Thibaut Courtois: The 26 years-old Belge Goalkeeper has had an amazing performance this World Cup. Last match against brazil, Thibaut finished with nine saves and had an overall outstanding encounter. Though Lukaku, Hazard and De Bruyne deserve much of the credit for the fact that Belgium is in the Semis, Courtois can’t be left behind; without him, Belgium wouldn’t be in the historic stance where they are today.
Harry Macguire: The young Leicester defender has become the leader of England’s defense. He’s steady, secure and confident; his massive physique intimidates, but he isn’t aggressive; on the contrary, his fair play stands out. Macguire has had this World Cup 87.18% of pass accuracy, only 6 fouls, and, on average, he has won 6.6 aerial duels.
Raphael Varane: Real Madrid’s central defender has commanded France’s defense impressively. Varane has had an outstanding tournament: he hasn’t won any yellow or red card, has played the 90 minutes of all 5 matches and even scored one goal. His pass accuracy, confidence and leadership at the back has proven vital for France’s success.
Varane after scoring a crucial header against Uruguay.
Benjamin Pavard: The french right-defender has been the revelation of the team. Pavard plays at Sttugart and he played every minute in Bundesliga campaign last season. Though France fans where suspicious of his performance, Deschamps placed his confidence in him and his call proved to be the right one. With just nine caps to his name so far, Pavard is a relative newcomer on the international scene, but already has written his name into France’s World Cup history, striking an unbelievable shot into the net against Argentina.
Lucas Hernández: The Atlético de Madrid player decided to play for France, having the possibility of joining ’La Roja’ -Spain’s national team-, along his brother Theo. Deschamps noticed the ability of Lucas. His speed, physical condition and good crosses were the main reasons why he became a fundamental piece on the starting eleven for France.
N’Golo Kanté: The French defensive midfielder, is, according to his fellow teammate Eden Hazard, the best midfielder in the world. His positional sense, athleticism, intelligence, versatility, and ability to read the game are astonishing. Kanté has accomplished a 89.2% of pass accuracy this World Cup and has been the maximum reliability of France in the middle field.
Luka Modrić: The captain of Croatia is considered among the best players in history of this nation. His quickness and creativity along with his great vision, makes him able to change the course of the game with a deft pass, or with a solo, long-range effort. A master of strategy, he’s lead Croatia to their second semifinal in history.
Ivan Rakitić: To complete the middle field, we’d consider Rakitic the best man to complete the task. Rakitic, who lived his infancy and youth in Switzerland and was given the choice whether to play in Croatia or in the Alpine country, has a Croatian soul but a Swiss mind. He has that determination and work ethic, but above everything is his skill. His technique is astonishing, has a great brain and a terrific first touch. He understands the game and thanks to him, Modrić and Mandžukić, we can talk about a Croatian Golden Generation.
Rakitic celebrating after he scored the crucial penalty over Russia.
Kylian Mbappé: The French miracle. Mbappé is only 19 years-old, but he’s already the second biggest transfer on the history of football (180 million euros). He’s showed this World Cup why he’s called to be the future of world-class football.: the speed displayed by the PSG player is unbelievable; his skills are pure magic and his vision is the one of a prodigy. We saw him at his peak in the knockout stage against Argentina, where he scored twice within the space of four minutes in the second half, after winning the opening penalty at the end of a 70-metre sprint.
Eden Hazard: The captain of the best team Belgium might have in history. Hazard’s creativity, speed, dribbling and close ball control are truly unique. This world class player can use both feet, which make’s him a nightmare for any defender. One of the reasons why Belgium has had such a tremendous performance this World Cup is the leadership Hazard has showed on the field; even if France beats Belgium and passes to the final, Belgium’s performance, and specially the one displayed by Hazard, leaved a footprint in football history, that’s for sure.
Romelu Lukaku: The young French striker has impressed even the most sceptics of his abilities this World Cup. His massiveness (1.90 m) is not an obstacle; on the contrary, his skillful with the ball in the area and has a deathly ability to score. He did 4 goals in the tournament and proved to be key for Belgium’s success. This team has given a lot to talk, and will continue to do so for a long time.