World Cup team of the round: Last 16

Jamie Spencer
Morocco goalkeeper Bono is now a national hero
Morocco goalkeeper Bono is now a national hero / Alex Livesey - Danehouse/GettyImages
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The 2022 World Cup motors on and the last 16 is now already in the bag.

Only eight teams are left after an exciting round of matches involving the likes of Brazil, Portugal, England and surprise package Morocco.

Read on for the 11 players that impressed the most...


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GK: Bono - The Morocco goalkeeper kept a clean sheet over 120 minutes of his country's last 16 tie against Spain, before making two saves in the penalty shootout. As a result, Morocco's journey continues and they are into the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time ever.

RB: Denzel Dumfries - Having already played every minute of the Netherlands' World Cup campaign so far, Dumfries took his performances to new levels against the United States in the last 16. He remarkably had a direct hand in all three Dutch goals - setting up two and scoring one himself.

CB: Pepe - The 39-year-old turned back the clock as Portugal thrashed Switzerland 6-1 in the most comprehensive victory of the round. He scored one of the goals but also served to shut down nearly everything that the Swiss tried.

CB: Nayef Aguerd - Already a £30m player at club level following a summer transfer to West Ham, but took his international career to new heights for Morocco against Switzerland. The 26-year-old was defensively excellent and the only blot on his performance was a missed chance at the other end.

LB: Raphael Guerreiro - Portugal coach Fernando Santos opted to rest Joao Cancelo for this one and was not let down by his choice of replacement. Guerreiro marked his return to the side with a goal and assist as the 2016 European champions smashed Switzerland.

CM: Jude Bellingham - England's rising star continued to defy belief in a comprehensive victory over Senegal. There is no obvious weakness to his game and he does every midfield job incredibly well, which is even more remarkable when you consider that he won't turn 20 until June.

CM: Sofyan Amrabat - Morocco's midfield shield ensured that Spain's dominance of the ball was not the advantage it should have been. He consistently won the ball back for his team which paved the way for a clean sheet and eventual victory.

CM: Lucas Paqueta - A goal and starring performance in Brazil's 4-1 demolition of a South Korea side that had been fairly resolute in the World Cup group stage gets Paqueta into this select XI. He brought particular energy and flair to an already top Brazil display.

RF: Lionel Messi - Argentina probably would have struggled against Australia without Messi, who recorded the 789th goal of his career on his 1,000th senior appearance. His goal absolutely summed up what he has been about for the past 15 years.

ST: Goncalo Ramos - Imagine stepping into your first senior international start, in a World Cup knockout match, and scoring a hat-trick. Portugal's Ramos, just 21, lived that reality as his team blew Switzerland away. Cristiano who?

LF: Kylian Mbappe - The World Cup is running out of superlatives for Mbappe, who scored twice and got an assist as France beat Poland 3-1. The 23-year-old already has nine World Cup goals to his name overall (five in 2022) and could feasibly play again in 2026, 2030 and 2034.

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