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World Cup: The National Student Sports Writer's Team of the Tournament


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Kane over Mbappe? Hazard instead of Modric? Six of our bravest writers from the National Student’s Sports Section have selected their Team of the 2018 World Cup.

Joe Rindl - Assistant Sports Editor
University of Salford - Studying Broadcast Journalism

Russia 2018 defied all the valid pre-tournament pessimism and, without doubt, will go down as one of the best World Cups in recent memory. My 2018 team of the tournament is equally as legendary with Hugo Lloris in goal, his quarter-final heroics against Uruguay making up for his mishap in the final. 39-year-old Russia defender Sergei Ignashevich is nothing more than a romantic decision. Croatia’s semi-final hero Ivan Perisic deservedly edges out Nacir Chadli. England’s player of the competition Kieran Trippier slots in at right-wing-back. Golden-Ball winner Luka Modric will orchestrate my midfield and England hero Harry Kane leads my team up front alongside teenager Kylian Mbappe. The French forward is just 51 days older than me - where did it all go wrong?

Lineup: loris, Maguire, Varane, Ignashevich, Trippier, Modric, Pogba, Hazard, Perisic, Mbappe, Kane

Oliver Thomas
UCFB Wembley - Studying Multimedia Sports Journalism

This team has class written all over it! It has a combination of defensive prowess, creativity, pace, and goals that would frighten most opponents they'd come up against. Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford made a number of remarkable and important saves for the Three Lions. Central defenders Raphael Varane and Diego Godin performed magnificently at the back, keeping a combined seven clean sheets between the two of them. In midfielder, I’ve gone with the creativity and tireless work rate of Luka Modric and Paul Pogba. Strikers Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe, who grabbed six and four World Cup goals respectively, lead my forward line.

Lineup: Pickford, Trippier, Varane, Godin, Hernandez, Cheryshev, Pogba, Modric, Hazard,  Mbappe, Kane

Ciaran Hanvey
University of Sheffield - Studying History

I’ve chosen two English players Maguire and Trippier because I think they were the two shining lights of England's run this tournament. Lloris, as usual, was on another level and I believe he was wrongly denied the Golden Glove. Godin and Varane were solid throughout the tournament; Varane has reaffirmed himself as one of the best defenders in the world. Hazard was unlucky not to achieve the Golden Ball, both he and Modric were phenomenal. Mbappe could well be a future Ballon d'Or winner at only 19 - he is terrorising defences. In a way that should not be allowed and he will be vital to France's successes moving forward.

Lineup: Lloris, Varane, Godin, Maguire, Trippier, Modric, Kante, De Bruyne, Vrasaljko, Hazard, Mbappe

Robert Pratley
University of Southampton - Studying English Literature

In my squad, the Golden Ball, Silver Ball, Golden Boot and Golden Glove winners form a seriously strong spine. Kante sits and mops everything up anyway, but Varane and Alderweireld offer aerial dominance whilst Strinic bombs down the left. The more conservative, Pavard, slots in nicely to defend as Hazard causes mayhem because the defence is too busy marking Mbappe. And then Harry Kane mops up in striker with penalty box poaching, spot kick prowess and powerhouse aerial ability. Managed by the bombastic and brilliant Zlatko Dalic.

Lineup: Courtois, Pavard, Varane, Alderweireld, Strinic, Kante, Modric, De Bruyne, Hazard, Mbappe, Kane

Gaurav Chaddah
University of Salford - Studying Multimedia Journalism

This has been one of the best World Cups maybe ever - with France deserving winners. For me, Hazard has been the most impressive player although I have no complaints about Modric getting the Golden Ball. I think Mbappe has really announced himself on the world stage, regardless of opponents. Kane getting the Golden Ball means he should be in and Pogba with Kante by his side provide the best midfield combination.

Lineup: Subasic, Pavard, Varane, Godin, Marcelo, Kante, Modric, Pogba, Hazard, Kane, Mbappe 


Nathan Best
UCFB Etihad - Studying Multimedia Journalism

Jordan Pickford makes my World Cup XI because he handled the pressure of the stigma, that came with England keepers at a National tournament tremendously. Varane and Vida are two leaders at the back, whilst in midfield, Pogba silenced his critics (namely Graeme Souness). He slots in alongside Golden-Ball winner Luka Modric, who was the driving force behind the Croatia side that got to the final. Pace and precision out wide in the form of Mbappe and Perisic - as they will look to be the creative outlet for the dangerous front two of Romelu Lukaku and Golden-Boot winner Harry Kane. This team will be managed by the fashion icon of the tournament: Gareth Southgate.

Lineup: Pickford, Trippier, Vida, Varane, Strinic, Mbappe, Modric, Pogba, Perisic, Lukaku, Kane

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Football pitch and balls - Pixabay

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