The 2018 FIFA World Cup came to an end on Sunday, as France took home the glory after beating Croatia 4-2 in an electric final.
With it came to an end a month of exciting football that kept the world on its toes and brought much joy to lovers of the great game as well as the occasional viewer who may have tuned in merely for the hype, but stayed as the beauty of the game caught them by the talons.
However, none of this would have been possible if not for the actual players themselves. The month in Russia created numerous stars who delivered some memorable performances.
When it came to giving a place to the best in the line, though, FIFA had only 11 slots open. The official list of the best players of the tournament was released by FIFA, and the entrees are bound to surprise and make one look twice.
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Filling the goalkeeper’s position was French keeper Hugo Lloris, who committed a massive blunder in the finals to let in Croatia’s second goal, which was fortunately not of great consequence.
Englishman Kieran Trippier was the best right-back with his crucial presence on the flank landing him the spot, while Ashley Young filled in the other flank, a surprise inclusion considering his role wasn’t that big either.
He was joined by France’s Raphael Varane in the center, while the other spot was surprisingly given to Croatia’s Lovren instead.
The midfield duo composed of golden ball winner Luka Modric and Brazil’s Paulinho. The inclusion of Paulinho ahead of the likes of N’Golo Kante will have people scratching their heads, and so will the absence of Kevin De Bruyne.
The front-line had the wing presence of Eden Hazard, who found three goals and two assists, while French teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe nailed an assured spot courtesy of his historic World Cup winner, which brought his tally to four goals. His compatriot Antoine Griezmann formed the center of this attack.
Lastly, it was Neymar of all people that achieved the final spot on the right-wing. The Brazilian, ahead of the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane. Something certainly seems wrong with this inclusion in particular, and the entire team in general.
Defenders: Trippier, Lovren, Varane, Young
Midfielders: Modric, Paulinho
Forwards: Hazard, Griezmann, Neymar, Mbappe