So many players starred at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, but the best 11 made our team of the tournament.
The Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup is finally over. It was one of the greatest and most memorable World Cups ever.
It produced a record number of goals (172), endless drama, suspense, thrills and arguably the greatest final in the tournament’s history.
Argentina defeated France to win the title, as Lionel Messi finally ended his wait for the trophy that has eluded him throughout his career.
In this post, FootballOrbit looks at the 11 best players of the tournament.
The team is set up in a 4-2-3-1 attacking formation.
GK: Emiliano Martinez (Argentina)
After conceding twice in the opening game against Saudi Arabia, Emiliano Martinez shored up his defense and was impressive in goal thereafter.
He was phenomenal in the dramatic penalty shootout wins over Netherlands in the quarterfinals and against France in the final.
Furthermore, he made crucial last-minute saves from the shots of Garang Kuol of Australia in the round of 16 and Randal Kolo Muani of France in the final.
Deservedly, Martinez won the “Golden Glove” award as the Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament. He kept 3 clean sheets in 7 matches, conceding 8 goals.
RB: Achraf Hakimi (Morocco)
Who else? Achraf Hakimi was the best right-back at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
He was brilliant throughout the tournament as Morocco became the first ever African nation to reach the semi-final.
He made the most tackles of any player in Qatar and was the standout player in a Moroccan defence that conceded just once (an own goal) before the semi-finals.
Offensively, he was dangerous alongside Hakim Ziyech on the right. He constantly terrorised the opposition with his overlapping runs.
He created 6 chances and made an assist.
Moreso, his sweet Panenka penalty against Spain in the round of 16 was one of the highlights of the World Cup.
CB: Josko Gvardiol (Croatia)
Heading to Qatar, Josko Gvardiol was one of the most-sought-after defenders in the world. His performances at the World Cup have further boosted his chances of securing a big move.
He played every minute of Croatia’s World Cup campaign, made 44 recoveries and 8 interceptions
Additionally, he scored a goal in Croatia’s 2-1 win against Morocco in the third-place match — becoming his country’s youngest-ever World Cup scorer at 20 years and 328 days.
Unfortunately, the moment that Gvardiol will probably end up being remembered for at the World Cup was being the victim of Lionel Messi’s mesmerising run to set up Argentina’s third goal in the semifinal.
CB: Romain Saiss (Morocco)
Morocco conceded just one goal before the semifinals where they lost 2-0 to France.
Their captain, Romain Saiss, was very integral to the defensive solidity. He formed a tight partnership with Jawad El Yamiq at the back — which proved tough for opponents to breach.
Saiss displayed his best performance against Portugal in the quarterfinal. Throughout the tournament, he made 28 recoveries.
Such was his importance, that his injury completely dismantled Morocco’s backline as it conceded two against France.
LB: Theo Hernandez (France)
It’s difficult to pick a left-back as none was 100% convincing throughout the tournament. But France’s Theo Hernandez makes the cut.
Following the injury to his brother, Lucas, in France’s opening game of the tournament; Hernandez was brought into the team.
Although weak defensively, he played a key role in France’s run to the final.
Hernandez was a menace in attack and was the first opposition player to score against Morocco in Qatar.
Furthermore, he created 10 chances and provided an assist.
Defensively, he won 13 tackles and made 30 recoveries
CM: Sofyan Amrabat (Morocco)
Morocco’s historic run to the semi-final was built on a resolute defence. Sofyan Amrabat was the perfect shield to the tournament’s best defence.
He also set the tempo for Morocco’s attacks and was the driving force of Walid Regragui’s brilliant team as he never stopped running.
CM: Luka Modric (Croatia)
The best player at the 2018 World Cup, and the Ballon d’Or winner that year. At 37, Luka Modric still lit up the tournament in Qatar.
He was the linchpin in the Croatian team that finished third. His partnership with Matteo Kovacic and Mario Brozovic in the midfield overwhelmed opponents.
RW: Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Lionel Messi finally won the FIFA World Cup to arguably seal his status as the G.O.A.T in football history.
He was crucial in Argentina’s run to the title as he scored 7 goals and bagged 3 assists.
Furthermore, he became the first player in FIFA World Cup history to score in the group stage, round of 16, quarterfinal, semifinal and the final of a single tournament!!!
Lionel Messi won 5 Man of the Match awards in Qatar — the most won by any player in a single tournament.
He was awarded the Golden Ball as the Best Player of the Tournament.
CAM: Antoine Griezmann (France)
Often underrated, Antoine Griezmann was one of the big reasons why France reached the final despite missing the likes of Paul Pogba, Ngolo Kante, Karim Benzema, Christopher Nkunku and Lucas Hernandez.
He was one of the most hardworking players in the team — connecting the midfield and attack immaculately.
And that is why he makes this team of the tournament as the central attacking midfielder.
The Athletico Madrid attacker created 9 chances from open play and provided 3 assists.
Moreover, he was also important for France defensively as he made 8 interceptions and 34 recoveries.
With 32, Antoine Griezmann has provided the most assists for France in history.
LW: Kylian Mbappe (France)
Kylian Mbappe was outstanding 4 years ago in Russia and produced yet another World Cup masterclass in Qatar.
He scored 8 goals and provided 3 assists as he fired France to the final. He won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s topscorer.
His hat-trick performance in the final is for the ages.
FWD: Julian Álvarez (Argentina)
Lautaro Martínez was expected to lead Argentina’s attack in Qatar, having played for much of the 36-game unbeaten run prior to the World Cup.
But the Inter Milan striker flopped as he failed to score a single goal from open play throughout the tournament.
Argentina became far more dynamic after replacing him with Julian Álvarez.
The Manchester City forward worked tirelessly off the ball and was Messi’s perfect foil. He also chipped in with 4 goals.
Alvarez was one of the breakout stars of the 2022 World Cup.
¶Dominik Livakovic (Croatia)
¶Yassine Bounou (Morocco)
¶Nicolas Otamendi (Argentina)
¶Enzo Fernandez (Argentina)
¶Aurélien Tchouaméni (France)
¶Bukayo Saka (England)
¶Azzedine Ounahi (Morocco)
¶Jamal Musiala (Germany)
¶Alexis Mac Allister (Argentina)
¶Jude Bellingham (England)
¶Olivier Giroud (France)
Lionel Scaloni (Argentina)
What do you think of this team?