The team also features some lesser-known names who emerged as stars during the tournament.
The 2018 edition of the FIFA World Cup came to a riveting end last Sunday as France clinched the title for the second time in their history, as they beat underdogs Croatia 4-2. Kylian Mbappe was in scintillating form as he has been in the entire tournament and was awarded the Young Player of the Tournament award for his efforts.
We at Khel Now have assembled our Team of the Tournament on the basis of their contribution to their respective sides as well as their stats over the course of the competition.
Goalkeeper: Danjiel Subasic- Croatia
The 33-year-old Monaco shot-stopper fell short of winning the Golden Glove, but put in a series of incredible performances, including a heroic penalty shootout while injured against hosts Russia. H conceded only eight goals in the tournament, four of which came in the final.
Right-Back: Kieren Trippier- England
The “Becks of Berry” took the world by storm with his delivery from the right-hand side of an English outfit, that finally lived up to their potential. Trippier was a constant threat to opposition defenses and even scored a sumptuous free-kick in the semi-final against Croatia.
FIFA World Cup 2018 Team of the Tournament
Centre-Back: Raphael Varane- France
Real Madrid’s prized French defender is already one of the world’s most decorated players at the age of 25. Varane bossed the French defense and managed to nullify some of the world’s most potent attackers with his pace across the park and his immense strength and balance.
Centre-Back: Dejan Lovren- Croatia
Partnering Varane in defense is Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren who came into the competition off the back of a heart-breaking Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid. The highly criticized defender was a rock at the back for a Croatian team that exceeded all expectations.
Left-Back: Jan Vertonghen- Belgium
The team that was dubbed as Belgium’s “Golden Generation” didn’t fail to live up to expectations as they dazzled the world with their creative attacking football. This was only possible due to the defensive stability of Tottenham Hotspur’s Jan Vertonghen. The big defender even chipped in with a crucial goal to keep the Belgians fighting against Japan.
Right Midfielder: Paul Pogba- France
Manchester United’s record signing, Paul Pogba has been the target of an enormous amount of criticism ever since his switch to Old Trafford in 2016. The 25-year-old showed maturity beyond his years as he did exactly what his team needed him to do at exactly the right time and was rewarded with a historic goal in the final.
Pogba was the unsung hero of France’s triumph
Central Midfielder: N’Golo Kante- France
The Dr. Jekyll to Pogba’s Mr Hyde, Kante did what Kante does best and consistently broke up opposition attacks, allowing his midfield partner to transition into attack and drive his side forward. The diminutive Frenchman made a mammoth 20 interceptions and takes his place at the heart of our midfield.
Left Midfielder: Luka Modric- Croatia
The 32-year-old midfielder was a magician at the heart of the Croatian midfield all through the tournament. He was awarded the Golden Ball for his efforts as he proved to the world just how good he can be. Luka Modric completes our midfield trio.
Right Forward: Kylian Mbappe- France
The PSG man who was not alive when his country last lifted the World Cup took his opponents by storm, as he put some of the world’s greatest defenses to the sword and chipped in with four goals.
Striker: Harry Kane- England
Amidst the records, the 30-plus goal hauls in the Premier League and the Golden Boot in the World Cup, it is easy to forget that Harry Kane is only 24-years-old. The English captain led his side to the semi-finals of the competition and scored six goals on the way.
Left Mifielder: Ivan Perisic- Croatia
The Inter Milan winger was one of the premier attacking outlets of the highly successful Croatian side. Perisic scored three goals and notched up an assist, including a stunning goal in the final of the competition.
Goalkeeper: Igor Akinfeev- Russia
The experienced goalkeeper was the hero in a penalty shootout against Spain and led his side to an unprecedented quarterfinal.
Right-Back: Šime Vrsaljko- Croatia
The Croatian defender was inventive going forward, but still managed to keep his defensive shape as his country almost went all the way.
Centre-Back: Yerry Mina- Colombia
The man to rely on for injury-time goals
The highly criticized Barcelona defender found himself scoring important goals for Colombia and was unfortunate to see his efforts go in vain as his side crashed out in the Round of 16.
Central Midfielder: Ivan Rakitic- Croatia
Modric’s midfield partner was the heartbeat of the Croatian side and even chipped in with crucially cold penalties when his country needed him the most.
Central Midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne- Belgium
Manchester City’s midfield maestro was typically classy. He operated in a deeper role in the Belgian side, but showed his class with perfect passes that made his team tick.
Striker: Antoine Griezmann- France
France’s main man Antoine Griezmann scored important goals and was a constant threat to opposition. The Athletico Madrid man can now add a World cup to his already impressive resume.
Left Midfielder: Eden Hazard- Belgium
The Belgian midfielder was prolific and a nightmare to opposition all tournament long, as his side dazzled on their way to a third-place finish.