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  1. #1
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    WC 2018: Team of the Tournament

    It'll change over time, but as of now, this is my XI (4-2-3-1 formation)

    1 GK: Muslera (URU)

    4 Back (Left to Right): Hernandez (FRA), Alderweireld (BLG), Jose Gimenez (URU), Vrsaljko (CRO)

    2 DM/CM: Kante (FRA), Mordic (CRO)

    3 Attacking Midfield (Left to Right): Cheryshev (RUS), Eriksen (DEN), CR07 (POR)

    1 CF: Costa (SPN)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Close miss-out : Akinyev, Godin, Varane, Isco, Pogba, Mabappe, Coutinho, Kane.


    CR will be my Captain - he had been immense. Kante is the deputy - I lost count of the number of times he has intercepted and blocked the flow of attack; best DM in world by some margin.


    Please continue to add names/discussion on this.

  2. #2
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    I would add Harry Kane up front with Costa and remove Eriksen.

    If Iran beat Portugal, which is can happen without a surprise, remove Ronaldo.


    Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of Sheep

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKhanWC View Post
    I would add Harry Kane up front with Costa and remove Eriksen.

    If Iran beat Portugal, which is can happen without a surprise, remove Ronaldo.
    Put XI as formation - what you are saying is to make it like 442 (diamond), with Mordic just behind forward 2 and CR, Cheryshev at flanks. In that case, Cheryshev will struggle, because he is an winger, doesn't fall back, it'll create big space in midfield.

    Also, Kane & Costa are similar type - if it's to be played with 2 parallel forwards (or 4411), it's better to play CR as partner of Costa/Kane and use Mordic just behind, as the tip of mid-field diamond.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    Put XI as formation - what you are saying is to make it like 442 (diamond), with Mordic just behind forward 2 and CR, Cheryshev at flanks. In that case, Cheryshev will struggle, because he is an winger, doesn't fall back, it'll create big space in midfield.

    Also, Kane & Costa are similar type - if it's to be played with 2 parallel forwards (or 4411), it's better to play CR as partner of Costa/Kane and use Mordic just behind, as the tip of mid-field diamond.
    Yes I wasnt really thinking of a formation but in general a team which containing the best players so far but since you mentioned it.

    4-4-2

    1. Kasper Schmeichel - Some great saves in against Peru.
    2. Kieran Trippier - right back - went forward with pace and good crosses.
    3. Jordi Alba - left back - Defended well against both Iran and Portugal, also as usual attacked too
    4. Jesús Gallardo - Centre - outstanding first game.
    5. Diego Godin - centre - Solid in both games.
    6. Denis Cheryshev - Winger - He can still perform this role well and has been amazing so far.
    7. Modric - Centre Mid - Calm, quick feet and great vision as always.
    8. Ronaldo -I'd play him behind Kane and Costa , he will still score.
    11. Aleksandr Golovin - Plays central but has such a good right foot i'd place him on the right of mid.
    9- Harry Kane - Late winner and always clinical.
    10 - Costa - Scores all types of goals. A great striker for Spain in any situation.


    Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of Sheep

  5. #5
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    Don't think Muslera would be there now lol. We're nearly at the final now so what would your team of the tournament be now?

  6. #6
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    --------Loris/pickford/courtois-------

    Tripper----Godin----Maguire----Young

    ------------Kante--------------

    ----Modric-----Pogba------

    Mbappe-----Kane----Ronaldo


    If you want to destroy a country, just create enmity between its people and their army - Salahuddin

  7. #7
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    ----------------Lloris----------------
    Pavard---Godin---Maguire---Young
    ---------------Kante-----------------
    -----Modric----------De Bruyne----
    Mbappe------Kane-----Greizmann

  8. #8
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    These guys should be locks:
    Kante, Modric, Hazard, and Kane.

    GK is between Pickford and Lloris. But I'll go with Lloris.

    Trippier, Varane and Godin should make it. I guess Hernandez can be LB but it's questionable. And probably Cheryshev is the other. Although it's really tough to leave out Mbappe.

