The UEFA Champions League has moved on to the knockout stages where scoring goals is at a premium. The teams with the top midfielders hold a big advantage, as they could score and keep possession of the football.
In the knockout rounds, each tie consists of two legs, with one home game for each team. The team with the most goals in the two matches moves on to the next round.
This style creates a major emphasis on scoring goals, but once you have that goal, it is more important not to concede any. The most effective way to do that is to keep possession of the ball; after all, if you have the ball, the opposing team can't score.
When you are trying to keep possession, the burden falls onto your midfielders. If they are dominant, they will be able to control the flow of the game and keep possession. However, if they are not, you could be conceding many more goals than you want to.
Midfield is one of the hardest positions to judge who the best is at the position. There are several different types of midfielders with different roles. Some midfielders excel at attacking and scoring goals, while others excel at defense and keeping possession of the ball. Some may not score a lot of goals, but are terrific passers and their play often leads to goals.
Sometimes midfielders are not terrific on their own, but when paired with another player the two of them become fantastic.
Here are the top 10 both players and pairs of midfielders who remain in the Champions League.