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World Cup 100: Ranking the Top Players in Russia After the Final

The 2018 World Cup is now in the books. France won a thrilling final against Croatia on Sunday, lifting the trophy for the first time since 1998.

It’s time to update our World Cup 100—a position-by-position ranking of the top-performing players in Russia—for the last time. With every match played, every performance delivered, it’s time to make a definitive judgement.

We’ve watched every game, rated every player and constructed a top 10 or 20 for each spot and crowned the kings of each. Bear in mind that only performances at the World Cup were considered for these rankings. Reputations count for nothing. nfl youth jerseys

In terms of categorising player positions, we’ve introduced the following rule:

If someone played multiple positions, he is placed in the one he played the most minutes in.
If he played the same number of minutes in two separate positions, he is placed in the one he played in most recently.

Because of team eliminations and rotating lineups, some players appeared in more matches than others. In such instances, those who kept consistently higher performances over a larger number of games were rewarded with a higher rank. nfl youth jerseys cheap

Thibaut Courtois rounded off a brilliant campaign with a clean sheet in the third-placed playoff. His excellence wasn’t given that much airtime over the course of the tournament—presumably because he didn’t go through a penalty shootout—but he made excellent saves every step of the way, becoming a genuine factor in his nation’s run.

He’s a deserved winner of the Golden Glove.cheap nfl youth jerseys

The only goalkeepers that were left with a chance of challenging Courtois for the award were Hugo Lloris, who made a horrendous error in the final, and Danijel Subasic, who conceded more goals (four) than shots saved (three) in the final.nfl youth jersey

Biggest rise: Thibaut Courtois (+1)

Biggest fall: Hugo Lloris (-3)

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15-11: Japan, Portugal, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland

15. Japan

Japan became many supporters’ second team. They played good, fast, technical football with smiles on their faces, and Takashi Inui and Gaku Shibasaki stood out in midfield for all the right reasons.

They almost pulled off what would have been one of the shocks of the tournament but surrendered a two-goal lead to Belgium. Considering the cloudy circumstances that accompanied their arrival in Russia (they sacked their manager in April), you can’t sniff at what the Samurai Blue achieved.

14. Portugal

From a team-wide perspective, Portugal’s performances weren’t good. Cristiano Ronaldo dragged them through the thriller with Spain, and in the next three games only William Carvalho and Pepe impressed regularly.nike jersey nfl cheap

An inability to construct passing moves and poor form from the likes of Raphael Guerreiro and Bernardo Silva contributed to a round-of-16 exit.

13. Denmark

For Denmark to progress any further than they did—the round of 16—they needed Christian Eriksen to have a world-class game in every game. A solid defence can only get you so far if your offensive output is lacking; they only scored three goals in four games, not one of them coming from a striker.cheap youth nfl jerseys

12. Spain

Those suggesting Julen Lopetegui’s departure the day before the tournament began would not impact Spain, that they were simply a self-aware, footballing machine, were proved wrong. Stand-in coach Fernando Hierro looked lost on the touchline as his side passed itself to death then lost on penalties to Russia.youth nfl jerseys cheap

11. Switzerland

Switzerland emerged as a side who had the mettle and the qualities to upset good sides, but when tasked with playing against teams they were supposed to beat, to dominate, they came up short.

Their elimination at the hands of Sweden came as a surprise to many, but they displayed their limitations in possession and in attack.youth nfl jerseys