    So overall in a 4-3-3:
    ---Lloris---

    Trippier-Godin-Varane-Hernandez

    --Kante-Rakitic--
    ---Modric---

    -Hazard-Kane-Cheryshev-

  9. #9
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    Mbappe needs to be there

  10. #10
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    It'll change again after 2nd SF, and I am giving chance to 2 English players breaking my squad (one in XI), but for that they have to win the SF first. England has hammered Panama, edged past Tunisia, lost to Belgium back-ups, needed tie-breaker to beat Colombia - their only decent performance to me was against the Swedes.

    I'll stick to 4231 formation with -3-1 in interchanging position - in recent soccer trend, I see more & more top managers are opting for a fluid attacking line instead of a static target man or pair forwards. I don't like forwards that wait in box facing own GK. Here is my squad with starting XI

    GK: 1. Courtois - played two dream game against Brazil & France. Before that Belgium was hardly stressed.

    Wing Backs: 2. Pavard (RB), 3. Vertonghen. For Pavard, don't think explanation is required, one main reason is that there is hardly any one else. If England can win today - WC Final will decide between Pavard & Tripper. Vertonghen was solid at left back, and he scored a vital goal. Hernanades for France had a great WC and a vital assist as well, but he Vertonghen kept Belgium left flank secured.

    CB: 4. Varane, 5. Godin - self explanatory, for those who have seen the game.

    CM & DM: 6. Kante & 8. Modric. Modric is playing more advanced role for Croatia but he is a CM at most, not AM - he'll play the role Pogba serving France; while Kante is there to break the game & man marking

    Next 4 spots are attacker, not fixed by position. In an arrow shape attack, I'll use Grizmanm as No. 10, and Neymar as No. 9; Mbappe & Hazar at flanks as No. 7 & 11. Here is the formation

    AM: 10. Griezmann
    Wingers: 7. Mbappe, 11. Hazard
    CF: 9. Neymar
    Hazard & Griezmann can swap position, so can Neymar & Mbappe
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    GK: 13. Lloris, 23. Schmeichel

    Wing backs: 12. Tripper, 15. Augustinsson. Hernandez plays for a wonderful French team and that back 5 combined is among best in WC, but Augustinsson was outstanding for Sweden. What went against Hernandez is that, he was well covered on his overlap by Kante, otherwise as a pure defender, Augustinsson is more solid.

    CB: 16. Stones, 17. Lovren. Stones is the unsung hero for England. Maguire scored one, but he is used as a Left Back; Stones had been rock solid, and has developed lot under Pep/Southgate. If Croats make the Final, Lovren will swap spot with Godin - he had been that good for Craotia. Â….Â…Â…. while Stones will have to fight it out with Umtiti, Alderwield & Vida for the last spot.

    CM/DM: 18. Rakitic, 19. Pogba, 20. KDB. I picked 3 (instead of 2, reducing one winger), because KDB can play at right wings as well. Another reason is my back-up AM can play at wings as well, swapping position with KDB

    AM: 14. Coutinho. Easily the best player for Brazil to me, but he missed couple of vital chances against Belgium. Played the AM role perfectly, but probably his 1-2 with Jesus wasn't established in short time. Tite missed a big trick by benching Firmino, who as false 9 was outstanding for Liverpool, in front of Coutinho.

    Winger: 21. Frossberg: Tough call between Shakiri, Quintero & Lingrad; but Frossberg scored the all-important goal against Switzerland

    CF: 22. Kane - he has scored goals and his team is in SF. It was a close call between Lukaku & Kane, but I think Lukaku is what in cricket term we call FTB. Also, less mobile and my squad will hardly play the way Belgium played against Japan or Brazil

    This year, probably there is no outstanding Manager (Deschamps will reach legendary status, but ...). Martinez was doing well till SF, while Southgate doesn't use 4231, though he has players for that dynamic formation.

    I keep it open for Southgate & Dalic - whoever wins tonight is my Manager.

