And be ineffective in the attack, though I will admit it's basically defending with the ball.
Dictating play to the opposition is something few teams can do. Again, Xavi is the tempo setter.
More like precisely when they bring on Fabregas and actually insert a central midfielder who is not afraid to attack.
Sure they use his directness quite well but it's still Xavi dictating play.
I certainly don't think he's overrated. In fact, he's underrated in the English speaking world because his style of play goes against the predominant notions about how CM's are supposed to play in England (just look to that British newspaper headline when he was nominated for the Ballon D'Or). The English don't value DLP's very much, which is why they will always struggle on the international stage. The Spanish, Germans and Italians understand how important a pace-setter is to a team.
Xavi could slot in on any team in the world and make them that much better. The same for Pirlo. The same couldn't be said for many AM's.