Best World Cup Group Stage XI
Best 2018 FIFA World Cup Group Stage XI
After an enthralling three rounds of fixtures at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, during which the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo stood out and Lionel Messi struggled, we have put together a starting XI of stars who impressed the most in the group stage of the tournament!
Click through the gallery above to see our best XI from the group stage at the 2018 World Cup.
The round of 16 fixtures are already scheduled, with the first games starting on Saturday, but before fans are treated to a spectacle in knockout rounds of the tournament, there were some standout players in the group stages who are worth noting.
In goal, South Korea's Hyeon-uh Jo was sublime, especially in his country's final Group F match against Germany, when he kept a clean sheet. The 26-year-old pulled off several fantastic saves in their 2-0 win over Joachim Low's side, which resulted in Die Mannschaft's shock exit from the competition.
The pick of the left-backs was 30-year-old Croatia defender Ivan Strinic, who helped his team keep two clean sheets in the two group matches he played, including one against Messi's Argentina. Belgium's Thomas Meunier was the right-back who impressed the most, with his clever through-ball for Romelu Lukaku's second goal in their 5-2 win over Tunisia one of his many fine moments.
In central defence, Colombia's Yerry Mina was brilliant, scoring twice in two matches to help his side qualify for the round of 16. It was Mina's headed goal against Poland in their second match that set the tone, and it was also his headed effort that earned Colombia a 1-0 win over Senegal on Thursday. Uruguay's Diego Godin is the other centre-back selected for the team, having led a Uruguayan defence that did not concede a single strike in the group stage.
Further up the field, Luka Modric was incredible for Croatia, most notably in their emphatic 3-0 win over Argentina. The mercurial midfielder scored a long-range screamer against the Albiceleste, and also found the back of the net in the Croat's first match against Nigeria.
Isco is also selected in midfield, with the Real Madrid man being one of the standout performers at the tournament so far, while Brazil's Philippe Coutinho completes the midfield trio, having contributed to three goals in three matches.
In attack, Belgium winger Eden Hazard was one of his nation's instrumental figures, proving difficult for defenders to stop. The 27-year-old Chelsea star has also contributed to three goals already in Russia, and will be looking to add to that tally when the Red Devils go up against Japan in the round of 16.
England's Harry Kane, who is currently leading the Golden Boot race with five goals, has been picked over Belgium's Romelu Lukaku, while Portugal captain Ronaldo completes the front three. The 33-year-old, like Lukaku, has hit the back of the net on four occasions, three of which in sublime hat-trick against Spain in A Selecao's first fixture in the tournament.
Would you make any changes to this team? Let us know in the comments section below.