  11. #11
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    Schmeichel

    Trippier - Varane - Mina - Hernandez
    Kante - Modric
    Mbappe - Coutinho - Hazard
    Ronaldo

  12. #12
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    2nd XI

    Lloris
    Meunier - Godin - Miranda - Young
    Rakitic - Pogba
    De Bruyne - Eriksen - Griezman
    Kane

  13. #13
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    Courtious

    Pavard -Godin-Varane-Hernandez

    Modric-Kante

    Hazard-Pogba-Coutiniho

    Mbpape

  14. #14
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    Finally, WC 2018 is over and we have seen every game. This is my final WC squad with starting XI -

    GK: 1. Courtois
    Back: 2. Pavard, 4. Varane, 5. Godin, 3. Vertonghen
    DM/CM: 6. Kante, 8. Modric (C)
    AM/Wingers: 7. Mbappe, 10. Griezmann, 11. Hazard
    Forwad: 9. Neymar
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    GK: 13. Schmeichel, 23. Pickford
    Wing backs: 12. Vrsaljko, 15. Hernandez
    CB: 16. Granqvist, 17. Thiago Silva
    CM/DM: 18. Rakitic, 19. Pogba, 20. KDB
    AM: 14. Coutinho
    Winger: 21. Perisic
    CF: 22. CR

    So, basically I didn't find any reason to change my starting XI based on the Final & 3rd/4th play-off; but there are few changes in the back-up team.

    Despite having a great tournament, I have dropped Lloris from the squad for that one blunder - goal-keeping is a thankless job. Also, it's better for WC winning captain to miss-out all together, rather than sitting on bench.

    Perisic and Vrsaljko were outstanding for Croatia, therefore they makes the squad. Vrsaljko was so good that had Pavard not been quite good as well in Final, I would have started with Vrsaljko. Hernandez comes as back-up LB, for his great display in Final. Perisic isn't starting because his 2 possible spots are occupied by the 2 best players of the tournament - Hazard & Mbappe. He can start as the Left wing back, in a more attacking version of 4231.

    Stones & Lovren had 2 forgettable games & it was Stones, who allowed Mandzudic to sneak behind and score, then Hazard breezed past him. Not sure why everyone is crazy about Maguire, who is hardly a CB - apart from arial threat from set pieces, don't think his defensive stats are that good. For same reason Mina misses out - CB has to stop goals first, rather than scoring. I think, before Lukaku hammered them, Miranda & Silva were outstanding for Brazil and they lost against Belgium for an own goal and a long shot from outside box - their zonal marking and positional play was outstanding; I picked Thiago Silva from that pair. Last CB (4th in squad), hardly ever gets any game time - there were many to pick from - Alderweild, Umtiti, Miranda, Stones, Vida, Lovren, Maguire, Kompany ... I picked the man instrumental in the build-up of a very average but brilliantly organized Swedish team, their inspirational captain Granqvist.

    Kane had one more chance to make a meaningful mark & he failed miserably. CR almost alone earned 1 point against Spain and he was instrumental to take Portugal to next round - for his 4 goals in as many games, I picked him as back-up forward, can easily replace Neymar as starter. Sadly, I couldn't find a spot for any English player, apart from Pickford as 3rd keeper. He was by far the best English player in this WC, which probably indicative of England.

    Without a shed of doubt, my Manager is Dalic.

    -----------------------------------------------------

    My WC 2018 Epitaph -

    Best Player: Modric
    Best GK: Courtois
    Best Defender: Varane
    Best Midfielder: Pogba (After Modric)
    Best Winger: Hazard
    Best Forward: Mbappe
    Best Manager: Dalic

    Best Goal: Still Messi - timing (of run to beat offside trap), touch, speed, shooting precision ... every skills were there in those 3 sublime touches - a perfect goal.
    Best Moment: Mbappe's back flick to feed Giroud - don't have any words for that, and the kid is only 19.
    Best individual piece of skill - Quaresma's volley to score against Iran from the edge of box with his outside edge of right foot - it had control, pace, precision, dip and swing, above all vision - he knew exactly what he was trying to achieve.

