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World Cup 2018 Review: England - 3 Best Performers

Anirudh Menon
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Top 5 / Top 10
999   //    15 Jul 2018, 17:16 IST

Belgium v England: 3rd Place Playoff - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Belgium v England: 3rd Place Playoff - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Before we start, let's allow Gary Lineker to clarify something rather important:

England were not great, but they were not too shabby either -- and while their play may have lacked the expressiveness that desperate fans sought to force upon them, there was a distinct esprit de corps that's been lacking for quite a while now in the English team.

They've had some decent performers, and here's our list of their top 3

Note - This is part of a series that evaluates the three best performers of all the sides to have progressed to the knockout stages of the World Cup; an achievement that is not often given the credit it deserves. While the intent is to have an objective selection and ranking process, it's quite natural that at times subjectivity creeps in. If you disagree - vehemently, or otherwise - with the names on this list, please feel free to jot down a top 3 of your own in the comments section below


#3 Harry Maguire


2018 FIFA World Cup Semi-finals: Croatia vs England
Maguire doing what he does best

For all of England's willingness to play out of the back, and use willing runners to create space in midfield and around the box, the Three Lions looked most threatening when big, square, men with big, square, heads ambled up for set-pieces that were delivered with precision.

No one in this squad is bigger, or squarer, than Harry Maguire and the Leicester City centre-half was arguably England's biggest threat in the opposition box as he peeled off that fantastically imaginative train (four or five men standing in a straight line before peeling off in different directions - adding a level of unprecedented unpredictability to the regular set-piece routine)

Harry Kane will (in all likelihood) walk away with the Golden Boot for four penalties, a header from two yards, and a backheel he knew nothing about - but it was the other Harry that really had opposition defences quaking in their boots.

Besides, he was also a rock at the back, as dominant in the air in his own box as he was in the opposition box.

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Anirudh Menon
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