Publish date:

ULTIMATE WORLD CUP XI

Author:

DEFENSE

GK

SPAIN

DAVID DE GEA

Manchester United's keeper led the EPL in clean sheets (18) and in absurd saves (countless).

RB

GERMANY

JOSHUA KIMMICH

Pep Guardiola shaped the versatile Bayern star—now he's blossomed into a top talent.

CB

GERMANY

MATS HUMMELS

He's dangerous going forward and on set pieces, all while neutralizing a foe's top threat.

CB

SPAIN

SERGIO RAMOS

A penchant for cards? Yes, but also for expert marking and for popping up with clutch goals.

LB

BRAZIL

MARCELO

No fullback in the world has the Real Madrid star's attacking skill and ability on the ball.

MIDFIELD

AM

BELGIUM

KEVIN DE BRUYNE

The attacking spark for Man City's epic season had 12 goals, 21 assists in all competitions.

DM

FRANCE

N'GOLO KANTE

The Chelsea dynamo covers acres of space and is always up for a ball-winning tackle.

AM

EGYPT

MOHAMED SALAH

Liverpool's linchpin set an EPL record for a 38-game season with 32 goals. He's for real.

F

BRAZIL

NEYMAR

The electric PSG wiz has unfinished business after an injury-shortened '14 WC at home.

F

FORWARDS

PORTUGAL

CRISTIANO RONALDO

At 33, he remains lethal as a finisher. He can still find that top gear if needed.

F

ARGENTINA

LIONEL MESSI

Ho hum: another 45-goal year for Barça after single-handedly sealing Argentina's WC berth.