2018 FIFA World Cup: Best XI heading into tournament feat. Messi, Ronaldo & Mo Salah

2018 FIFA World Cup Best XI
Image Credit: Sun


The 2018 FIFA World Cup is just around the corner where all the best players in the world will come together in arguably the most evenly contested World Cup in recent times. Coming to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, there are as many as 5-6 players fighting for the Golden Ball award and more than 10 players capable of winning the Golden Boot award which explains the quality of 2018 World Cup we may be witnessing over the next month and a half. Ahead of this year’s biggest sporting extravaganza, we list down the best 11 players heading to the World Cup 2018 and make our 2018 FIFA World Cup Best XI featuring the 11 best players in their position.

2018 FIFA World Cup Best XI

2018 FIFA World Cup Best XI

Goalkeeper – David De Gea (Spain)

David De Gea may have gone trophyless in the 2017/18 season but in Manuel Neuer’s absence, De Gea established himself as the best goalkeeper in the world is rightly in goal for our 2018 FIFA World Cup Best XI. De Gea was a rock at the back for Manchester United and Spain throughout the last season and now that De Gea enters his first major tournament as Spain’s unprecedented number 1 goalkeeper, we may see De Gea surpass his own standards and leave the likes of Manuel Neuer, Marc Andre Ter-Stegen, Keylor Navas, and Thibaut Courtois in race to become world’s best goalkeeper.

Central Defender – Sergio Ramos (Spain)

Liverpool fans cannot see the sight of Sergio Ramos after the defender cunningly led to an injury to Mo Salah and sealed Real Madrid’s 13th Champions League glory last season. Call him what you may but when it comes to defending his own box, there is no defender in the world at the moment than Sergio Ramos that is why despite an odd petition or two, Ramos finds his way in our 2018 FIFA World Cup Best XI.

Central Defender – Diego Godin (Uruguay)

Often ignored from the debate of being the best defender in World football, Diego Godin will lead an impressive Uruguay side to the 2018 FIFA World Cup on the back of his Europa League triumph with Atletico Madrid. Godin is always a rock at the back for his teams and he will be a key figure for Uruguay going into the World Cup and he rightly features in our 2018 FIFA World Cup Best XI to partner Sergio Ramos in central defense.

Right back – Joshua Kimmich (Germany)

In terms of stats, Joshua Kimmich registered the most number of assists in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification round and will be a key attacking threat for Germany from the right back position. Dany Carvajal’s injury has made Kimmich the best right back going into the 2018 FIFA World Cup after Kimmich enjoyed a stellar domestic season with Bayern Munich. Kimmich is our outright pick to be in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Best XI and have a massive impact on Germany’s 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign.

Left back – Marcelo (Brazil)

Marcelo is perhaps the best left-back of the modern era where he is relentless in going forward and is equally effective in tracking back if his team is in danger. Marcelo enjoyed yet another successful season with Real Madrid winning the Champions League and will be heading to the 2018 FIFA World Cup hoping to erase the pain of 2014 World Cup exit where the Samba boys lost 7-1 in the Semifinal against Germany. Marcelo is the runaway winner when it comes to finding the best fit for our 2018 FIFA World Cup Best XI.

Central midfield – Toni Kroos (Germany)

Of the many reasons why Real Madrid have been successful in recent years, Toni Kroos is indeed the most important factor as he rarely puts a pass wrong or gives the ball away or makes a wrong tackle. Kroos is the ideal midfielder to keep the ball and spray it around the attacking players and is ideally suited to our 2018 FIFA World Cup Best XI given the attacking talent we have picked going forward.

Central midfield – Kevin de Bruyne (Belgium)

Kevin De Bruyne was a key figure in Manchester City’s dominant Premier League win in the 2017/18 season where De Bruyne managed 8 goals and 16 assists in the 2017/18 campaign. De Bruyne already has prior World Cup experience where he managed a goal and 2 assists in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. De Bruyne will be a crucial figure of Belgium as they look to finally realize the potential of their immense talent. De Bruyne played in the 4-3-3 formation for Manchester City last season but was also comfortable in the 4-2-3-1 system given his willingness to help the team out in defense. That is why De Bruyne is in midfield of our 2018 FIFA World Cup Best XI alongside Toni Kroos to provide vision and stability from the central areas of the pitch.

Wide right – Mo Salah (Egypt)

Mo Salah’s injury may be a scare for Egypt’s initial round of 2018 FIFA World Cup matches but given the burden of expectations on Salah’s shoulders, we expect the Egyptian King to be fit in time for the 2018 FIFA World Cup opener. Mo Salah scored 43 goals for Liverpool last season and another 5 for Egypt in the World Cup qualification round including the last minute penalty to send Egypt to the World Cup. Salah was instrumental to everything his club and country did last season and Egypt fans will be hoping to see another Salah masterclass at this year’s World Cup and he safely finds a way in our 2018 FIFA World Cup Best XI.

Wide left – Neymar (Brazil)

Coming down to the final 3 players for our 2018 FIFA World Cup Best XI and it is hardly a surprise to see Neymar in this playing 11 as he will be eager to put last World Cup’s misery behind him when he suffered a fatal injury in the quarter-final and saw his team humiliated in the Semifinal by Germany. Neymar’s goal-scoring prowess is unquestionable as he netted 6 goals and made 8 assists in Brazil’s World Cup qualification campaign. Neymar registered 25 goals and 15 assists in 27 appearances for PSG last season and will be eager to mark his comeback from the injury he suffered against Real Madrid. Since his comeback, Neymar has already scored in both the friendly matches for Brazil and has announced himself to the world and rightly finds a place in our 2018 FIFA World Cup Best XI.

The Playmaker – Lionel Messi (Argentia)

Do we need stats to justify Lionel Messi’s presence in our 2018 FIFA World Cup Best XI, I guess not because Messi is in a league of his own wherever he plays and Messi will once again be the main man for Argentina if they want to progress further in the 2018 World Cup. Messi netted 7 goals and 2 assists in Argentina’s World Cup qualification and then another 44 goals for Barcelona last season. Messi’s form will not be an issue for Argentina but it will be the support he lacks going into the major tournaments. Just to reflect on Messi’s importance, in last 580 days, there has been just 1 goal for Argentina who was not scored by Messi and that too was assisted by Messi.

Striker – Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

The man who lit up the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification stage deserves to be in our 2018 FIFA World Cup Best XI and the reason why Cristiano Ronaldo is picked as the striker in our team is the slight transformation in his playing style. In recent seasons, Ronaldo has become more of a central striker and poaches goals instead of making them on his own and then finish those chances. Ronaldo scored 15 goals in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifications and then further 41 goals for Real Madrid as they won their 3rd consecutive Champions League title. Ronaldo will be Portugal’s biggest hope of making it to the knockout rounds of this year’s FIFA World Cup.

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