    Cult Hero: Has to be Giroud - one can hate him, but guy did his job perfectly
    Unfair play: Neymar - he is introducing an ill trend in soccer
    Unfortunate: Senegal
    Undeserving: Harry Kane
    Over Rated: Rashford - "better than Mbappe", British media wrote it even in mid June!!!!

    Heart Broken: Japan - made it to the 2nd round through back door, but didn't deserve to lose like that
    Felt sorry: for James Rod - robbed a golden ball by Adidas in 2014, then a possible SF spot for injury in 2018
    Worried for: Argentina - this golden generation won 2 U20 WCs, 2 Olympics; but they haven't won anything for Argentina. Since 2007, once mighty Argentina hasn't done anything (Not even SF) in U17 or U20 WC, or in Olympics, which brings fear that the once bottomless mine of talent might be depleting - none of this last of the Mohicans should be there in 2021, and if they don't find the replacements, Argentina might miss out Qatar 2022.

    Biggest surprise : Germany & Russia at either end
    Least surprise: France - I knew, even 4 years back, they'll win this time - that squad is worth $1.5bn, and they kept another bn worth of players at home. That forward line is unreal.

    Impressed by: Vladimir Putin - best WC in memory.
    Disgusted by: VAR - not the technology, but the application.

    Mukkaddar Ka Sikkander: Lionel Messi - Qatar is 4.5 years away, and he'll be 35+ by then. He had the chance to score at least one goal in a WC KO game in 8 attempts ....... Haven't seen anyone like him in past, won't see anyone in future for sure; but football didn't wish him to win something for Argentina - that was his destiny.


    It had been a wonderful month, in which my entire focus was soccer - apart from 2 matches at Wimbledon, I didn't watch anything outside soccer for a month. Life returns to normality again ......

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    Finally, WC 2018 is over and we have seen every game. This is my final WC squad with starting XI -

    GK: 1. Courtois
    Back: 2. Pavard, 4. Varane, 5. Godin, 3. Vertonghen
    DM/CM: 6. Kante, 8. Modric (C)
    AM/Wingers: 7. Mbappe, 10. Griezmann, 11. Hazard
    Forwad: 9. Neymar
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    GK: 13. Schmeichel, 23. Pickford
    Wing backs: 12. Vrsaljko, 15. Hernandez
    CB: 16. Granqvist, 17. Thiago Silva
    CM/DM: 18. Rakitic, 19. Pogba, 20. KDB
    AM: 14. Coutinho
    Winger: 21. Perisic
    CF: 22. CR

    So, basically I didn't find any reason to change my starting XI based on the Final & 3rd/4th play-off; but there are few changes in the back-up team.

    Despite having a great tournament, I have dropped Lloris from the squad for that one blunder - goal-keeping is a thankless job. Also, it's better for WC winning captain to miss-out all together, rather than sitting on bench.

    Perisic and Vrsaljko were outstanding for Croatia, therefore they makes the squad. Vrsaljko was so good that had Pavard not been quite good as well in Final, I would have started with Vrsaljko. Hernandez comes as back-up LB, for his great display in Final. Perisic isn't starting because his 2 possible spots are occupied by the 2 best players of the tournament - Hazard & Mbappe. He can start as the Left wing back, in a more attacking version of 4231.

    Stones & Lovren had 2 forgettable games & it was Stones, who allowed Mandzudic to sneak behind and score, then Hazard breezed past him. Not sure why everyone is crazy about Maguire, who is hardly a CB - apart from arial threat from set pieces, don't think his defensive stats are that good. For same reason Mina misses out - CB has to stop goals first, rather than scoring. I think, before Lukaku hammered them, Miranda & Silva were outstanding for Brazil and they lost against Belgium for an own goal and a long shot from outside box - their zonal marking and positional play was outstanding; I picked Thiago Silva from that pair. Last CB (4th in squad), hardly ever gets any game time - there were many to pick from - Alderweild, Umtiti, Miranda, Stones, Vida, Lovren, Maguire, Kompany ... I picked the man instrumental in the build-up of a very average but brilliantly organized Swedish team, their inspirational captain Granqvist.

