The Best Paid Attacking Midfielders in World Football

 
 
Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea during The Emirates FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on May 19, 2018 in London, England.

We remind you that there is no central midfield seven, so any central midfielders have to be assigned as either defensive or attacking midfielders, hence the inclusion of some players who aren’t really true attacking midfielders.

Here are the 7 best paid attacking midfielders in world football

7. Cesc Fabregas - £206,000 a Week

As the years pass by, Cesc Fabregas has tended to drop deeper and deeper. There was a time when Fabregas really was an attacking midfielder, often playing as a false nine, and he was Spain’s most advanced player when they won Euro 2012. Nowadays, Fabregas tends to be more of a deep-playing play-maker, although we hope you’d agree he’s still closer to being an attacking than a defensive midfielder.

A two-time European Championships winner and one-time World Cup winner, Fabregas was recently left out of Spain’s squad for the upcoming finals in Russia.

6. Ivan Rakitic - £229,000 a Week

Ivan Rakitic of FC Barcelona faces the media during a press conference ahead of the Spanish Copa del Rey Final match at the Ciutat Esportiva de Sant Joan Despi on April 20, 2018 in...Ivan Rakitic of FC Barcelona faces the media during a press conference ahead of the Spanish Copa del Rey Final match at the Ciutat Esportiva de Sant Joan Despi on April 20, 2018 in...

Once again, Ivan Rakitic is more a pure central midfielder these days, but he’s still far closer to being an attacking than a defensive midfielder. The talented and intelligent Croatian has had unrelenting career progression, impressing at Basel, Schalke and Sevilla, before getting his move to Barcelona, where he hasn’t disappointed. Rakitic has won eleven trophies in four years at Barcelona.

5. Kevin De Bruyne - £230,000 a Week

The standout player in a record breaking Manchester City side this season, Kevin De Bruyne got a pay rise in January, signing an extended deal which supposedly saw his salary climb from £150,000 to £230,000 a week. As obscene as it may sound, in footballing terms at least, he still probably deserves more. De Bruyne is a proper attacking midfielder, although he’s just as capable in central midfield when asked to play there. A wonderfully gifted and technical midfield player, De Bruyne’s vision and range of passing is almost without peer in world football right now.

4. Luka Modric - £254,000 a Week

Luka Modric (R) of Real Madrid CF competes for the ball with Pablo Hernandez (L) of RC Celta de Vigo during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Celta de Vigo at Estadio Santiago...Luka Modric (R) of Real Madrid CF competes for the ball with Pablo Hernandez (L) of RC Celta de Vigo during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Celta de Vigo at Estadio Santiago...

Like Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric is a star of the Croatian national team enjoying great success at one of Spain’s big two. Also like Ivan Rakitic, he isn’t really an attacking midfielder. He certainly was at Tottenham, where he did enough to prompt Real into a drawn out transfer saga with Spurs chief Daniel Levy, but he eventually settled at the Bernabeu in a less advanced role. I was a huge fan of Modric at White Hart Lane, but you’d have to say he’s reached new heights at Real Madrid. His all-round game is superb, combining his high work rate with tremendous ball retention and intelligence both on and off the ball. Modric has been named in the FIFPro World XI three times, and was named as the 2017 UEFA Midfielder of the Season.

3. Andres Iniesta - £276,000 a Week

Andres Iniesta’s £276,000 a week deal at Barcelona is obviously come to an end, but the reported contracts he has been offered from Japan's Vissel Kobe (£430,500 a week!), would propel him into top slot. Iniesta is quite simply one of the greatest players of his generation, and one of the finest midfield players in the history of the game. Whether he is played in central, attacking or on the left side of midfield, Iniesta always brings a touch of calmness and genius to proceedings. Other than his Barcelona team mate Lionel Messi, I’m not sure I’ve seen a player with a better first touch and close control than Iniesta in the last 25 years. 

2. Mesut Ozil - £350,000 a Week

Mesut Ozil of Arsenal during the UEFA Europa League Semi Final second leg match between Atletico Madrid  and Arsenal FC at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on May 3, 2018 in Madrid, Spain.Mesut Ozil of Arsenal during the UEFA Europa League Semi Final second leg match between Atletico Madrid and Arsenal FC at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on May 3, 2018 in Madrid, Spain.

It was well-reported that Arsenal had to pay through the nose to keep Mesut Ozil at the club in January, as he entered the last six months of his contract. The German play-maker signed a three-and-a-half year deal worth a supposed £350,000 a week, making him the joint best paid player in the Premier League. Ozil is obviously an incredibly gifted footballer, who likes to glide around the pitch, playing the game at his own pace with his often devastating combination of vision and technique. He has come in for plenty of criticism since arriving at the Emirates in 2013 though, with his silky style and high number of assists not enough for everyone.

1. Oscar - £400,000 a Week

The Chinese Super League have appeared regularly in this series, and unsurprisingly so, but Oscar is the first Chinese Super League player to top a seven in this series. The former Chelsea man isn’t the best attacking midfielder in the world, or even close to being if we’re honest, but he is the best paid - thanks to a £60 million transfer in December of 2016 to Shanghai SIPG. According to Oscar, he had offers from the likes of Atletico Madrid and Juventus, but put his family before his career when he got an offer he couldn’t refuse from China. Oscar is still only 26, and he has said that he hopes to return to Europe when his contract runs out in Shanghai.

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