PSG's Marco Verratti is statistically the best central midfielder in world football

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What makes the perfect midfielder? That's a pretty tough question to answer.

Is it scoring goals from deep, being a world-class playmaker or having the ability to contribute defensively? 

Of course, that all depends on a players' position within the midfield itself.

N'Golo Kante is renowned as one of the best defensively, while Kevin De Bruyne is the man many would pick in a more attacking area. 

Other names like Paul Pogba, Bernardo Silva and Christian Eriksen are also floating around in the conversation of the best midfielders in the world. 

But statistically, they are all outdone by Paris Saint-Germain's Marco Verratti. 

The Italian doesn't always turn heads when he's on the pitch, but based on research from StatsBomb, he's the best in the world, and it's not even close. 

As you can see from the chart below, Verratti is placed very high on almost every stat, both offensively and defensively.

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But what does this all mean? Well, let's start with his attacking contributions. 

In the 2018/19 season, Verratti registered a passing accuracy of 91%. He was expected to be involved in the build-up play of 1.21 goals every game and assist 0.2 of the goals.

He also successfully completed an average of 1.77 dribbles every 90 minutes and was fouled 2.86 times on average every game.

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Verratti's offensive play alone is hard to top, but he's just as impressive defensively as well. 

For possession adjusted tackles (PAdj), he made 4.71 every game, while also registaring 1.1 turnovers per match. 

The only thing that slightly lets the PSG man down is making an average of just 1.25 interceptions in 90 minutes, which is pretty average for that specific area. 

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In some statistics though, Verratti is so impressive that his data literally goes off the chart, proving that no one came close to matching him last season.

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