Four weeks, 64 games, and in the end, it came down to a set of penalties to cement the new World Champions. Yes, the dreams of millions have turned into a reality. Lionel Messi, the greatest of all time, won his first World Cup with his set of Argentine soldiers. And what a game of football it was, as English commentator Peter Drury quoted, “In the end, all I can say is thank you”. It was a night of two no.10s dominating from both ends. However, the world celebrated Messi lifting the only trophy missing from his cabinet in his last World Cup match.
While the world celebrated Messi completing the football, some lovers of the game felt bad for the 23-year-old Mbappe. The PSG starlet left his soul on the pitch as he grabbed a hat trick to keep France in the game till the end. The winner was decided via a penalty shootout in which Emi Martinez emerged as a hero. Argentina added their 3rd World Cup to their trophy cabinet while paying all their respect to the late Maradonna during celebrations.
World Cup 2022, which was surrounded by controversies before it began, turned out to be one of the best footballing tournaments ever. The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr, Luka Modric, and Robert Lewandowski, alongside Lionel Messi, featured in their last World Cup.
World Cup 2022 was dominated by the underdogs who made the tournament better. Teams like Morocco, Japan, and even Saudi Arabia gave us one of the tournament’s best matches. Players like Yassine Bounou and Josko Gvardiol made a name for themselves with back-to-back world-class performances. Let’s have a look at the best XI of FIFA World Cup 2022.
FIFA World Cup 2022 Best XI
Goalkeeper – Yassine Bounou (Morocco)
Sevilla’s goalkeeper was the leader from the back for Morocco. Yassine Bounou, also known as ‘Bono’ dominated his area as he emerged as one of the favourites in World Cup 2022. Besides his exceptional performance, Bono was also a motivating factor for his team. Bono carried his side to the quarter-finals as he came big against Spain in the penalty shoot-out and later denied every opportunity created by Portugal in the quarter-final to reach the semi-finals against France. Morocco didn’t conceive a single goal from the opponent in World Cup 2022 till they faced France in the semi-finals.
Right-back – Achraf Hakimi (Morocco)
Achraf Hakimi penned one of the best stories in this year’s World Cup. Born and bought up in Spain, Hakimi rejected the opportunity to represent the 2010 World Cup winners and opted to play for Morocco. The former Real Madrid full-back then eliminated Spain and Portugal with a series of brilliant performances for his side in the world’s biggest sporting event. Remember the winning penalty in the Round of 16 penalty shoot-out against Spain and the celebration after that.
Centre-back – John Stones (England)
England looked like a solid team in the World Cup until they came across France in the competition’s quarter-finals. However, Gareth Southgate’s side put on a tough fight in which John Stones played a huge part. Stones is one of the top defenders in the business, and he displayed his quality at the back for the Three Lions in World Cup 2022 as well. Stones has a knack for playing progressive passes during attacks as well, which makes him more crucial for his teams.
Centre-back – Josko Gvardiol (Croatia)
The Croatia national football team has already gained everyone’s respect with their historic runs in the back-to-back FIFA World Cups. The 2018 finalists made it to the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup after getting the better of Brazil in the quarter-final stage. Josko Gvardiol was their main man in the back. The masked centre-back stood tall for the Croatians and made it to the best XI of World Cup 2022. Gvardiol also scored a goal against Morocco to seal the 3rd place for Morocco.
Left-back – Ivan Perisic (Croatia)
Ivan Perisic continued to shine in any given position for Croatia as he does it so well for Tottenham. Perisic can prosper anywhere on the pitch; he is as brilliant of an all-rounder as it gets. Perisic had a total of three assists and a goal in the 2022 World Cup. Adding to that, Perisic has directly been involved in a total of 11 FIFA World Cup goals in the last three tournaments, which include six goals and five assists.
Right midfield – Antoine Griezmann (France)
Antoine Griezmann was arguably the second-best player for France in the 2022 World Cup, only behind Kylian Mbappe. Griezmann took the new role handed to him by Didier Deschamps with both hands and fulfilled it perfectly. The Atletico Madrid star, who has spent most of his career as a striker, adapted to the mid-field role quite easily. Griezmann surely had a good campaign.
Central midfield – Sofyan Amrabat (Morocco)
Sofyan Amrabat is one of the most talked about midfielders after the World Cup 2022. His performance against Spain, in which he was all over the Barcelona midfield trio Gavi, Pedri, and Busquets, gave him the limelight of his life. Amrabat is now being linked with Liverpool as he has a very good possibility of joining the Merseyside club in the winter transfer window.
Left midfield – Luka Modric (Croatia)
37 years old and still the best midfielder of World Cup 2022. Luka Modric can never get old, and this year’s World Cup was an example of it. The Croatian skipper wore his heart on his sleeves as he carried his side to the 3rd spot in his last and final World Cup. Football will miss the magician from Madrid at the highest level of the game.
Right-wing – Lionel Messi (Argentina)
One of the best stories ever written in the history of any sport is Lionel Messi winning the World Cup. The little master scored in each of the knock-out games, including two goals in the finals against France to lift the auspicious World Cup trophy. Lionel Messi won the golden ball award as he scored a total of 7 goals and had 3 assists under his belt in this year’s edition of the FIFA World Cup.
Centre-forward – Richarlison (Brazil)
Brazil was the favourite to win the 2022 Qatar World Cup before their shocking exit against Croatia in the quarter-finals. Tottenham’s Richarlison was selected and played ahead of the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino, and it turned out to be the right decision by Brazil’s manager Tite. Richarlison displayed some outstanding skills during the entire campaign, as he scored a total of 3 goals.
Left wing – Kylian Mbappe (France)
Kylian Mbappe is the highest goal-scorer of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with a total of 8 goals under his belt, which included a hat trick in the finals. Even most of his doubters have turned into a fan after seeing Mbappe’s class in the 2022 World Cup. Mbappe won the Golden Boot of the 2022 World Cup and was arguably the tournament’s best player alongside Lionel Messi.