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World Cup 2022: Best XI Including Argentine Duo

Argentina lifted their first World Cup trophy for 36 years in Qatar by beating France 4-2 on penalties on Sunday. Kylian Mbappe scored a breathtaking hat-trick at the Lusail Stadium, but that didn’t prove enough to stop Lionel Messi and co. from tasting World Cup glory.

With the 2022 World Cup coming to a conclusion last weekend, let us look at the showpiece event’s best XI.

Best World Cup 2022 lineup (4-3-3)

Manager: Lionel Scaloni

Emiliano Martinez (GK)

Emiliano Martinez certainly had a big impact in Argentina’s World Cup triumph, coming up with a number of big saves throughout the tournament. He made a vital stop to deny Kolo Muani a potential winner for France in extra-time before helping his nation win in the penalty shootout.

The lanky 30-year-old saved Kingsley Coman’s penalty before his antics forced Aurelien Tchouameni to drag his spot-kick wide. For the most clean sheets with three, Martinez earned the tournament’s Golden Glove award.

Achraf Hakimi (RB)

Morocco created their bit of history at the World Cup, becoming the first African nation to qualify for the semi-finals.

In the end, they finished fourth in Qatar after losing 2-1 to Croatia in the third-place play-off. And Achraf Hakimi played a pivotal role with his attacking displays at right-back, registering an assist. The PSG star was also defensively resilient, helping Morocco to keep four clean sheets.

Nicolas Otamendi (CB)

The leader of Argentina’s defence, Nicolas Otamendi put in some really solid performances throughout the tournament. He showed his experience in tense situations with his decision-making and reading of the game, throwing his body on the line whenever required.

While Otamendi did give away a penalty that spurred France into life and changed the whole complexion of the final, Argentina prevailed in the shootout.

Josko Gvardiol (CB)

Following yet another fantastic run for Croatia that saw them finish third at the 2022 World Cup after finishing runners-up to France in 2018, and they have a lot to thank for their defensive discipline and organisation. The man in the mask, Josko Gvardiol was key to Croatia’s watertight defence before they met Lionel Messi and Argentina in the last four.

Gvardiol, 20, was arguably the best defender in Qatar, demonstrating his class, composure, maturity and elite reading of the game.

Theo Hernandez (LB)

Theo Hernandez rounds off the four-man backline having caught the eye with his enterprising and attacking displays from left-back for France.

The AC Milan star scored an excellent half-volley to open the scoring for Didier Deschamps’ side against Morocco in the semi-finals. He also provided two assists in six appearances, edging Argentina’s Marcos Acuna for the left-back spot.

Sofyan Amrabat (CDM)

The beating heart of the Morocco side, Sofyan Amrabat hardly put a foot wrong at the World Cup.

Acting as the anchor in midfield, the Fiorentina man excelled in ball-winning and tackling, while his ability to carry the ball from crowded areas also caught the eye. Amrabat’s tireless displays in the centre of the pitch was one of the prime reasons for Morocco exceeding expectations in Qatar.

Enzo Fernandez (RCM)

Enzo Fernandez impressed at the World Cup and scored a fabulous goal against Mexico in the group stages. He also bagged an assist, playing a massive role in Argentina lifting the Gold trophy on Sunday.

The Benfica starlet, 21, showed great quality, energy and control in midfield, breaking plenty of play as well as initiating attacks for La Albiceleste. For his stellar World Cup, Fernandez emerged as one of the breakout stars and was rightly awarded FIFA’s Young Player of the Tournament.

Antoine Griezmann (LCM)

Antoine Griezmann was pivotal to France’s run to the World Cup final, impressing in an unfamiliar deeper role in midfield.

Often been France’s main playmaker and chance creator over the years, the Atletico Madrid star, 31, showed a very different side to his game with his energetic box-to-box displays. He demonstrated his versatility and game intelligence once again, this time at the biggest stage of the game.

Julian Alvarez (RW)

In Julian Alvarez, Argentina found a perfect foil to Lionel Messi. He was running the hard yards, closing down the opposition and creating spaces that Messi needed to have success in the final third.

At just 22, Alvarez showed great maturity and composure during important moments of the tournament. With four goals in seven games, the Man City forward was a constant name on the lips of the Argentina fans.

Kylian Mbappe (LW)

The inclusion of Kylian Mbappe comes as little surprise following his stellar displays in Qatar.

Regardless of his hat-trick in the final, Mbappe and France lost the coveted trophy to Argentina which speaks volumes about the final we all witnessed on Sunday. For his tally of eight goals, the PSG star won the Golden Boot award.

Mbappe came very close to breaking Messi’s World Cup dream but Argentina managed to hold their nerves in the penalty shootout.

Lionel Messi (CF)

We’ve been wondering if Lionel Messi could win a World Cup since he tiptoed onto a field. Now we know, after years and years of waiting and a few heartbreaks to get over, Messi finally has his icy hands on the World Cup trophy.

The diminutive magician had a huge impact in the World Cup final against France as he scored twice, whilst also converting his penalty in the shootout. He was by far the best player of the tournament, underlined by the Golden Ball award.

With seven goals and three assists, Messi had a campaign one can only dream of. And by completing his trophy cabinet with the World Cup, the 35-year-old has most likely put the G.O.A.T debate to bed too.

Rohan Sengupta

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