In this day and age, genuine midfielders are something of a dying breed.

With the game become more dynamic and getting ever quicker, it seems as though there is less room for those canny middle-of-the-park operators who keep the ball with ease and maintain rhythm like a metronome.

If you're not a "deep-lying playmaker" or a "box-to-box goal scorer" then you've got no chance of making it big, right?

Well, that's where your wrong. Andrea Pirlo, Paul Scholes and Xavi Hernandez - three utterly classic, timeless midfielders who dance to their own beat are generally considered to be the best the modern game has ever seen.

All three can pick a pass without looking, maintain possession with ease, and pull the strings without breaking a sweat.

But with Scholes retired and his fellow midfield greats surely not too far behind, why don't we take a look back at the stats and see if we can figure out if one stands just that little bit taller than the other two. 

Click through to find out more...

Statistics correct as of the the start of the 2013/14 season

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