    Kane had one more chance to make a meaningful mark & he failed miserably. CR almost alone earned 1 point against Spain and he was instrumental to take Portugal to next round - for his 4 goals in as many games, I picked him as back-up forward, can easily replace Neymar as starter. Sadly, I couldn't find a spot for any English player, apart from Pickford as 3rd keeper. He was by far the best English player in this WC, which probably indicative of England.

    Without a shed of doubt, my Manager is Dalic.

    -----------------------------------------------------

    My WC 2018 Epitaph -

    Best Player: Modric
    Best GK: Courtois
    Best Defender: Varane
    Best Midfielder: Pogba (After Modric)
    Best Winger: Hazard
    Best Forward: Mbappe
    Best Manager: Dalic

    Best Goal: Still Messi - timing (of run to beat offside trap), touch, speed, shooting precision ... every skills were there in those 3 sublime touches - a perfect goal.
    Best Moment: Mbappe's back flick to feed Giroud - don't have any words for that, and the kid is only 19.
    Best individual piece of skill - Quaresma's volley to score against Iran from the edge of box with his outside edge of right foot - it had control, pace, precision, dip and swing, above all vision - he knew exactly what he was trying to achieve.

    Cult Hero: Has to be Giroud - one can hate him, but guy did his job perfectly
    Unfair play: Neymar - he is introducing an ill trend in soccer
    Unfortunate: Senegal
    Undeserving: Harry Kane
    Over Rated: Rashford - "better than Mbappe", British media wrote it even in mid June!!!!

    Heart Broken: Japan - made it to the 2nd round through back door, but didn't deserve to lose like that
    Felt sorry: for James Rod - robbed a golden ball by Adidas in 2014, then a possible SF spot for injury in 2018
    Worried for: Argentina - this golden generation won 2 U20 WCs, 2 Olympics; but they haven't won anything for Argentina. Since 2007, once mighty Argentina hasn't done anything (Not even SF) in U17 or U20 WC, or in Olympics, which brings fear that the once bottomless mine of talent might be depleting - none of this last of the Mohicans should be there in 2021, and if they don't find the replacements, Argentina might miss out Qatar 2022.

    Biggest surprise : Germany & Russia at either end
    Least surprise: France - I knew, even 4 years back, they'll win this time - that squad is worth $1.5bn, and they kept another bn worth of players at home. That forward line is unreal.

    Impressed by: Vladimir Putin - best WC in memory.
    Disgusted by: VAR - not the technology, but the application.

    Mukkaddar Ka Sikkander: Lionel Messi - Qatar is 4.5 years away, and he'll be 35+ by then. He had the chance to score at least one goal in a WC KO game in 8 attempts ....... Haven't seen anyone like him in past, won't see anyone in future for sure; but football didn't wish him to win something for Argentina - that was his destiny.


    It had been a wonderful month, in which my entire focus was soccer - apart from 2 matches at Wimbledon, I didn't watch anything outside soccer for a month. Life returns to normality again ......
    A very comprehensive post and not a lot to disagree with, but I am extremely surprised at the omission of Umtiti.

    He has barely poot a foot wrong for over a year. Was Barca’s best player last season after Messi, and had a fanatic World Cup.

    He is the complete package at is still only 24. France have to elite CBs and their best is yet to come. Undoubtedly the biggest reason why they will dominate the sport at the international level for many years to come.

    Umtiti is the closest thing to perfection at CB - fast, strong, athletic, great in the air, reads the game brilliantly, good with his feet and has a knack of scoring goals as well.

    Brilliant scouting and timing by Barca. At least 5-6 top European clubs would have been after his signature now.

  16. #16
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    @MMHS There's case to be made for Pogba to have won the best player of the tournament award in my opinion and am glad Modric got the award anyhow given the bias against midfielders especially when it comes to Ballon d'Or, I think Zidane may have been the last one to win it


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

  17. #17
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    anyone who includes neymar in the wc team and especially as a no.9 really needs to get there head checked.


    If you want to destroy a country, just create enmity between its people and their army - Salahuddin


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