KickOff.com selects the 2018 FIFA World Cup breakout stars XI
Posted: 11 July 2018 Time: 18:00
With the 2018 FIFA World Cup reaching its final stage, KickOff.com takes a look at the breakout stars who showcased their talents at the global showpiece.
Hosts Russia dominate the XI with three entries, as the lowest ranked side (70th) went onto shock global audiences by reaching the quarter-finals of the prestigious tournament.
All selected players inclusions are based on their incredible displays despite relative inexperience at the highest level.
Jordan Pickford (England): The diminutive goalkeeper has captured the hearts of the Three Lions faithful with his commanding presence in goal on route to the last four stage.
The 24-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise after playing in the fifth-tier of English football for Alfreton Town just five years ago.
Mário Fernandes (Russia): A tireless full-back that didn't put a foot wrong all tournament until his missed penalty in the shoot-out defeat to Croatia.
The Brazil-born defender currently contracted to CSKA Moscow will surely have plenty of suitors after his services following his impressive displays.
Benjamin Pavard (France): Despite featuring at right-back Pavard is equally assured in central defence, as displayed with Vfb Stuttgart last season. His irresistible thunderbolt against Argentina is surely a contender for goal of the tournament.
Harry Maguire (England): Just two years ago, the Leicester City defender was watching Euro 16 in the stands as a fan.
Now, on the brink of the World Cup final with consistent displays in the back-three.
Diego Laxalt (Uruguay): The braided midfielder excelled with dynamic displays as a left-back for the South Americans - showing incredible pace and technical ability.
Likely to move on from Italian side Genoa after two consistent seasons.
Rodrigo Bentancur (Uruguay): The elegant Juventus midfielder will look to break into the starting XI of the Serie A champions after an excellent campaign in the new-look midfield of Oscar Tabarez side.
The 21-year-old provided the South Americans great impetus going forward with his passing range.
Aleksandr Golovin (Russia): Rumour has it Golovin is still running at the Fisht Stadium.
The 22-year-old CSKA midfielder dazzled onlookers with his ridiculous stamina in midfield along with his technical ability.
Premier League giants Chelsea are rumoured to be closing in on the playmaker.
Juan Quintero (Colombia): The 25-year-old may have revived his career in Russia after bursting onto the scene as a teenager before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
In James Rodriguez absence the Porto midfielder often dictated the tempo of the play in opposition territory.
Ante Rebic (Croatia): The Eintracht Frankfurt winger has been an unheralded hero of the Zlatko Dalic's side.
A real team player that goes the distance in attack and defence.
Denis Cheryshev (Russia): Started the tournament on the bench but the Villarreal man burst onto the scene with four goals - including the spectacular effort against Croatia.
Artem Dzyuba (Russia): An old-fashioned No. 9. that looked likely to miss out on the tournament after being frozen out at Zenit St Petersberg last season.
However, the 29-year-old put his name in the shop window with some commanding performances, often leading the line alone for the Russians.
Do you agree with this starting XI? Who do you feel we have left out? comment below or engage with us on social media!