The 2018 World Cup came to a climax on Sunday evening with France winning 4-2 against Croatia in the final.
After the final whistle, the world had surely been treated to 64 mouthwatering clashes, some of which will remain in our hearts for a while.
PML Daily Sports Editor, Shaban Lubega takes you through a list of the 11 players that stood out at the tournament.
GK: Thibaut Courtois (BELGIUM).
Courtois had a shaky start to the tournament, conceding four goals in his first four games as Belgium did not look so convincing especially after the 3-2 win over Japan at the round of 16.
However, the Chelsea stopper came to life in the quarter finals as he almost single handedly won his side the tie against pre-tournament favorites Brazil. From there on wards, he put in a string of impressive displays that enabled the Red Devils finish third; their best ever finish at the global football show-peace.
RB: Benjamin Pavard (France).
Scored arguably the goal of the tournament in the 4-3 win over Argentina at the round of 16. Unknown to many before the World Cup, Pavard has taken the World of football by storm, impressing at every time of asking and eventually makes our team of the tournament.
CB: Harry Maguire (England).
The big and solid Maguire has been one of the brightest spots in Gareth Southgate’s team that finished fourth at this year’s World Cup. Strong in the air like he has always been at Leicester City and also spared some room for himself to score the all important first goal against Australia at the round of 16.
CB: Yeri Mina (Colombia)
Not quite the complete defender if you look at the others that have shone at this stage, Colombian behemoth Yerry Mina nevertheless starred in Russia thanks to his sheer presence at both ends of the pitch.
Having scored three goals for Los Cafeteros there was no way we were leaving him out, but he was also highly impressive at the back. At 23, he has a bright future ahead of him and will surely be contending for a starting spot in Barcelona’s team next season.
LB: Diego Laxalt (Uruguay)
Uruguay had a strong defensive performance at the just concluded World Cup and Laxalt stood out for me in their set-up. The 25 year old Genoa fullback was ever strong in the tackle, he’s runs were a joy to watch and occasionally sent in crosses that may be deserved a good end product.
MF: Ngolo Kante (France).
The best defensive midfielder in the World despite the poor show in the final. He has been France’s most consistent performer throughout the World Cup and rightly so, he makes our team of the tournament.
His incredible work rate and unwavering running saw Pogba joke his midfield partner had ‘15 lungs! A quiet achiever, Kante’s work in midfield was essential to this France side, and without him this triumph would arguably not have been possible.
MF: Luka Mudric (Croatia).
Croatia’s star man Luka Modric had a star World Cup, finally experiencing an international tournament worthy of Real Madrid’s midfield master.
His goalscoring showings in the group stage against Argentina and Nigeria were followed up by string-pulling in the knockouts, and he was fully deserving of FIFA’s Golden Ball award for best player at the 2018 finals.
MF: Eden Hazard (Belgium).
A worthy runner-up in the Golden Ball. Didn’t play a bad game at the tournament, as he contributed three goals and two assists in six outings for Belgium. An excellent showing – and one that could earn him a move to Real Madrid.
FW: Antoine Griezmann (France).
His goals have always been important to France and they again were throughout the tournament. He may be somehow never hit top gear but was always exceptional going forward and a worthy receiver of the Bronze Ball and Silver Boot.
FW: Kylian Mbappe (France).
There were periods of time Mbappe went missing for France during this tournament but when he did light up, he provided many of the World Cup’s most thrilling moments thanks to his scintillating runs and sensational goals.
It’s almost criminal to think he is still just a teenager.
FW: Harry Kane (England).
Fittingly, the tournament’s top scorer leads the line in our team. He has not had the best of performances but Kane’s goals speak volumes as he became the first English top scorer at the World cup since Garry Linaker in Mexico 86.