has been the catalyst of modern Central Midfielders with his athletic build and physical attributes.

He was the Captain of "that" Arsenal team that went unbeaten for 49 games and in his 'hey-day' he had it all. A true leader with that nasty edge. Arsenal have never got over the void he left when he departed for the Serie A.

 

5) Xabi Alonso

My man Alsonso was a hero when at Liverpool. His midfield bond with Steven Gerrard and Javier Mascherano will go down in folklore. In the 07/08 season it also almost brought the Premier League back to Liverpool after 18 seasons in the wilderness.

Alonso's greatest asset is his innate ability to link up play between the midfield and the forwards. His range of passing is mouthwatering and intelligent. Every move is done with elegance and grace. He was a fans favourite at Liverpool and will forever remain in their hearts. 

He also dons a red beard, which mythically dates back to the Ancient Eqyptian era. They associated red-haired humans with the god Set, considering them to be favoured by the powerful and temperamental deity. Which therefore gives Alonso a god like status.

 

4) Xavi Hernandez

The pass master! I have been watching a hell of a lot of Xavi and his Barca crew and he still manages to amaze me with his vision and passing ability. Normally from a spectators view you can see a pass better than a player on the pitch, but not Xavi. He has supernatural peripheral vision, I'm sure of it.

A Man of the Match award in the World Cup 2011 Final and Best Player of the Tournament at the UEFA Euro 2008, both of which Spain won, says it all about the best midfielder in the world.

 

3) Zinedine Zidane

What a career, What a player, What a man! Cited as one of the best players ever to play the game, Zizou didn't run around a pitch, he glided with elegance and class.

A shy man off the pitch, immense on it, Zidane has won pretty much every honour there is to win. Along with winning the Ballon D'Or a record 3 times.

He announced that he would retire from football after the 2006 World Cup Finals, and what a way to retire!! The head-butt on Mattaratzzi was incredible and will go down in history as one of the most shocking moments in football...(but also the best way to retire).

 

2) Roy Keane

Hard hitting, ferocious, inspirational. Just a few words to describe the Manchester United hero Roy Keane. He must have been terrifying to play with let alone playing against. The days when Man Utd and Arsenal were great rivals is what Keano was born for. His gruesome battles with Patrick Vieira are legendary.

Keane's stand out performance, for me, was in the Semi-Final of the Champions League. He had just been booked, meaning if United were to progress to the Final Keane would be suspended. Most players would moan or sulk about such an event, not Keane. He was absolutely outstanding for his team that night and is possibly one of the greatest performances i have ever witnessed as a football fan.

Fergie said of the performance; "It was the most emphatic display of selflessness I have seen on a football field. Pounding over every blade of grass, competing as if he would rather die of exhaustion than lose, he inspired all around him. I felt it was an honour to be associated with such a player."

 

1) Steven Gerrard

Here he is, my number 1. No guesses as to who I support, but I just feel that this man is quite sensational. To carry a club of Liverpool's stature for as long as he has done is unheard of. He is an absolute hero. Liverpool through and through.

His Man of the Match performances in the Champions League group game against Olympiakos 2005, the Champions League Final 2005 and FA Cup Final 2006 are his stand out games. He is the definition of a World Class midfielder.

Well done Stevie...