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World Cup 2022: Check out the ultimate combined XI

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A combined XI of the best performers at the 2022 World Cup features Argentina's Emiliano Martinez as goalkeeper, Morocco's Achraf Hakimi at right-back

Emiliano Martinez takes the spot between the sticks in our 2022 World Cup combined XI

 Argentina lifted the World Cup for the first time since 1986 as they emerged victorious over France on Sunday, with Lionel Messi adding the crowning jewel to his collection of silverware.

The tournament in Qatar threw up plenty of entertainment, with young stars emerging and old guns firing on football's biggest stage.

With the global showpiece now concluded, we have picked out our ultimate combined XI.

Goalkeeper: Emiliano Martinez (Argentina) 

Aston Villa stopper Emiliano Martinez was Argentina's hero on more than one occasion in Qatar.

The 30-year-old was victorious in two penalty shootouts and pulled off a number of crucial saves.

None were more important that his outstretched left leg which prevented Randal Kolo Muani stealing a France winner in the dying moments of extra-time in the final.

Right-back: Achraf Hakimi (Morocco)

Part of one of the greatest underdog stories in World Cup folklore, Achraf Hakimi was impeccable in Morocco's run to the semi-finals.

Although he ultimately lost out at the hands of club team-mate Kylian Mbappe's France, the flying full-back made history by helping his country become the first African side to reach the last four of the tournament.

No player made more tackles (26) or won possession in the defensive third (35) more times than the Paris Saint-Germain defender, who is a must-have in our XI.

Centre-back: Romain Saiss (Morocco)

Romain Saiss and Morocco bowed out in the semi-finals

Romain Saiss saw an injury end his World Cup earlier than he would have liked but the Besiktas centre-back put everything on the line in Qatar.

Completing 30 clearances and winning all seven of his aerial duels, the 32-year-old gave a defensive masterclass.

Saiss was a huge factor in Morocco conceding no goals against Belgium, Spain or Portugal and the game against France may have gone differently had he not limped off after 21 minutes.

Centre-back: Josko Gvardiol (Croatia)

Josko Gvardiol was the only man to complete more clearances than Saiss at the World Cup and was Croatia's hero, complete with a mask.

Arguably the best defender at the tournament, the RB Leipzig colossus is quickly becoming one of the world's most desired players.

He ranked in the top five for tackles, clearances, interceptions, possessions won in the defensive third and passes completed — not bad for a 20-year-old.

Left-back: Theo Hernandez (France)

He may not have been up to his usual standard in the final but Theo Hernandez played his part in France's run despite not being the favoured left-back.

An injury to his brother Lucas saw the AC Milan defender drafted in early on in the tournament, but the 25-year-old proved his worth.

Only Messi and Antoine Griezmann created more chances than Hernandez — a tribute to the quality he possesses when given the freedom to attack.

Central midfielder: Enzo Fernandez (Argentina)

Enzo Fernandez was awarded the Young Player trophy after the final

Enzo Fernandez picked up the Young Player Award in Qatar and it was an accolade that he deserved to receive.

In an attack-minded Argentina team, 21-year-old Fernandez pulled the strings in midfield, averaging 74 passes and 89 touches per 90 minutes.

The World Cup final was just his 10th appearance in an Argentina shirt and he will be a regular for La Albiceleste for many years to come.

Central midfielder: Sofyan Amrabat (Morocco)

Our third and final Moroccan to make the cut is the midfield general Sofyan Amrabat.

The Fiorentina powerhouse covered every blade of grass in Qatar and is another who will be sought after by a host of European giants.

He ranked in the top five for tackles and possessions won in the defensive and midfield third and had a valid claim for the Golden Ball.

Central midfielder: Antoine Griezmann (France)

Griezmann is another who failed to make much of an impact in the defeat to Argentina but his creativity was crucial in helping Les Bleus progress to the showpiece.

The Atletico Madrid playmaker was one of five players to end on three assists and stood alone when it came to chances created (22) — only Messi ran him close.

But Griezmann was also a contributor in defence, tallying 14 tackles and eight interceptions, ranking him ninth and 11th overall in those metrics.

Right wing: Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Lionel Messi was finally crowned a World Cup winner

A career-defining competition for Messi, the South American icon became the first player to score in the group stage, last 16, quarter-final, semi-final and final of the World Cup at the same tournament.

His 23rd-minute penalty opened the scoring in the final, before he put Lionel Scaloni's men 3-2 up in extra-time.

With Kylian Mbappe's hat-trick having taken the game to spot-kicks, Messi stepped up to the plate to coolly slot home Argentina's first and set them on their way to a remarkable victory.

Messi became the first player to win the Golden Ball twice since its introduction in 1982, and confirmed his place among the all-time greats.

Striker: Julian Alvarez (Argentina)

Manchester City fans will be delighted at the prospect of having both Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez to call upon as they mount their bid to topple Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table in the coming weeks.

A striker with touches of class to go with an insatiable work-rate, 22-year-old Alvarez scored four times for his country in Qatar.

A brace against Croatia was a standout moment for the River Plate academy graduate with surely many more crucial goals to come.

Left wing: Kylian Mbappe (France)

Rounding off our XI is the phenomenon that is Mbappe — who became only the second man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final.

The PSG superstar did his best to help France defend their title, but his treble — plus a successful spot-kick in the shootout — was not enough to get Didier Deschamps' side over the line.

Mbappe walks away from Qatar as the Golden Boot winner with eight strikes and two assists to his name and will no doubt be back for another shot at glory when the tournament returns in 2026.


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Ugashare: World Cup 2022: Check out the ultimate combined XI
World Cup 2022: Check out the ultimate combined XI
A combined XI of the best performers at the 2022 World Cup features Argentina's Emiliano Martinez as goalkeeper, Morocco's Achraf Hakimi at right-back
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