World Cup 2022 Team of the Tournament

2M301NG Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail, Qatar. 13th Dec, 2022. FIFA World Cup Football Semi Final, Argentina versus Croatia; Nicolas Otamendi of Argentina Credit: Action Plus Sports/Alamy Live News

World Cup Best XI 

As the World Cup is closing in on the finishing line, we are going to look at the top performers during the duration of the tournament.  

The formation that will be used will be a 4-2-3-1 and we will also note honorable mentions.  

GK: Dominik Livakovic  

Having not just made the most saves in this tournament he was the hero in not just one but two penalty shootouts. Livakovic performed outstandingly against tournament favorite’s Brazil, he has been vital to Croatia’s success in this tournament as they have reached their second consecutive semifinals at a World Cup tournament.  

Honorable mention: Bono  

RB: Achraf Hakimi 

The PSG ace has shown his defensive capabilities, he has made the most tackles and has won the ball back the highest number of times in the final third and is also in the top five for interceptions made. Hakimi has made one assist and has been crucial to Morocco maintaining the best defensive record in the World Cup thus far.   

Honorable mention: Denzel Dumfries  

CB: Josko Gvardiol  

There are multiple players that could have been included in the center back positions, although Messi humiliated him on Tuesday night Gvardiol has been a stalwart in Croatia’s defense and he has made countless last ditch tackles the most memorable being from Romelu Lukaku, in the dying embers of Croatia’s game against Belgium. 

Honorable mention: Ibrahima Konate  

CB: Nicolas Otamendi  

Although they lost their first game to Saudi Arabia, the 34-year-old has proved critics wrong as manager Lionel Scaloni has stuck with him throughout the tournament, Otamendi has performed consistently as Argentina have gone from strength to strength during the tournament as they have reached their second final in three World Cups.   

Honorable mention: Roman Saiss   

LB: Theo Hernandez  

There are not many clear options for the left-back position but Theo Hernandez whilst having not originally been the starting left-back for France he has contributed to 3 goals for the French team and has transitioned his club form onto the national stage. 

Honorable mention: Alex Sandro  

CM: Sofyan Amrabat  

Whilst he has been a good player for Fiorentina few people would have expected Amrabat to perform as well as he has for Morocco and be arguably the best midfielder of this tournament. Amrabat has regained possession of the ball 51 times, a lead of more than 10% compared to any other player at this World Cup. It will not be long before a ‘bigger’ club comes in for the Moroccan  

Honorable mention: Bruno Fernandes  

CM: Jude Bellingham  

The 19-year-old has been a consistent figure in England’s XI and has a big future ahead of him he scored England’s first goal of the tournament and assisted Jordan Henderson in England’s 3-0 win over Senegal. With his performances only getting better it will not be long before Bellingham moves away from Borussia Dortmund, he has already been linked with moves to Liverpool and Real Madrid with transfer fees potentially being above 100 million pounds.  

Honorable mention: Luka Modric  

RW: Bukayo Saka  

Saka has gone from strength to strength ever since his heartbreaking penalty miss against Italy in 2021. Arsenal’s main man has notched three goals in an England shirt in this tournament and was arguably England’s best performer against France after giving the holders a torrid time during their quarter-final match. Arsenal will be hoping they can tie down Saka to a new contract as his current deal expires in 2024. 

Honorable mention: Hakim Ziyech  

AM: Lionel Messi  

Where do we start with this one? As unfair as it is to leave Grizemann out of the first XI it is hard to argue that Messi does not deserve a place in this team. He is the joint top goal scorer as well as creating three goals. The 35-year-old will more than likely win the player of the tournament award and will also look to finally win the World Cup he has been craving for on Sunday against the holders France. 

Honorable mention: Antoine Grizemann   

LW: Kylian Mbappe  

Mbappe has yet again lit up another World Cup for the French, as he is now becoming the main man in a team that before the tournament had lost many key players due to injury. Mbappe is the joint top goal scorer in this tournament having scored more goals than he did in the previous World Cup. France will look to their main man to help retain the World Cup on Sunday against Argentina. 

Honorable mention: Cody Gakpo  

ST: Olivier Giroud  

Having now become France’s all-time leading goal scorer Giroud has been key in France’s defense of the World Cup. The AC Milan star has scored four goals in particular his crucial winner against England helped see the French into the semi’s he will look to add another World Cup to his already massive trophy collection. 

Honorable mention: Julian Alvarez 

Manager of the tournament: Didier Deschamps  

Deschamps had his options limited from the get-go as he had a heavy injury list heading into the tournament. Deschamps has been tactically superior compared to all his opposing managers as his men have continually shown their mental strength to reach their second final in as many tournaments. If Deschamps men win the World Cup again on Sunday, he will create history and become the second manager to ever defend the Jules Rimet trophy after Vittorio Pozzo did so in 1934 and 1938 respectively. 

Honorable mention: Walid Regragui