Top 15 Italian Midfielders of All Time

Who is the best Italian midfielder of all time?

Midfield-line is one of the most important parts in a soccer team. The midfield-area is also regarded as the most dynamic areas in a team and this is proven by the existence of many different types of midfielders, ranging from playmaker, defensive midfielder, winger, central midfielder and attacking midfielder. Each type of midfielder has its own roles and duties.

Who is the best midfielder in the history of Italian football? To answer this question, I present a list of 15 Italian midfielders who have won many awards and trophies in the world of soccer, both with their respective clubs and with the Italian national team. Be sure to vote for your favorite player at the end of this article.

15. Daniele De Rossi

Strong, tough, and loyal. Daniele De Rossi is a central midfielder who became a backbone of the Italian national team in the World Cup 2006. In the tournament, De Rossi helped the team become a world champion. Together with Francesco Totti, De Rossi is regarded as the most loyal AS Roma players who are still actively playing. One of De Rossi's best achievements is winning the Italian Player of the Year award in 2009.

14. Bruno Conti

Compared to the central midfielder or defensive midfielder, there aren't many Italian wingers who manage to generate strong impression in the world of football. Bruno Conti is one of the few examples of the wingers. During his active period as a footballer, he was known as a very fast winger who has a very strong left foot. Conti spent his career as a footballer playing for AS Roma and Genoa. He also scored a goal that helped Italy beat West Germany in the final match of the 1982 World Cup.

13. Demetrio Albertini

Before the era of Gennaro Gattuso and Massimo Ambrosini, Demetrio Albertini was the number one central midfielder of AC Milan. He is known as a player who often scored goals from free kicks and long-range shot. Not only in the Italian League, Albertini also had a career in the Spanish League with Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. With Milan, he won five Serie A titles and a Champions League trophy.

12. Roberto Baggio

Roberto Baggio was a very creative player. He could play a role as an attacking midfielder, playmaker, or even a striker. This player is not fast or physically strong, but he possesses very high soccer technique. He is a good set-piece taker and he also often creates magic by performing unexpected moves on the pitch. Baggio was the backbone of the Italian national team in two major tournaments, 1990 World Cup and 1994 World Cup.

11. Giancarlo Antognoni

Talented, charismatic, and possessing good spirit of leadership. Giancarlo Antognoni is known as Fiorentina's best player of all time. He played for La Viola for 15 years, capped 412 times and scored 61 goals. Antognoni was also one of the most important midfielders of the Italian national team when they won the 1982 World Cup. During his career, Antognoni is known as a creative attacking midfielder who scored a lot of goals.

10. Massimo Ambrosini

Massimo Ambrosini is a player who was trusted to be the captain of AC Milan when their legendary player, Paolo Maldini, retired in 2009. He played for AC Milan from 1995 to 2013, winning five Serie A titles, two Champions League titles, and one FIFA Club World Cup title. Ambrosini was known as a versatile central midfielder who is able to attack and defend equally well.

9. Fabio Capello

Before gaining recognition as one of the world's best coaches, Capello once was a formidable midfielder. As a player, he had great career with Roma, Juventus and AC Milan in the period 1967-1980. Capello is a central midfielder who has complete abilities. He is not very fast, but he possesses good ability to be an anchor player of the team. As a player, Capello won four Serie A titles. He won three titles as a Juventus player and one title as an AC Milan player.

8. Gennaro Gattuso

Gattuso will always be remembered by football fans because of his extremely high stamina. He always runs continuously throughout the 90-minute match to snatch the ball from the opposing players. He also does not hesitate to play rough, performs hard tackles, and sometimes he is even involved in a fight with the opposing players. His determination and hardworking traits made Gattuso's role at AC Milan and the Italian national team is irreplaceable. Throughout his career, Gattuso won two Champions League trophies, two Serie A titles and the 2006 World Cup trophy.

7. Giampiero Boniperti

Giampiero Boniperti is one of Italy's most prolific midfielders in scoring goals. He became the all-time top scorer of Juventus for many years, before the record was finally broken by Alessandro Del Piero. Boniperti's main position is a right winger, but due to his high goal scoring instinct, he is often positioned as a striker. During 15 years playing for Juventus, Boniperti won five Serie A titles and two Coppa Italia trophies.

6. Giuseppe Giannini

Giannini was nicknamed as "The Prince" because of his graceful and elegant playing style. He was one of the most important players for AS Roma and the Italian national team in the 1980s. This player is also known as the largest Roma legend before the emergence of Francesco Totti. With Italy, Giannini played in 47 matches and scored six goals. He also won a lot of trophies at the club level, among them are one Serie A title and three Coppa Italia trophies.

5. Roberto Donadoni

Donadoni is a former right-winger who became a backbone of AC Milan's midfield line in the period 1986-1996. He also played for the Italian national team in two major tournaments, the World Cup 1990 and 1994. Donadoni's achievements with AC Milan is quite exceptional, in which he won five Serie A titles, three Champions League trophies and three European Super Cup trophies. He ended his career as a professional footballer with a Saudi Arabian club, Ittihad.

4. Marco Tardelli

One more legendary Juventus player who made it into the list of the best Italian midfielders of all time. Marco Tardelli was a defensive midfielder who played for La Vecchia Signora in the period 1975-1985. In addition to winning five Serie A titles, Tardelli won all of the three European major tournaments: Champions League, UEFA Cup, and Winners' Cup. He also scored a monumental goal in the 1982 World Cup final match against West Germany. His goal had an important contribution in helping Italy to be the champion of the tournament.

3. Carlo Ancelotti

Similar to Capello, Ancelotti is a former Italian midfielder who becomes a successful coach after retiring as professional soccer player. During his active career as a footballer, Ancelotti was known as a midfielder who has high leadership skills. He successfully won a total of four Scudetto with AS Roma and AC Milan in the 1980s. Not only that, he also helped AC Milan won four Champions League trophies. He won two of the trophies as a player and another two as a coach.

2. Gianni Rivera

Rivera is an ex-Italian playmaker who was famous for his high creativity. He had good ability in dribbling, passing, and shooting. With those great skills, Rivera became a key player of Italy national team in four World Cup tournaments. His best achievement ever achieved with Italy national team was winning Euro 1968. During 19 years playing for AC Milan, Rivera presented three Serie A titles, two Champions League trophies, and four Coppa Italia trophies. He also became the top scorer of Serie A in the 1972-1973 season.

1. Andrea Pirlo

Elegant, charismatic, and has perfect skill as a midfielder. Andrea Pirlo is the ideal example of a central midfielder. He has a very accurate passing ability, great set-piece taking skills, and good leadership. In addition to bringing Italy to be the 2006 World Cup champion, Pirlo also performs brilliantly at three major clubs in Italy; Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus. With AC Milan and Juventus, he won four Serie A titles and two Champions League trophies.

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