World Cup team of the group stage

With the knockout stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup set to kick off on Saturday night (AEST), here's our team of the group stage.

Modric, Lukaku, Godin

Luka Modric (L), Romelu Lukaku (C) and Diego Godin Source: Getty Images

Formation: 3-4-3

Goalkeeper: Guillermo Ochoa

Sweden's 3-0 win over Mexico was a blip on what's been a fine World Cup for Ochoa. His 17 saves remain the most of any goalkeeper at this year's World Cup, with his nine against Germany proving key to his side advancing to the round of 16.

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Centre-back: Andreas Granqvist

Granqvist became the first player to score two goals for Sweden at a single World Cup since the great Henrik Larsson in 2002. The Sweden captain held his nerve from the penalty spot on two occasions and earned two clean sheets as the Blagult qualified for the last 16.

Centre-back: Diego Godin

Uruguay remain the only side yet to concede a single goal in Russia and this man is a pivotal reason why. Godin, whether alongside Jose Gimenez or Sebastian Coates, has been steel personified with a knack for marking opposing strikers out of the game.



Centre-back: Yerry Mina

Mina replaced Oscar Murillo for Colombia's final two group games against Poland and Senegal respectively and didn't disappoint, complementing two clean sheets with two vital goals - the latter enough to secure the South American side top spot in Group H.

Left Midfielder: Hirving Lozano

Lozano followed up his match-winning exploits against Germany with an assist against South Korea. Though El Tri struggled to assert themselves against Sweden, the 22-year-old still represented their best threat going forward.

Centre Midfielder: Luka Modric

Widely regarded as the world's best in his position, Modric proved just why in the group stage. His near-perfect performance against Argentina booked Croatia a place in the round of 16 - with one game to spare - for the first time since 1998.

Centre Midfielder: Juan Quintero

As Colombia star James Rodriguez struggled with injury, Quintero stepped up with three consistent performances yielding one goal and two assists.

Right Midfielder: Philippe Coutinho

While all eyes may be locked on Neymar, it's been Coutinho making the difference for Brazil. The 26-year-old has produced two goals and an assist thus far in Russia - each of which with scores level and the Selecao looking far from assured.



Left Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo followed up his hat-trick against Spain with the only goal of the game against Morocco and, despite failing to add to his tally against Iran, will need to fire if Portugal are to defeat Uruguay in the round of 16.

Right Forward: Romelu Lukaku

A leader both on and off the pitch, Lukaku bagged a brace in each of Belgium's first two games at the World Cup and, after being rested against England, will reprise his role as the Red Devils' main man for their do-or-die clash with Japan.

Centre Forward: Harry Kane

Kane currently leads the race for the Golden Boot with five goals in Russia and has shown no signs of slowing down. His feats against Tunisia and Panama respectively earned him a rest against Belgium with England's place in the knockout stage already secure.




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3 min read
Published 29 June 2018 at 6:27pm
Source: SBS The World Game