Joey Barton has praised Jonas Gutierrez, Fabricio Coloccini and Jose Enrique for their contribution to Newcastle's promotion-winning season.
The Magpies were expected to lose several of their key players after being relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2008/9 campaign.
But the mass exodus did not materialise and Newcastle will be back playing in the top flight next term after dominating the Championship.
Argentine duo Gutierrez and Coloccini, as well as Spaniard Enrique, have been central figures in Chris Hughton's side.
Barton has been impressed by the character of the trio after they resisted the temptation to head for pastures new last summer.
"They could have taken the easy option," said the midfielder.
"You can get dragged down by a lot of things in this division but the lads haven't let themselves - especially the Three Amigos.
"I can't see them having to play on pitches like at Peterborough where they are from.
"Hats off to them, they have been magnificent for us all season."