The term "defensive midfielder" does not give a fair indication of all the duties the players patrolling that position are required to perform.
The deepest-lying midfielder in any team is ideally a strong tackler, a fine reader of the game and able to distribute the ball with precision.
It is also an advantage if he has stamina, leadership qualities and a formidable physique.
For the next installment of our series in which we build Frankenstein's monster-type footballers from the attributes of the best players in their position in the world, we will attempt to create the perfect defensive midfielder.
Our creation, who will be named Pancho Pacman, shares various characteristics with the central midfielder we concocted previously, though, his job is a little more specialized.
Here's how Pancho Pacman is made:
There are few more ferocious tacklers in the game than Chilean hard man, Gary Medel. The squat Cardiff City man has an uncompromising style and highly effective technique. He is also a firebrand with a penchant for red cards, but we are counting on that aspect of his game will be tempered somewhat when we add the other personalities into the mix.
Maintain the rage, Gary, but try not to get sent off so much!
As was the case with our central midfielder, and even though he plays in a more box-to-box role these days, Yaya Toure is our template as far as Pancho's physique is concerned. That means there will be two man-mountains in the center of the pitch, so enjoy facing that, hypothetical opponents.
For some extra stamina, a dollop of Bastian Schweinsteiger (who is strong in all of the categories mentioned here) will be added into the mix.
Often the most effective defensive midfielders are hardly ever required to make a tackle, such is their ability to read the game, anticipate their opponents' next move and snuff out any attacks before they can really develop.
Bayern Munich linchpin Javi Martinez is highly effective at screening his side's defense by intercepting opposition passes and shepherding attackers away from danger areas. Pancho Pacman will be gifted with Martinez's ability at gobbling up loose balls and being in the right place at the right time.
Barcelona have long been regarded as the best passing side in world football, and for the past few seasons Sergio Busquets has been the hub at the base of midfield who instigates much of the play. His passing is clean and precise, and his movement ensures he is always available as an outlet when his teammates need to offload the ball.
What Busquets does may look simple, but very few players, if any, can do it as well as him.
Roma's iron-willed veteran, Daniele De Rossi, lends his powerful personality to our blend. The Italian has the ability to inspire his teammates through his deeds and drive them to success through the sheer force of character.
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