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World Cup best XI until end of group stages with Kylian Mbappe featured plus three Manchester United aces with but not Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo

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The World Cup group stages are now over and we know our round of 16.

The first two weeks of the tournaments were action packed with big teams flying back to Qatar.

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The World Cup provided plenty of fireworks in the group stages

More particularly, it is Germany and Belgium, which would have hosted homes to win it all.

Although there were underperformers, many players also made huge impressions during these group stages.

There were magical goals, dazzling creativity and brilliant defence.

Here at talkSPORT.com, we’ve picked our best XI from the group stages so far.

Goalkeeper

Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny played a big role in taking his side to the knockout stages, finishing second behind Argentina.

The Juventus man saved two penalties at this World Cup, including one from Lionel Messi. He also made 19 total saves in this tournament and also kept two clean sheets.

Szczesny saved two penalties in the group stage

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Szczesny saved two penalties in the group stage


Poland reached the knockout stages for the first time in 36 years, and the former Arsenal goalkeeper can take credit for that.

Defense

There have been monster defensive performances at this World Cup and let’s start with the central defenders.

Harry Maguire has been one of England’s finest players so far and can lay claim to being one of the best centre-backs in the tournament so far.

Maguire looks like a completely different player at the World Cup

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Maguire looks like a completely different player at the World Cup

Gvardiol added a few million to his World Cup price tag

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Gvardiol added a few million to his World Cup price tag

Croatian Josko Gvardiol is not far behind him, with the 20-year-old showing why he is one of the most in-demand youngsters in Europe.

He made an incredible last minute tackle to prevent Romelu Lukaku and keep his team in this World Cup.

Morocco were one of the surprises of this World Cup, finishing ahead of Croatia and Belgium at the top of Group F. Achraf Hakimi was brilliant from right-back, providing an attacking threat while being solid defensively.

France left-back Theo Hernandez also put in a solid performance in the group stage, providing two assists as his side cruised to the knockout stages.

Midfielder

Brazil were another team that qualified for the knockout stages of the World Cup and it was the Premier League players who had their say.

Richarlison scored an absolute world in their opener, but it was Casemiro who received plenty of applause.

Casemiro had a strong start to the World Cup

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Casemiro had a strong start to the World Cup

Fernandes scored twice in the group stage

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Fernandes scored twice in the group stage

He scored the winning goal against Switzerland and his teammates signed his praises.

Another Manchester United player who has featured in the group stages is Portugal’s Bruno Fernandes. He’s scored two goals so far and really stepped up as his side finished top of their group.

The Netherlands picked up seven points to qualify top of Group A and Frenkie de Jong was a standout player with one goal and one assist.

Offensive

There are so many options to fill out the attack and many must unfortunately be missing…even Lionel Messi.

Kylian Mbappe already presents a strong case to win the Golden Boot and Ballon d’Or with three goals already as France finished top of their group.

Mbappe has three goals and one assist in two starts at Qatar 2022

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Mbappe has three goals and one assist in two starts at Qatar 2022

Gakpo and Alvaro Morata are the only players to score in each of the three group matches

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Gakpo and Alvaro Morata are the only players to score in each of the three group matches

He picked up where he left off in 2018 and hopes to lead his team to glory once again.

Dutch striker Cody Gakpo has been a revelation, scoring in all three of his group matches.

It’s easy to see why Manchester United remain so loyal to the PSV winger.

Another Moroccan player, Hakim Ziyech, is also part of the XI after a goal and an assist and some brilliant performances from the Chelsea man.

World Cup best XI until end of group stages with Kylian Mbappe featured plus three Manchester United aces with but not Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo

talkSPORT World Cup 2022 coverage

talkSPORT brings you comprehensive coverage of the 2022 World Cup.

We broadcast all 64 matches of the tournament live, with over 600 hours of coverage on our network.

You can tune into talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 via our free online streaming service at talkSPORT.com.

talkSPORT is widely available across the UK via DAB digital radio and on 1089 or 1053 AM.

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