The World Cup is back after four years, and the biggest sporting event in Football promises to deliver World Class quality of entertainment yet again.
So many players have made their names here be it Pele, Maradona, Ronaldo or Klose, who overtook Maradona in Brazil to become World Cup’s top goalscorer as he netted past a Julio Cesar in the Semi-Finals against Brazil.
The World Cup creates the best and makes you an instant legend. Here we take a look at the best XI traveling to the World Cup. *
Our Selection Criteria is both form going to the World Cup and past World Cup performances.
1. Manuel Neuer (GK)
Sorry Manchester United fans but we have to give this position to Manuel Neuer. The shot-stopper from Germany was in amazing form in Brazil and his performances not only helped Joachim Low’s side to the World Cup but on a personal level, he also claimed the third spot in Balon D’or. One might say the 7-1 against Brazil in the Semi-Finals was purely because of the efficiency in the attack by Germany. What people don’t remember is the number of saves that Neuer made in the second half when the score could’ve easily been tied 5-5. One more World Cup this time and Manuel Neuer goes down as one of the best in World Football of all time.
2. Joshua Kimmich (RB)
Joshua Kimmich is possibly the best RB in the world with the German’s ability to both attack and defend have glimpses of his Predecessor, Philip Lahm. When Germany won the World Cup in 2014, Joshua Kimmich was not even in the top tier of German football. Kimmich was originally signed by Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich when he was still a box to box midfielder. But soon, he started appearing at CB in Bayern’s team because of the injury list that just kept expanding at the Bavarian side. Come 2018, Joshua Kimmich is possibly the best RB in the World after filling in the shoes of Philip Lahm more than seamlessly. Having never missed an international game under Joachim Loew since his debut is a testament to that. In the recently concluded season, Kimmich had 14 assists and not to forget his goals against Real Madrid. Kimmich has a bright future ahead of him and this is the perfect stage for him to showcase his talent to the World.
3. Marcelo (LB)
I don’t think anyone will be disputing this. 4 Champions League titles in 5 seasons, Marcelo has been the most consistent and lethal LB in the world for quite some time now. Given his freedom under Zidane, Marcelo has flourished, both offensively and Defensively. Coming up with crucial goals at Crunch times is one of his biggest assets and at the World Cup, Brazil would be hoping for some of that. His combination with Neymar on the left flank will also be a thing to keep an eye on. Marcelo had a hand in 16 goals for Real Madrid this season and this might be his last World Cup as the 30 year old will be 34 when the next one arrives. This time lucky? Only time will tell.
4) Sergio Ramos (CB)
Love him? Hate him? But you certainly cannot ignore this guy. A contrasting character to Spain’s ex-Captain, Iker Casillas, Ramos is vocal and tries to lead from the front even in the opposition’s box. A menace in the air and a menace for any attacker in the world, Ramos will be looking to make the dismal Spanish Performance in Brazil a distant memory. Possibly, playing his last World Cup Ramos will look to lead the young crop of technically gifted players to World Cup Glory.
5) Mats Hummels (CB)
Hummels has been one of the best CBs in German football for a very long time. This season, especially with Boateng’s absence. Hummels was the main CB as he helped Bayern pull from a disastrous start to win the Bundesliga. With no Mertesacker this time around, Hummels is set to lead from the back as Boateng fights off an Injury.
6) Toni Kroos (CDM)
Kroos is the embodiment of a typical German midfielder. Blessed with brilliant Technical Ability his ability to start attacks from the middle third has seen him draw comparisons with the Italian Legend Andrea Pirlo. He was a mainstay in the World Cup team in Germany where he formed a formidable partnership with Sami Khedira to guide Germany to the World Cup, just like he has been for Real Madrid where he has formed a complementary partnership with Luka Modric.
7) Mohammed Salah (RW)
It is impossible to miss out on Mohammed Salah with the season he has had. Salah had a hand in 60 goals for Liverpool in all competitions as we saw Liverpool make the Champions League final only to unfortunately lose out to Real Madrid. Salah also guided Egypt to their third World Cup qualification in history and 1st in 28 years as he scored the winning Penalty to see them through. Even though he’ll miss the first match through injury, he’ll still be one of the players to watch out for.
8) Sergio Busquets (CDM)
Busquets is one of those players that will never be recognised if you check the scoreline. Never big with goals or assists, his role in the World Cup winning squad of 2010 can never be undermined where he completed a three man midfield with Xavi and Iniesta. A brilliant reader of the game blessed with a good passing range, Busquets has been one of the most Important players in Barca’s modern History. This time without Xavi he’ll look to carry Spanish attacks through his clever play.
9) Thomas Muller (ST)
Muller is the world cup specialist. Even if he had a bad season, Loew would still take him given his performances in the past two World Cups. The Bayern man benefited from a change in managerial positions as Jupp Heynckes replaced Ancelotti in between the season and he was a regular with Jupp unlike how he was a marginalised figure under Ancelotti. Technically a Raumdeuter as termed in German football meaning Space Interpreter, Muller is the highest goalscoring active player in the World Cup with 10 goals. He’ll be expected to lead the line for Germany or play as a no. 10 to either Werner or Mario Gomez in Russia.
10) Lionel Messi (CAM/Second Striker)
G. O. A. T. Messi will always be regarded as one of the best of all time when it comes to his illustrious club career. Last time in Brazil he just fell short of a World Cup trophy after having carried the Argentina team all the way to the finals, this time he could write his name in history books and mount another serious challenge. Winner of Golden Shoe yet again, Messi will be looking to make this trophy his this time before dawn sets over his international career.
11) Neymar (LW)
Neymar is Brazil’s favorite son now as he looks all set to forget the disappointment of 2014 WC. Ruled out of the World Cup 2014 Semi-Final, after a collision with Colombian player Zuniga saw him sustain a serious back injury. The 2013 confederations cup winner will be looking to bring his majestic dribbles and brilliant finishing as Brazil look one of the favorites for the World Cup.