Pulse Sports go 4-3-3 with their team of the just concluded 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The 2018 FIFA World Cup proved not to be a tournament for individual players, as teams more knitted together without much of a superstar to depend on. High profile names like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar were unable to lead their teams to the latter stages of the World Cup. It looked like the hanging of guards as new stars- if it’s safe to call  Kylian Mbappe the second most expensive player in world football that. Despite 2018 World Cup being one for teams. Some players shone brightly and from them, Pulse Sports have selected their team of the tournament. Goalkeeper Danijel Subasic (Croatia)  Although he did not walk away with the Golden Gloves-the award for the goalkeeper with the least conceded goal at the World Cup which went to Thibaut Courtois, Subasic had the greatest goalkeeping moments of the World Cup. His heroics in the penalty shoot-out wins over Denmark and Russia in the round of 16 and quarter-finals respectively stood out. He saved three penalties against Denmark and despite suffering a hamstring injury in extra-time, the 33-year-old goalkeeper stayed on to keep one out as Croatia knocked-out host Russia in the quarter-finals. Right-back Šime Vrsaljko (Croatia)  Vrsaljko was a constant feature in Croatia’s impressive run to the final of the 2018 World Cup where they lost to France. The Atletico Madrid defender was dogged and solid at right-back for Croatia. He put in an excellent display especially against England where he tirelessly ran the flank. Central defenceRaphael Varane (France) An underrated defender, who seized the World Cup stage to demand his respect and now finally he has gotten it, Raphael Varane bossed the whole of the World Cup. With pace, strength and astute reading of the game to match, Varane has shown in the World Cup that his performances for Real Madrid have not been by fluke. Stepped up to score when a goal was badly needed in the quarterfinals against Uruguay and led the young French defence in a manner way beyond his age. Central defence Domagoj Vida (Croatia) While it was his central defensive partner Dejan Lovren that declared himself ‘one of the best defenders in the world’ after their extra-time semi-final win over England, it is Domagoj Vida that had a better tournament. All through the tournament, Vida cut a solid and resolute look as Croatia defied all the odds to make it to the final. Left-back Lucas Hernandez Might not be an obvious choice for the left-back of the tournament but Hernandez was a stable outlet for the French from the left all through the World Cup.Played all seven of France’s 2018 World Cup campaign where he won 56% of his headers and 54% of his tackles. Defensive midfieldN’golo Kante (France) Ever the powerhouse, Kante continued his impressive performance over the years for France at the World Cup, providing solidity at the base of a defence that shielded off oppositions on their way to the title. The diminutive midfielder as himself for France with an easy yet important job, breaking up attacks and shielding the back four. Central defencePaul Pogba (France)  Paul Pogba over the years as flattered to deceive, waving his magic wand way too sparsely to be among the elite. The 2018 World Cup in Russia was supposed to be his stage to prove he belongs among the big boys but although he wasn’t that enthralling, he managed to display maturity and discipline in midfield that many didn’t know he posses. A huge credit to France coach Didier Deschamp who stifled his flair, playing him deeper just off Kante. With the shackles of creativity off him, Pogba was very influential for France, carrying the ball from midfielder with strength and pace difficult to contain. He waited till the biggest moment to get his World Cup goal scoring in the 59th minute to give France a 3-1 lead in the final. Central MidfieldLuka Modric (Croatia) Duly awarded a deserved Golden Ball award as the best player of the tournament, Modric was the heart of a well-engineered Croatian team that went all the way to the final. Playing with his usual poise, Modric was a level ahead of everyone even in the final which Croatia lost. He was highly influential in games too, getting the nod for Man of the Match in three of Croatia’s seven games at the World Cup. ForwardKylian Mbappe (France)  While Mbappe can be regarded as the breakout star of the 2018 World Cup, his impressive performances for France in Russia is just a confirmation of the incredible talent the 19-year-old has shown since his break season with Monaco. Mbappe didn’t really kick on at the World Cup until in the round of 16 clash against Argentina when he ran the Argentine defend ragged, netting a brace to signify his intent to take over form Lionel Messi as one of the best players in world football. He broke records too, becoming the youngest player since Pele to score a brace in the World Cup and continued in the final, beating the Brazilian great to become the youngest player to score in a World Cup final.ForwardEden Hazard (Belgium)  Hazard showed his talent on the world stage, helping Belgium to their best finish in the World Cup. The Chelsea man was Belgium’s man and creative force in the three-man defence system that Roberto Martinez used in Russia. He complimented his play with three goals and two assists for Belgium. Striker Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) Although he scored just three goals at the 2018 World Cup, Mario Mandzukic was very decisive for Croatia with his vital goals. He netted the equaliser in their round of 16 clash against Denmark, scored the extra-time winner against England in the quarter-finals and scored again in the finals.

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