World Cup 2018: Team of the tournament
- The team of the tournament is here!!!
RB: Kieran Trippier
Kieran Trippier also had a great tournament and was one of England's standout performers. He tirelessly moved up and down on the right flank fitting well into Gareth Southgate's system.
He also scored a great free-kick and delivered some outstanding set pieces. His set-piece delivery was probably the reason for most of England's goals as he frequently found players like Harry Maguire in the box.
England's long run in the competition can be credited to him and Tottenham will be glad they've found a capable replacement to Kyle Walker for the long term.
Special Mention - This one will go to two players, Thomas Meunier and Benjamin Pavard. The only game Belgium lost was the one Meunier did not play in and his presence was clearly missed.
Pavard, just two years ago was at the fan zone in Paris as France lost the Euro 2016 final. Now, he has played a pivotal role in France's victory. The Stuttgart player is usually deployed at centre back for his club but even though he was asked to adjust, he did so brilliantly.
The goal against Argentina was one of the goals of the tournament and came at an important stage of the game. He is only 22 years old but has the potential to develop into one of the best right backs in the world.
Raphael Varane and Diego Godin(CB)
Choosing the centre-backs was probably the toughest task for me. In the end, we've gone with the two who've been leaders of their teams. Varane provided an element of composure and maturity that France needed in their team.
He was solid at the back. rarely put a foot wrong and showed his leadership skills throughout the tournament.
At 25 years of age, Varane has already won almost everything one can win in football and showed why he starts for Real Madrid.
His partner for this "dream team" would be Diego Godin who can best be described as a warrior.
His Athletico Madrid is one of the best defensively set up sides in Europe and he translated that form on to the national stage.
He was an integral part of a defence that conceded no goals in the group stage and thwarted Ronaldo's Portugal. His campaign ended in the quarterfinals with Uruguay but he showed age is just a number and he can play on for a long time.
Special Mention - The special mention must go to Varane's partner, Samuel Umtiti. He started the World Cup in the worst possible way by conceded an erratic penalty but he's comeback superbly. He put in a man of the match performance against Croatia in the final thwarting various attacks and formed an effective partnership with Varane. Defence wins you championships, and with the pairing France had in the middle of defence, there was little doubt over if they could go all the way. Vida for Croatia was also a standout performer who had numerous good games and Harry Maguire had a brilliant World Cup as well.
Ivan Strinic (LB)
Ivan Strinic would not be a name one would have expected in the team of the tournament but he's played a big role in Croatia's best ever finish.
Overlapping on the left side , his crossing particularly has been very good. Defensively he's played some very tough opposition yet done well.
In the final, admittedly he was given a tough time by Kylian Mbappe but the stress of playing 360 minutes in three games must have played a part in dealing with the bolt like Mbappe.
Special Mention: The Uruguayan left back, Diego Laxalt had a great tournament. Left back is not his usual position but his pace and crossing helped Cavani and Suarez a lot. Apart from him, Lucas Hernandez for France was notably good as well, although he pushed high at times, some of his mazy runs eventually led to goals.Published 17 Jul 2018, 23:01 IST