With the conclusion of World Cup group stage, who has been the standout player from each group?
The 23-year-old winger was undoubtedly Holland’s key player in the group, scoring three of their five goals. His overall performances have impressed and have earned him links to some high-level clubs. With the January transfer window coming up, there will be many teams fighting for his signature.
At just 19, Bellingham has cemented his status as a world-class midfielder over the past few seasons at club level in Germany. He scored England’s first goal of the tournament in the opening game and his great performances have led to him becoming one of the first names on Gareth Southgate’s team sheet.
Poland kept two clean sheets during the group stage against Mexico and Saudi Arabia, with Szczesny saving two penalties. The goalkeeper also made 9 key saves in those two games, helping his nation qualify for the next round.
The experienced forward may only have one assist to his name so far, but his creative play made the difference in both of France’s victories over Australia and Denmark. Creating a total of five big chances across those two matches and completed an average of 47 passes in the two. The 31-year-old only played the last 17 minutes against Tunisia but still managed to make two key passes.
Even though Spain finished second in the group, Morata scored three goals despite only starting one of the games. After a poor start to the season at Atletico Madrid, there has been lots of scrutiny over his performances, seeing him dropped by Luis Enrique. The 30-year-old striker was recalled to the starting 11 in the final game against Japan, scoring early on to give Spain the lead.
The right back has developed a name for himself over the last few years, establishing himself as one of top defenders in Europe and this tournament he has not disappointed so far. After an impressive defensive record in the group stage for Morocco, keeping two clean sheets, the entire backline could have been given this award, but Hakimi’s assist against Canada makes him the top performer.
After signing for Manchester United in the summer, Casemiro has been one of the outstanding players in the Premier League, and he has continued that form into the World Cup. The five-time Champions League winner was an integral part of Brazil’s group stage matches, controlling the midfield and putting in a great defensive performance. The 30-year-old also scored the late winner against Switzerland.
Portugal guaranteed their qualification for the knockout stage after just two games, with Fernandes being the heartbeat of the team from the midfield. With two goals and two assists in their matches against Ghana and Uruguay. His ability to create chances could help Portugal go a long way in this tournament.