World Cup 2018: The best South American XI
For the second time in the last four editions, the continent of South American didn't have a single representative in the semi-finals of a World Cup. However, given the performance of the continent since the start of Russia 2018, it shouldn't really come as a surprise.
Neither of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia and Peru truly impressed. Their best moments came only in bits and parts. And despite boasting some of the best attacking talents in the world, their collective goal return of 31 was the lowest since 2006.
Yet, there were a few names that stood out amid the collective disappointment to shine for their respective teams. Here's a best XI of the South American players based on the performances in the FIFA 2018 World Cup:
Goalkeeper: Fernando Muslera (Uruguay)
Muslera was the only goalkeeper to maintain a clean sheet in each of the three group games. He surely was aided by the obdurate the backline in front of him, but did command his area with authority and stood as a terrific last line of defence.
His 11 saves in the competition is among the top 10 while the save rate of 78.6% ranks 4th among his counterparts with at least 4 appearances.
Muslera conceded only thrice towards the end, the first two of which came through set-pieces and there was absolutely nothing he could do about it as the Uruguayan defence switched off on both occasions.
But he undid all of his hard work with that howler against France when his tame effort to thwart Griezmann's fearsome shot ended up in his own net and inadvertently doubled Uruguay's deficit.
CB: Diego Godin (Uruguay)
Uruguay were virtually unbreakable from open play, so it isn't surprising to see they conceded just once from that situation, moreover which was merely an individual error. At the heart of this solid defence was skipper Godin, whose indomitable presence made life difficult for the strikers. The Atletico Madrid centre-back averaged 4.4 clearances and 2 tackles per game.
He frustrated the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo with his defensive nous, blocking shots and muscling away the ball with his imposing figure. He was also dominant in the air, winning at least 2 aerial duels per game and also maintained an incredible pass accuracy of 85%.