World Cup 2018: which 11 players are statistically the best?

World Cup 2018 is less than a year away so it seems a good time to ask who, in terms of stats alone, are the best eleven players on the planet? The stats are courtesy of and only players whose countries have qualified for Russia 2018 have been considered.

Goalkeeper – Wojciech Szczesny

Szczesny’s excellent form for Roma last season propels him into the Number 1 jersey with a rating of 6.99.

Left back – Alex Sandro

This brilliant Brazilian player has been outstanding for Juventus over the last couple of years and breezes into the left back spot with a score of 7.63.

Centre backs – Nicolas Otamendi and Thiago Silva

Consistent performers for Manchester City and PSG respectively, Otamendi and Silva are our central defensive partnership with respective scores of 7.48 and 7.35.

Right back – Dani Alves

Another PSG player, Alves is statistically the best performing right back in the world’s top leagues with a score of 7.79.

Central midfield – Paul Pogba, Toni Kroos and Thiago Alcantara

With scores of 7.79, 7.64 and 8.11 respectively, it’s a French, German and Spanish midfield.

Left wing – Neymar

Unsurprisingly, the world’s most expensive player plays on the left of our formidable front line, earning his place with a score of 8.64.

Centre forward – Dries Mertens

A surprising choice perhaps but statistically Mertens is the best centre forward around with a rating of 7.81.

Right wing – Lionel Messi

Barcelona and Argentina legend Messi eases into the right wing berth with a statistical rating of 8.57.

If you’d like to make a future world XI you’ll need to get practising and there’s no better practice tool than a good football drill video such as those available at

For more details on how arrive at their player ratings visit

Although this is definitely not a bad XI, is it really the best in world football? There are some noticeable absentees such as Sergio Aguero, David de Gea and Harry Kane but there are also some obvious definites such as Neymar and Messi. The beauty of such statistics-based lists is that they provide the basis for a great debate on what the actual best world eleven is. A debate that will only end come summer 2018 when we finally get to see for ourselves.

About the author: kevin

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