Mesut Ozil and the Top 10 Midfielders in Spain

Timothy NCorrespondent IAugust 19, 2010

Mesut Ozil and the Top 10 Midfielders in Spain

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    Spain's recent triumph at the World Cup and two years ago at the European Championship is in large part due to their dominance of the midfield. 

    They seamlessly create chances consistently out of nothing and from any angle while dominating possession of the ball.

    Here we will look at the 10 best midfielders that will be gracing La Liga this season. Unsurprisingly, you will see that most come from the duopoly of Real Madrid and Barcelona, the two teams that define the division and contributed most of the Spanish national team.

    Also left out are wingers that are more forwards than midfielders such as the electric Ronaldo and sublime Lionel Messi.

Jesus Navas

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    Jesus Navas played very well at the World Cup and often provided sparks for the sputtering La Furia Roja throughout their campaign.

    Though he is nominally a winger, for Sevilla he is given more freedom and responsibility in the midfield and performs at an even higher level than when restricted to the wings for Spain.

    At just 24, he will help to ensure the hegemony Spain has created over the footballing world for many years to come and will make Sevilla contenders for a place in the Champions' League for the foreseeable future.

Lassana Diarra

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    The French midfielder known as Lass has been a consistent defensive presence for Real Madrid since arriving from Chelsea several seasons ago.

    He has been called the true successor to Claude Makelele and has made great strides while playing in the Spanish capital. Though he has not yet reached the levels that Makelele once did, he has shown that he is good enough to start for Los Blancos.

    The arrival of Sami Khedira will push Lass to become a better player or end up on the bench, making it a make-or-break year for the French midfielder.

Sami Khedira

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    One of the young German duo that Real Madrid has signed this summer, Khedira has yet to make a start in La Liga, but showed his considerable prowess in South Africa.

    Khedira has shown that he has boundless energy on the defensive side of the ball and has the distribution and vision to lead the break.

    While he is not guaranteed a starting place with Los Blancos, he is definitely the type of player that will free up the enormous attacking talents that will be in front of him for the foreseeable future.

Marcos Senna

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    Though Senna has finally begun to show his age, he is still one of the top defensive midfielders in the world, and was the key "pivot" during Spain's run to the European Championship two years ago.

    Age and injury ruled him out of the World Cup, but he will still be a force when La Liga kicks off. 

    So pivotal are his pivot skills that Del Bosque had to adopt the "double-pivot" with one purely defensive midfielder and one deep-lying playmaker just to do what Senna provided. 

Mesut Ozil

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    The shining light of Germany's new generation of stars has made one of the biggest moves of the summer from Werder Bremen to Real Madrid.

    Excellent pace, a deft touch, and the ability to play anywhere in the middle of the pitch makes him a rising star of world football, and he will now get to shine under some of the brightest lights in the world.

    With Kaka already injured, Ozil will push for a place in an extremely talented starting lineup for Los Blancos this season.  His main competition for the role of playmaker will be...

Rafel Van Der Vaart

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    Timing could not be worse for Van Der Vaart.

    A very good player that joined the Dutch Revolution at Real Madrid only to be benched for his fellow countryman, and then to have all the other Dutch players depart and be set as bait for yet another era of Real Madrid spending.

    Van Der Vaart managed to fight to maintain a good amount of playing time and even impressed on his way to the World Cup before coming off the bench and losing in the final.

    Kaka, the player that replaced him for Real Madrid, went down with injury before the season started making it seem as though he will finally move into the starting lineup as the playmaker...

    Until a few days ago when Mesut Ozil was brought in from Germany and proclaimed by many to be the next great playmaker for Real Madrid.

    Still, Van Der Vaart has proven himself from solid to spectacular time and time again, and he will undoubtedly fight for a starting place once again, all the while showing why he is one of the top midfielders in Spain.

Sergio Busquets

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    The first choice holding midfielder for both Barcelona and Spain, Sergio Busquets' rapid ascent to the top of the footballing world has been glorious.

    Picked as the replacement for Marcos Senna and Yaya Toure, Busquets has performed his role with superb results at both the club and international level.

    At age 22, he has an enormous ceiling and could one day become the perfect "pivot" player and supplant this next player as the first choice deep-lying playmaker for Spain:

Xabi Alonso

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    What a difference a couple of seasons make.

    At one point Liverpool were willing to sell their deep-lying playmaker for a mere £8 million.

    A year later he was sold for four times that price and lining up in white.

    During Euro 2008, Xabi was one of the key players off the bench, but this past summer in South Africa he was an undisputed starter and was the playmaker from the rear while Busquets was the screen man.

    Still the best at his position bar none, Xabi Alonso's long-range passes continue to fuel goals for the best talents in the world.

Andres Iniesta

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    One half of Barcelona's dynamic midfield duo, Andres Iniesta has had a remarkable run of form in the past few seasons that has seen him become one of the greatest midfielders to perhaps ever play in Spain.

    His attacking talents are so great teams simply cannot afford to leave him unmarked.  Though he is nominally a central attacking midfielder, he can just as easily float around the field and cause mismatches that tend to lead to goals.

    Given the chance however, Iniesta can take the ball to any team and score on any goalkeeper, like his wonder strike against Chelsea and his World Cup winning goal against the Netherlands.

    Perhaps the deadliest part of his game is something that is entirely impossible to measure.  It is his telepathic rapport with his teammates, and the only player that may challenge him as the best midfielder on the planet.

Xavi Hernandez

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    Xavi.

    One word and nothing else need be written.

    A player whose skill and vision make him amongst the best to perhaps ever play the game and forever an immortal in Spain.

    Xavi could call himself the King of Cataluyna and very few would raise any objections.

    He is not the fastest, trickiest, or most physical player on the field, but he is almost always the best.

    His passing slashes through the pitch like a meteor across the sky.

    His vision is so complete, it is as if angels relay him information from heaven itself.

    Xavi is the complete midfielder and the best in not only Spain, but on the entire planet.