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Messi, Mbappe and GOAL's World Cup 2022 Team of the Tournament

3:00 AM EST 12/19/22
Kylian Mbappe Lionel Messi GFX
Finalists Argentina and France are both well represented in our line up of the best players from a memorable tournament in Qatar

And just like that, the 2022 World Cup is over. With a record number of goals, drama from the start and rounded off by perhaps the greatest final, if not overall game, in the tournament's history, Qatar played host to a show that few will forget in a hurry.

Argentina saw of France in Sunday's finale, with Lionel Messi finally ending his wait for the one trophy that has eluded him in his remarkable career, and perhaps finishing any debate regarding the greatest player of all time.

The mercurial No.10 won the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player, and so he's a lock for GOAL's Team of the Tournament, but who else should join him in the line up?

Here's how we saw it - do you agree with our selections?

  • Emiliano Martinez Argentina 2022

    GK: Emiliano Martinez (Argentina)

    After the disappointment of conceding twice to Saudi Arabia in the opening game, Martinez looked like a man hell bent on protecting his goal at all costs.

    He commanded his area exceptionally well and made big saves at key times, including last-gasp stops against both Australia in the last 16 and France in the final, as well as in the shootout wins over the Netherlands and in Sunday's dramatic victory.

    A deserving winner of the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award.

  • Achraf Hakimi.

    RB: Achraf Hakimi (Morocco)

    An easy choice, Hakimi was consistently excellent throughout the tournament as Morocco captured the hearts of the world during their run to the semi-finals.

    The Paris Saint-Germain right-back was superb at both ends of the pitch, with his assist for Youssef En-Nesyri during the win against Canada one of the highlights of the tournament.

  • Nicolas Otamendi Argentina

    CB: Nicolas Otamendi (Argentina)

    As strong as Argentina were coming into the tournament, few would have predicted that 34-year-old Otamendi would have been one of the standout players of the World Cup.

    But the Benfica centre-back was exceptional for almost the entire tournament, and though his foul to concede France's first penalty in the final was almost the catalyst to a disastrous defeat, the good far outweighed the bad for the ex-Manchester City man.

  • Josko Gvardiol Croatia 2022 World Cup

    CB: Josko Gvardiol (Croatia)

    Forget about what Messi did to him in the semi-final, that could have happened to any defender.

    This has been a breakthrough tournament for Gvardiol, one that has cemented his place as one of the best up-and-coming defenders in world football. At just 20, he's a real talent.

  • Theo Hernandez France 2022

    LB: Theo Hernandez (France)

    Hernandez certainly seized his opportunity to impress following the injury to his brother, Lucas, in France’s opening game of the tournament.

    Given an unexpected chance to start throughout the tournament, he played a key role in France’s journey to the final.

    And though he was given a pretty torrid time by Bukayo Saka in the quarter-final against England, he showed good mentality to bounce back and score in the semi-final victory over Morocco. 

  • Amrabat World Cup 2022

    CM: Sofyan Amrabat (Morocco)

    What a tournament the Fiorentina midfielder had!

    He was a truly colossal figure in the Morocco midfield and the heartbeat of a side that broke through barriers at Qatar 2022. A big move in the summer, if not in January, is surely now on the agenda.

  • Enzo Fernandez Argentina 2022

    CM: Enzo Fernandez (Argentina)

    Fernandez served notice to the rest of the tournament when he came off the bench to score that wonderful goal against Mexico in the group stages, and from that moment on, he cemented himself in the Argentina starting XI and became an integral part of their successful run to the final.

    An exciting midfield talent who Benfica might struggle to keep hold of in the coming months, they will at least know they can ask for a huge fee when they eventually sell the Young Player of the Tournament.

  • Lionel Messi Argentina Croatia 2022 World Cup

    RW: Lionel Messi (Argentina)

    What more is there to say?

    Messi went into the tournament with many questioning whether he could still perform at the peak of his powers, and he answered in the best way possible.

    He scored seven goals, but his assist for Julian Alvarez against Croatia in the semi-final was a moment that will never be forgotten. A master at work.

  • Antoine-Griezmann

    CAM: Antoine Griezmann (France)

    What a revelation Griezmann was for France.

    Handed a new slightly deeper role right on the eve of the tournament by Didier Deschamps, the Atletico Madrid forward answered his manager’s calls with a series of fabulous displays.

    His work ethic was exceptional, but his creative quality still came to the fore. Brilliant.

  • Kylian Mbappe World Cup 2022

    LW: Kylian Mbappe (France)

    Mbappe picked up where he left off in Russia four years ago, producing yet another World Cup masterclass.

    The Paris Saint-Germain star scored eight goals and picked up two assists as he fired France to the final and claimed the Golden Boot.

    Injuries permitting, Mbappe should have at least two more World Cups to look forward to, and if he carries on at this rate, he could break almost every tournament record going.

  • Julian Alvarez of Argentina

    ST: Julian Alvarez (Argentina)

    This was a toss up between Alvarez and Olivier Giroud, as both had excellent performances leading the line for their countries.

    But the emergence of Alvarez on the world stage has been one of the joys of the World Cup, and his individual goal against Croatia will live long in the memory.

    Argentina have yet another huge attacking talent on their hands.