FIFA World Cup 2022: Team of the Last 16

Doha, Qatar; France forward Kylian Mbappe (10) controls the ball against Denmark during the first half of a group stage match during the 2022 World Cup at Stadium 974. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Now that we're down to the last eight teams in the 2022 World Cup, let’s take a look at some of the best performers from the Round of 16.

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GK Dominik Livakovic, Croatia

The hero of Croatia's penalty-shootout win over Japan, Livakovic managed an 84.5 shot-stopping grade and tied for first in the round with three positively graded saves. He also tied for second in passes completed by a goalkeeper with 31.

RB Denzel Dumfries, Netherlands

Dumfries provided two assists and ended US hopes with a well-taken volley to put the Dutch 3-1 up. He finished top-three at his position in shooting grade, crossing grade, passing grade and 50/50 challenge grade. He also applied the second-most pressures of any full back with 51.

CB Thiago Silva, Brazil

The 38-year-old Chelsea man is defying father time. Against South Korea, he split the defensive line to provide an assist for Richarlison, and he finished the game with an 81.6 passing grade, third among players at his position. He also played with his usual defensive resilience, winning 100% of the tackles he was involved with and posting the second-best tackle grade among center-backs (85.0).

CB Nayef Aguerd, Morocco

A lot of defending needed to be done to secure Morocco's famous victory over Spain, and the West Ham center-back was more than up to the task. He won 83% of his challenges, second-best among center-backs who were involved in more than five. He also finished top-10 at his position in clearance grading.

LB Daley Blind, Netherlands

Blind joined his compatriot Dumfries in scoring and assisting, but his passing caught the eye even more than his goal contributions. His 88.2 passing grade finished first among full-backs this week. He was also the only fullback to best Dumfries’ pressure numbers, applying 67 of them to the US players.

CM Jude Bellingham, England

Bellingham is one of the players who have a decent claim to have been the best player in the tournament thus far. His cutback allowed Jordan Henderson to sweep home and put England in front after a rocky start. His driving run through the Senegalese defense also created England’s second goal.

Aside from these big moments, his work as a challenger was consistently excellent; his 85.4 challenge grade was the highest among central midfielders this round.

CM Rodrigo De Paul, Argentina

De Paul saved his best performance of the tournament so far for the knockout round. His 81.3 passing grade was fifth among central midfielders, and he ranked in the top 10 in line-breaking passes completed among that group. He also put in a shift on the defensive side; his 76.6 challenge grade ranked 11th, and he was one of only eight central midfielders to apply 50 or more pressures on his opponent.

CM Wataru Endo, Japan

The only player on this team sheet that won’t be advancing, Endo nevertheless did everything in his power to take his team to the quarter-finals. He ranked first in crossing grade among CMs, providing one of only five crosses graded at a +1.0 or higher this round. He also finished second in passing grade overall (88.9), and he was tied for second among CMs for total challenges won with eight.

RW Raphinha, Brazil

The Barcelona Winger was an integral part of a Brazil attack that truly hit its stride brushing aside South Korea 4-1. His 90.3 dribbling grade was second only to Morocco’s Sofiane Boufal this round. He also provided a more than capable outlet for a Brazil team breaking forward often, as he was targeted the most of any of Brazil’s attackers with 57 pass targets and finished top-five among all attacking players in line-breaking passes received this round with 10.

CF Gonçalo Ramos, Portugal

The Benfica forward earned an 89.3 shooting grade, best of the round, highlighted by a tracer bullet into the near-post top corner for the first goal of Portugal’s 6-1 demolition of Switzerland. Portugal looked a much better side with Ramos leading the line than with his more notorious countryman Christiano Ronaldo.

LW Kylian Mbappé, France

The Frenchman continues to turn World Cups into his own personal showcase. Having won Young Player of the Tournament in 2018, he’s making a strong claim for best player of the tournament this time around. His two goals vs. Poland en route to a 3-1 France victory helped him earn an 85.1 shooting grade, good for third best of the round. He also ranked top-three in both crossing (85.5) and dribbling (86.4) grades to round out a dominant performance.

Honorable Mentions (1 per position group)
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