Asset 1

Revealed: The ultimate World Cup XI

Messi Argentina
Share this on

Ahead of the World Cup, ESPN have put together their dream XI, and it’s got some crackers in it.

From the world class goalkeeper, David De Gea (sorry, Manuel) to the duo vying for the title of GOAT, this team has it all. So, without further preamble, lets get right to it.

World Cup Betting Predictor -

David De Gea: The Man United man has made the title of ‘best goalie in the world’ his own in the last couple of seasons, and the injury to Manuel Neuer meant De Gea’s position in a World Cup XI was pretty much set.

The Spaniard didn’t win anything with club side United this season, but will know he has a great chance of marking his first World Cup as La Roja’s number one with a trophy.

Joshua Kimmich: At only 23-years-old, Kimmich might be appearing in his first World Cup, but in the 10 qualifying games he’s featured in, he’s been one of Germany’s strongest players – and they’ve won every time.

His versatility is also a huge plus, and it’s something that saw him pip Dani Carvajal to the post in this XI.

Mats Hummels: Who else. One of the most solid players out there, Hummels is the first name down on teamsheets and has been for some time.

Injury issues may have plagued him in the past, but they seem sorted now and he’s been a rock this season for Bayern Munich and the displays he produced back in 2014 when he won the tournament will hold him in good stead here.

Sergio Ramos: Football’s biggest b*stard has beaten out Gerard Pique at the back, and will be a huge force this summer. It could well be the case his Spain side meet Egypt in the latter stages of the tournament and a meeting with Mo Salah would get the world talking.

Ramos loves a tackle, a yellow card and sometimes even a red, but he’s the one you’d rather have in your team than on the opposition.

Marcelo: Often critiqued on his defending, Marcelo gives something going forward many other left backs can only dream of. The Real Madrid player put the sublime ball in for Gareth Bale in the final against Liverpool, and Bale of course scored that goal – and Marcelo will be invaluable for Brazil this summer.

It’s no shock he makes the cut for the dream XI, and he will want to show this summer that he deserves his place in the full back’s hall of fame.

The midfield was spoilt for choice, with a huge amount of talent to pick from, but here’s who made the cut…

N’Golo Kante: Anyone who doesn’t pick Kante in a world XI is frankly a few eggs short of a dozen – which seems mad when you consider he only made his France debut in 2016. He of course features in the ESPN one, and will bring a sense of calm to the France side that will relish someone like Claude Makalele being in the middle of the park.

Alongside the struggling Paul Pogba, Kante’s cool head and endless work-rate will be key for a France side who are looking to kick on and really make their mark after losing to Portugal in the Euros final.

Kevin De Bruyne: Many people think De Bruyne should’ve won the Premier League Player of the Year – and while he missed out on that, he’s featured in this XI, and is expected to shine at the World Cup.

De Bruyne is part of a talented Belgium side, who will face England in the group stages, and while Eden Hazard failed to make the cut in this selection, both Hazard and De Bruyne will be looking to exploit their domestic teammates and indeed rivals as they aim to top their group.

Toni Kroos: The King of Cool on the field. Again a European Champion with Real Madrid, Kroos has won pretty much everything he’s ever tried to, and has made 11 World Cup appearances.

In the last six years, he’s managed to win a World Cup, four Champions League titles, three Bundesliga ones and a La Liga title, meaning you don’t get more experienced or indeed successful.


  • bet365 claim T&Cs Apply
    Open Account Offer - Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to the value of the qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
  • Paddy Power claim T&Cs Apply
    New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund is £20. Only deposits made using Cards will qualify. £5 Bet Builder free bet will be available to claim from the promotions hub after the qualifying bet has been settled & will be valid for 7 days. T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly.
  • Coral claim T&Cs Apply
    18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Paypal & certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first 5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x 5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions + T&Cs apply.
  • Karamba Sports claim T&Cs Apply
    18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st deposit, Min Deposit: £10, max £10 free bet valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets not eligible. Only depositing using specific payment methods. only.Click to see full T&Cs
  • 888sport claim T&Cs Apply
    Min deposit £/€/$10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £/€/$10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager the bonus amount 40 times within 14 days • Casino Bonus expires after 60 days • Withdrawal restrictions, payment methods, country & Full T&C’s
  • Betfair claim T&Cs Apply
    New customer offer. Place 5 x €10 or more bets to receive €20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum €100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
  • Ladbrokes claim T&Cs Apply
    18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first 5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x 5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions + T&Cs apply.
  • Genting Bet claim T&Cs Apply
    New customers only. First £10+ (£10 E/W) real money bet at odds of 2.0+ qualifies. £10 free bet credited following bet settlement and to be used on sports. Stake not returned, use within 7 days. Full T&C’s apply
  • Boylesports claim T&Cs Apply
  • William Hill claim T&Cs Apply
    18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code Z40 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 4 x £10/€10, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply. See full terms below. #ad

As for the forwards, the two players everyone expects to see, Messi and Ronaldo of course feature, along with Mr five in nine himself.

Cristiano Ronaldo: The Portugal captain and someone who has just won the fifth Champions League title of his career. Ronaldo might be pondering his future with Real Madrid, but the one thing he’s certain about is the fact he wants to lead Portugal to glory in the World Cup.

He only has 3 goals in 13 World Cup matches, and the Real Madrid man will want to bring that total up in Russia.

Lionel Messi: Many consider Messi to be the all-time GOAT, and the one thing the player knows is missing from his CV is success with his country. Argentina are one of the favourites going into the competition, and if Messi ever wants to be hailed as Maradona is, he needs to lift the biggest trophy of them all.

Messi has netted five goals in 15 World Cup matches, and first appeared at one in 2006, and will want to make this one his best yet.

Robert Lewandowski: There are of course plenty of top class forwards to pick from, but Messi would probably trade his right leg to be playing with the clinical Pole rather than miss-firing Gonzalo Higuain.

Once again the main man in the Bundesliga, Lewa has the added incentive of wanting to shine this summer in his first ever World Cup in order to get a move to his dream club, Real Madrid.

Coach: Joachim Low: Was there ever going to be anyone else? The Germany manager has only ever suffered two defeats at a World Cup, once in the group stages to Serbia and then a semi-final loss at the hands of Spain.

He is of course the defending Champion, and someone who may well have his eye on a job in domestic management after this tournament if he wins it once again.

Fancy picking your World Cup winners? Have a go at the predictor here. 

Share this on