The World Cup team from AFP

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As the World Cup nears its close, AFP Sport reporters in Qatar have selected their team for the tournament in a 4-3-2-3 configuration.

Hugo Lloris

Four years ago, Lloris was the captain of France’s victorious team. He was outstanding when the holders reached the final. Lloris was often regarded as his weak link. However, he excelled in England’s quarter-final win and was even better against Morocco in their semi-final match. Jawad Al Yamiq, Azzedine Ounahi, and Jawad Yamiq made excellent first-half stops. He also overtook Lilian Thuam as France’s all time record cap-holder throughout the tournament.

Josip Juranovic

The 27-year old Celtic right-back was a symbol of Croatia’s new players after their run to the 2018 Final. Zlatko Dlic’s team beat Brazil by penalties in the final eight.

Raphael Varane

Varane, like Lloris was a pivotal pillar of the France team that won it four years ago. His reassuring presence was vital for Didier Deschamps during Les Bleus’ journey through the knockout stage. After a month of being on the sidelines, Varane missed the first game against Australia. He then returned seamlessly to the team.

Josko Gvardiol

As a 20-year old centre-back, he was one of the most prominent players in the tournament. He helped Croatia reach the semis. He looked even more intimidating wearing a protective face mask after he broke his nose in the tournament’s preliminaries. Lionel Messi turned him inside out for Argentina’s goal in the semi-finals, but it should not be a detriment to his other outstanding displays.

Marcos Acuna

After impressing for Argentina in the quarter-finals, Acuna, a 31-year-old squat, was suspended after he was booked in the last-eight loss to the Netherlands. Acuna, from Sevilla, was always an opponent, moving forward from his position as left-back.

Antoine Griezmann

Didier Deschamps transformed the striker from a player who had never scored a goal in France for a year into the best midfielder at this tournament. The 31-year old became a playmaker, a goal creator and a tireless worker. He was notably the one who provided a brilliant assistance to Olivier Giroud’s win against England in quarter-finals.

Sofyan Amrabat

The emblem of Morocco’s semi-final run — the greatest-ever performance by an African side or Arab side — is based on its defensive strength. The 26-year old Fiorentina player, a Dutch-born Fiorentina man, ran tirelessly and played a crucial role in breaking down Walid Regragui’s play. Opta statistics showed that only he recovered possession 51 times for his team in seven games.

Jude Bellingham

England’s tournament had its biggest positive, and that was Borussia Dortmund’s starlet. Her maturity on the field is a testament to his 19-years of age. Bellingham’s unflinching running from the midfield resulted in one goal against Iran, and an assist during the 16-man win over Senegal. Dortmund can expect a higher transfer fee if they sell a player who is bound to join one the Premier League’s giants.

Lionel Messi

Messi, at 35 years old, has performed admirably in his fifth and likely last World Cup. He drove Argentina to the final in Qatar, scoring in the tournament’s knockout stages and providing some outstanding assists.

Richarlison

Due to his brilliant displays during the tournament, the Brazil player that made the cut is the only one. He scored the most impressive overhead kick of the competition in Tottenham’s win over Serbia. He was close to matching that feat against South Korea in 16th place. This move began when he juggled the ball on his forehead three times.

Kylian Mbappe

Mbappe, who is on a mission to win the second World Cup before turning 24, is a deadly threat for France starting from the left. In the first four matches of his country’s Qatar tour, he scored five times. Although he was less active against England in quarter-final, his contribution to setting up their opening goal was still significant. France’s semi-final goals against Morocco were also scored from Mbappe deflected shots that fell kindly for their teammates.

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