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World Cup Team of the Tournament: Morocco feature strongly in best XI

There have been some terrific individual performances at the World Cup in Qatar and we have picked out a select XI from the ongoing event in the Middle East.

Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Brazil don't have any players featuring in this line-up and that is perhaps not surprising given the earlier than expected exits for all four of those countries.

Morocco and Croatia are the two nations with the joint-most representatives - three each - while Argentina have two and France, England and the Netherlands all have one player to have made the cut.

Playing in what would be a fluid 4-3-3 formation, this is our World Cup Team of the Tournament.

Goalkeeper - Dominik Livakovic (Croatia)

It was a toss-up between two goalkeepers for the number one spot - Croatia's Dominik Livakovic and Morocco's Yassine Bounou - but it was the Croat who just got the edge when it came down to the final decision.

There is no denying how fantastic Bounou has been and he has played a major role in helping the Atlas Lions, who have conceded just once and boast the best defensive record, in their first semi-final.

However, Livakovic has twice been the hero for Croatia on penalties, firstly knocking out Japan in the last-16 stage and then ousting Brazil in the quarter-finals.

The Dinamo Zagreb stopper has kept two clean sheets in the tournament and pulled off 19 saves, with Croatia 15/2 To Win Outright.

Right-back - Achraf Hakimi (Morocco)

Paris Saint-Germain defender Achraf Hakimi has showcased his quality throughout the tournament and he has made seven interceptions in total, while his 13 tackles won is bettered only by Jude Bellingham (15).

The 24-year-old has been an integral part of the Morocco defence that has allowed in just one goal, while he has also been an attacking outlet down that right side and has caused problems with his pace and delivery.

Left-back - Marcos Acuna (Argentina)

Sevilla ace Marcos Acuna has been a solid performer for Argentina, slotting in at left-back or wing-back on that side, and his performances have helped his country move into the semi-finals for the first time since 2014.

The 31-year-old is a willing runner, getting up and down his flank, and this offers La Albiceleste stability at the back while also providing a threat coming forward.

Centre-back - Romain Saiss (Morocco)

As mentioned earlier, Morocco have the best defensive record in the tournament and a huge reason for that has been the displays of their captain Romain Saiss, who now plays his football in Turkey with Besiktas.

The 32-year-old has been an absolute rock at the back and his tally of 30 clearances has him joint-second in this department, while he also has an impressive tackle percentage of 0.833, with Morocco 9/1 To Win Outright.

Centre-back - Josko Gvardiol (Croatia)

One of the up-and-coming stars in Qatar is Croatia's Josko Gvardiol, who has been attracting admiring glances from a whole host of clubs across Europe for his fantastic performances at the World Cup.

The 20-year-old has an average of 6.4 clearances per game - only three players rank higher than him - while his tally of eight interceptions has only been bettered by Declan Rice (11) and Jurrien Timber (10).

Midfielder - Mateo Kovacic (Croatia)

Croatia have exceeded expectations once again and huge praise has to go to Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic, who has worked tirelessly and covered a vast amount of ground over the course of every game.

The 28-year-old, who has formed part of a midfield trio that also includes Luka Modric and Marcelo Brozovic, has used tough tacking, high energy and his reading of the game to help Vatreni get to the semi-final stage for the second World Cup running.

Midfielder - Sofyan Amrabat (Morocco)

Again, this was a 50/50 choice between two Morocco players, Azzedine Ounahi and Sofyan Amrabat, and there was little to separate the pair that have been fantastic for the Atlas Lions.

However, Amrabat just gets the nod here. The Fiorentina ace puts in a huge shift in each game, with his tough tackling, reading of the game and powerful running making him a vital cog in his side.

Midfielder - Jude Bellingham (England)

England have a star on their hands in midfield in the shape of Jude Bellingham, who is still only 19 years of age, but who has already become one of the first names down on the teamsheet.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder scored in the 6-2 thrashing of Iran and his game went from strength-to-strength following that opening victory, with his all-round performances receiving huge praise.

Forward - Lionel Messi (Argentina)

It's hard not to include Lionel Messi in the team of the tournament, given the fact he has once again been the talisman for his side. The Paris Saint-Germain forward has led from the front and has scored four goals to date.

The 35-year-old has confirmed this will be his final World Cup and it would be a fairytale ending should he manage to lift the one trophy that has so far evaded his grasp, with Argentina 17/10 To Win Outright.

Forward - Kylian Mbappe (France)

Perhaps the most explosive player in Qatar, Kylian Mbappe has been the shining light for 11/10 To Win Outright chances France and he leads the Golden Boot standings with five strikes to his name - one more than Messi.

The 23-year-old has nine World Cup finals goals in his career - making him France's second-highest scorer at the finals - while his international tally of 33 goals leaves him seventh on his country's all-time scoring charts.

Forward - Cody Gakpo (Netherlands)

The Netherlands have a real prospect on their hands in the shape of Cody Gakpo, who scored three times at the World Cup and who played a starring role in his country's run to the quarter-finals.

At just 23 years of age, the PSV Eindhoven forward is set to lead the line for his country for many years to come and it would be no surprise to see him playing in the Premier League next season.

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