Juventus: Ranking the 5 best center midfielders of all time

Juventus, Pavel Nedved (Photo by Luca Ghidoni/Getty Images)
Juventus, Pavel Nedved (Photo by Luca Ghidoni/Getty Images) /
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Juventus, Claudio Marchisio
Juventus, Claudio Marchisio (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images) /

Juventus have such a rich history of wonderful players everywhere on the pitch, and it is only fitting that we continue our countdown of the best five Juventini at each position by focusing on the center midfielders.

These men are often the foundational players of a great Juventus side. Everything starts with their effort, defensive discipline, and attacking flair or ability to contribute positively to the build-up play.

James Cormack, Jyotirmoy Halder, and I individually ranked the top five center midfielders in Juventus history before totaling the points into a consensus.

And here is how our top five ended up.

5. Claudio Marchisio

We each actually picked a different player, as it was a tough call for this final spot. Antonio Conte and Andrea Pirlo – former greats on the pitch turned into Juventus managers – will have to settle for being honorable mentions, because, at the end of the day, there was no way we could omit Claudio Marchisio from this list.

You can scarcely think of a better all-around midfielder in Italian football in the previous decade. Marchisio was the engine room for Juve, playing intelligent defense with non-stop coverage on the pitch. But whereas a lot of players fitting this profile don’t quite measure up offensively, Marchisio was a maestro in his own right, even though he shared the pitch with Pirlo and Paul Pogba in one of the best midfield on the planet.

Marchisio helped lead Juve to multiple Champions League Finals. He had some of the best seasons by a Serie A midfielder in recent memory, including nine goals and three assists in 2011-2012. Defensively, he regularly averaged more than two interceptions per game, including in Juve’s run to the final in 2014-2015, as per WhoScored.com.

A Juventus legend through and through, Marchisio helped the Bianconeri return to prominence in the 2010’s, scoring and assisting important goals to supplement a style of play that ensured Juve would always be a step ahead of their opponents.