Messi, Mbappe and Fernandes make World Cup group stage best XI


With the group stages having come to an end, and the last-16 now set, it's time to take a look at the group stage best XI of those to have made at least two appearances. France are the dominant side in the team, while Argentina, England, Brazil, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Morocco and Cameroon are also represented.  


Wojciech Szczesny (Poland) - 8.22 


Poland progressed to the last-16 of the World Cup to set up a meeting with France, and they largely have Wojciech Szczesny to thank. He made more saves (18) than any other player in the group stages, including two penalty stops, to secure his spot in the best XI with a WhoScored rating of 8.22. 


Achraf Hakimi (Morocco) - 7.51 


Morocco did extremely well to book a place in the last-16 in a group containing heavyweights Croatia and Belgium, with Achraf Hakimi the star performer with a WhoScored rating of 7.51. No player made more tackles than Hakimi (13), while one assist across his three outings capped a solid group stages for the right-back. 


Jean-Charles Castelletto (Cameroon) - 7.71 


Cameroon may have crashed out of the World Cup at the group stages despite beating Brazil 1-0 in the final round of games, and despite their early exit, Jean-Charles Castelletto impressed in his two outings. Only two centre-backs made more interceptions than Castelletto (6), with a goal and an assist helping push his WhoScored average rating to 7.71. 


Harry Maguire (England) - 7.43 


Partnering Castelletto at the heart of the defence is England's Harry Maguire, who earned a WhoScored rating of 7.43. Maguire has his doubters, but was solid for the Three Lions in Group B, and was often in the right place at the right time to alleviate pressure on the England having made 12 clearances to nail down a place in the side. 


Theo Hernandez (France) - 7.98 


Theo Hernandez was second-choice left-back at the start of the tournament, but a serious knee injury to brother Lucas in the win over Australia presented the former with the chance to consolidate his spot in the XI, and he certainly took that opportunity. Indeed, Hernandez made nine key passes across his two group stages - only two players made more - to round off the defence with a WhoScored rating of 7.98. 


Casemiro (Brazil) - 7.89 


The sole Brazil representative in the group stage best XI, Casemiro scored the winner in the 1-0 victory over Switzerland, with the midfielder developing a knack for scoring late on for both club and country. The 30-year-old also made nine tackles and interceptions combined to feature with a WhoScored rating of 7.89. 


Frenkie de Jong (Netherlands) - 7.75 


Anchoring the midfield alongside Casemiro, Frenkie de Jong was a key reason for the Netherlands' progression to the last-16, as noted by his WhoScored rating of 7.75. Only two players made more tackles than De Jong (11) to contribute towards his inclusion in this XI.


Messi, Mbappe and Fernandes make World Cup group stage best XI


Bruno Fernandes (Portugal) - 8.36 


With a rating of 8.36, Portugal's Bruno Fernandes is the WhoScored player of the group stage at the 2022 World Cup. Fernandes endured a disappointing Euro 2020 campaign, but he is making up for lost time having been directly involved in four of Portugal's six goals in Qatar, scoring twice. 


Antoine Griezmann (France) - 7.73 


The second of three France players in the group stage best XI, Antoine Griezmann was unfortunate to only register one assist across his three outings having made more key passes (11) than any other player. Griezmann also made a commendable 10 tackles and interceptions combined, an impressive return for a player in his position, to yield a WhoScored rating of 7.73. 


Kylian Mbappe (France) - 7.84 


The third and final France player in the side, no player scored more goals than Kylian Mbappe (3) in the group stages. What's more, Mbappe mustered more shots (16) than any other player, with Mbappe hitting his stride as France gear up for their last-16 meeting with Poland. 


Lionel Messi (Argentina) - 7.87 


Spearheading the attack in the group stage best XI is Argentina's Lionel Messi. He may have seen a penalty saved in their win over Poland, but Messi was still involved in three goals in the group stages, scoring twice, while he ranked among the top 10 players for shots (13), key passes (9) and dribbles (8) as he earned a WhoScored rating 7.87.

Messi, Mbappe and Fernandes make World Cup group stage best XI