Antoine Griezmann at the World Cup

Antoine Griezmann at the World Cup. Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP)

World Cup final: Who makes our combined 11?

Argentina vs France in the World Cup final is less than six hours away. What do you think of our best combined?

Antoine Griezmann at the World Cup

Antoine Griezmann at the World Cup. Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP)

You literally cannot keep James the Jellyfish quiet, this time he’s made a combined Argentina vs France 11 based on World Cup performances.

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Argentina vs France: Combined World Cup XI

Martínez; Molina, Romero, Varane, Hernandez; Tchouaméni, Fernández; Messi, Griezmann, Mbappé; Giroud

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James’ Justifications

Emi Martínez gets under an opponent’s skin like no other keeper. Yes, Hugo Lloris has won 143 caps for Les Bleus (making him the most capped man in French football history) but Martínez would be more useful in a shootout.

World Cup 2022
Argentina players ecstatic after their penalty shootout win over The Netherlands. Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP)


Nahuel Molina combines nicely with Messi on the right whereas Jules Koundé is more of a converted centre back. Theo Hernandez made a brainless decision to concede a penalty to England (which Harry Kane sent to the moon), but he recovered nicely with a great goal against Morocco. Marcos Acuña was suspended for Argentina’s semifinal and Nicolás Tagliafico isn’t great. Cristian Romero’s aggression combines nicely with Raphaël Varane’s elegance and calmness in the centre.

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The engine room

In midfield, Real Madrid man Aurelién Tchouaméni has started all six of France’s games in the holding role. Enzo Fernández has been a revelation for Argentina, capable of excelling in all systems and formations used by manager Scaloni. This is an amazing double pivot of two of the finest young schemers in the world.

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Attacking midfielders behind Oli G

Antoine Griezmann has created more chances for teammates than any other player in the World Cup, and he finally got a couple of assists against England to reward that creativity. He plays at number 10.

world cup 2022 kylian mbappe giroud Argentina v France
Oli Giroud and Kylian Mbappe. Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP)

For Messi, no real justification is needed, so I won’t be providing any. He can do whatever he likes in a free role on the right. Same story for Mbappé. They’ll all be servicing the very handsome Olivier Giroud, who’s determined to claim the Golden Boot ahead of Messi and Mbappé.

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FIFA world cup 2022 Messi
There is a thread that connects the three leading favourites to win the World Cup starting in Qatar on Sunday. Photo: Andres Kudacki / AFP.

Feel free to drag me in the comments if you think Lloris should be there instead of Martínez, for example.

Meanwhile, you can get more insights, analysis and love for the beautiful game from James Freemantle

Also keep up on daily football trivia via football stats nerd foodball_za.