The World Cup came and went so quickly, but the world will be talking about it for a long time. This year’s tournament provided it all – drama, high stakes, upsets, and incredible individual performances. Oh, and one of the best and most entertaining World Cup finals featuring two of the best players in the game – Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé. We know those two have to be included in talks of a World Cup best XI, but who joins them?
2022 World Cup’s best XI
Dominik Livaković, Croatia – goalkeeper
Livaković prevented the most goals of anyone in the tournament at 3.5, plus made the most saves at 25. He played a big role in getting Croatia to 3rd place in the tournament.
Achraf Hakimi, Morocco – defender
Morocco made its best run ever at a World Cup and with several important players who helped them make it to fourth place in the 2022 tournament, especially on defense. But none more than Hakimi, who made more tackles than anyone else with 26.
Marquinhos, Brazil – defender
Brazil were the favorites to win the tournament, and despite being sent home in the quarterfinals, they had a great run in 2022. One player in particular deserves the spot on the best XI of the World Cup. Marquinhos only faced 32 shots in 426 minutes when he was on the field – just 6.8 per 90 minutes.
Joško Gvardiol, Croatia – defender
Gvardiol made more clearances (37), registered more carries (202), and won possession more times than any other defender (48).
Theo Hernández, France – defender
France made an incredible run, all the way to the finals of the World Cup for the second time in a row and nearly beating Argentina. Hernández created more goalscoring opportunities for teammates than any other defender (11).
Bruno Fernandes, Portugal – midfielder
Portugal was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Morocco, and the player included on the best XI this year is not the name we’re used to seeing when discussing Portugal’s best. Fernandes’ five goal involvements with the Portugal team were bested only by Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé.
Aurélien Tchouaméni, France – midfielder
Of France’s many outstanding players, Tchouaméni made one of the biggest impacts. The Real Madrid star made more interceptions than any other player with 14.
Antoine Griezmann, France – forward
It would not be right to have a list of best XI from the World Cup and nor include the French forward. Griezmann created more chances (22) and accumulated higher expected assists total (3.6) than any other player.
Julián Álvarez, Argentina – forward
The 22-year-old Álvarez is just the second Argentinian player to score as many as four goals at a single World Cup aged 23 or younger, after Gonzalo Huguaín in 2010.
Kylian Mbappé, France – forward
Of course, the man from France that everyone is talking about is Mbappé, and with good reason. Les Bleus’ star player scored more goals (8), completed more dribbles (25), and had more touches in the opposition’s box (69) than any other player.
Lionel Messi, Argentina – forward
Argentina would not have made it to the World Cup final, let alone become the 2022 winners, if not for Leo Messi. No other player had as many shots (32), created as many open-play chances (17), assisted more goals (3), or won as many fouls (22).