My World Cup XI


It's two weeks now. All clubs are back in action. But the World Cup hangover is yet to be over. It was an incredible month of ‘Football’ and with a fitting finale. While we are getting used to week-on-week club football again, here is my World Cup 2022 XI. I am sure that you would have different choices for one or several positions. Share the same in comments with your own analysis.

Formation: 4-3-3

Goalkeeper: I liked Yassine Bounou (Morocco) and Dominik Livakovic (Croatia), especially Bounou whose excellent performances took Morocco to the semi-final as the first African team. But I have tentatively chosen Emiliano Martinez from Argentina. Martinez was reliable throughout the campaign - with special performances in quarter final and final tie-breakers. And, yes - his saves in the dying moments against Australia (in the second round) and France in the final were so crucial.

Defenders: For the first center back position, I opted for 20 years old Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol. For the second one, I am going with Cristian Romero over Otamendi from Argentina. Otamendi played really well throughout the tournament - sometimes beyond expectation. But Romero indeed impressed with his aggression, reading of the game and excellent positioning. So, I am going to pair Romero with Gvardiol at the heart of defense. Honorable mention: Varane from France. This year the French defense was not as good as their forwards, but Varane led a make-shift defense and took them to the final.

For the right back, it will be Achraf Hakimi from Morocco. Well known in European football, but he inspired the great Morocco team to take it to a new level. For the left back, it was a bit tougher with not many outstanding performers who can walk to this side. But I opted for the French left back Theo Hernández who came into the France line-up as replacement of his brother and then performed seamlessly well.

Midfielders: At the base of my three man midfield setup, I have ‘Young Player’ of the tournament Enzo Fernández from Argentina. It's incredible how far this young player has come in the last 6 months or so. Enzo made his national team debut in September 2022 and was taken to Qatar as a squad player. But he stepped up when the team needed to refresh the midfield formation in the context of some injury (Giovani Lo Celso) and off form (Leandro Paredes). Enzo was introduced in the second must-win match against Mexico as a substitute and then started all remaining five matches.

On the right side, I have the ever reliable Luka Modric. Modric was excellent again in this edition, after his golden ball winning performance in 2018. On the other side, I had several options to consider: Antoine Griezmann (France), Alexis Mac Allister (Argentina), Bruno Fernandez (Portugal), Cody Gakpo (Netherlands), Neymar (Brazil). But I have opted for Azzedine Ounahi from Morocco. This no.8 was really impressive and I won't be surprised if he gets a big move in this 6 months.

Forwards: For attacking half, I have GOAT Messi on the right side with Kylian Mbappé on left. Quite easy choices. But this also means that I need a more dynamic striker through the middle to press relentlessly. Apart from scoring goals Álvarez did this part so great for Argentina. So I take Álvarez over reliable scorer Olivier Giroud. That completes my best XI from the World Cup 2022.

Coach: To coach this side, I will go for Lionel Scaloni. Zlatko Dalic was very close as well. I considered Walid Regragui but did not go for him as he might struggle to manage this XI full of superstars. Also, I need someone who can get the best out of Messi and Mbappe at the top. So, Scaloni gets the call. Dalic of-course has experience of managing stars like Modric and consistency over multiple World Cups. Close call indeed.

Best XI: Emiliano Martinez (Argentina), Cristian Romero (Argentina), Josko Gvardiol (Croatia), Achraf Hakimi (Morocco), Theo Hernández (France), Enzo Fernández (Argentina), Azzedine Ounahi (Morocco), Luka Modric (Croatia), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Kylian Mbappé (France), Julián Álvarez (Argentina)

Subs: Yassine Bounou (Morocco), Raphaël Varane (France), Marcelo Brozovic (Croatia), Antoine Griezmann (France), Alexis Mac Allister (Argentina), Hakim Ziyech (Morocco), Olivier Giroud (France)

Coach: Lionel Scaloni/ Zlatko Dalic

And, here is the XI compiled by my 8 years old:

Best XI: Yassine Bounou (Morocco), Cristian Romero (Argentina), Raphaël Varane (France), Achraf Hakimi (Morocco), Joao Cancelo (Portugal), Enzo Fernández (Argentina), Bernardo Silva (Portugal), Luka Modric (Croatia), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Kylian Mbappé (France), Harry Kane (England)

Subs: Jordan Pickford (England), Luke Shaw (England), Aurélien Tchouaméni (France), Marcelo Brozovic (Croatia), Antoine Griezmann (France), Hakim Ziyech (Morocco), Olivier Giroud (France)

Coach: Lionel Scaloni (Argentina)

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