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World Cup First Round Team: Jude Bellingham, Gavi and Hassan Al-Tambaakti-Star

Brazil’s victory over Serbia capped the first round of matches at the World Cup in Qatar and there were a number of fabulous individual performances.

Richarlison stole the show for Brazil with a brace, Olivier Giroud made history for France and both Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham looked superb in England’s 6-2 win over Iran.

Many would have expected Lionel Messi to star, only to see Argentina get turned around by Saudi Arabia. Then there was Germany, who gambled away their lead and lost 2-1 to Japan.

sports mail selects the best eleven of the opening round of the World Cup matches.

Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico)

With a man-of-the-match performance and a saved penalty, Ochoa keeps Mexico’s hopes of reaching the last 16 alive. Ochoa narrowly edged out Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois for a spot between the posts.

A hero, a legend, in Mexico for his years of service with the national team, Ochoa has only elevated his status as one of their greatest players of all time by his tremendous contribution in the opening game.

At 37 he has a wealth of experience and his penalty was not a stroke of luck considering he has been studying Lewandowski’s penalty shootout for the past two weeks.

“We’ve been working on it with the goalkeeping coach for the last two weeks, even the last month,” Ochoa said after the 0-0 draw.

“It’s always difficult when you watch videos of Lewandowski’s penalties. You see more than 50 penalties and you never know which location to choose.

“I’m glad I saved his penalty and kept a clean sheet.”

Mexico meet an Argentina side licking their wounds after being humiliated by Saudi Arabia in the first game and Ochoa can count on another attack on his goal.

Achraf Hakimi (Morocco)

The news that Hakimi could miss Morocco’s second game against Belgium on Sunday should sound alarm given the joy he enjoyed in the 0-0 opener against Croatia.

A clean sheet primarily, but the PSG full-back’s all-around play was brilliant to watch at times.

There is a lot of talk about the importance of Hakim Ziyech but the Chelsea man in tandem with Hakimi on the bottom right can cause big problems.

Came close with a rifle shot against Croatia and will be a big loss if injured.

Hassan Al-Tambaakti (Saudi Arabia)

His final celebration, as he punched the air and let out a roar, said it all after overpowering tournament favorites Argentina.

And make no mistake, Hassan Al-Tambaakti, the 23-year-old centre-back, was as good as anyone on the pitch in Saudi Arabia’s 2-1 win.

The centre-back, who plays for Saudi Pro-League club Al-Shabab, caught the eye with some heroic blocks and set up exquisitely for both Messi and Lautaro Martinez.

Argentina threw everything at Saudi Arabia and remained steadfast, with Al-Tambaakti celebrating every crucial defensive attack like a goal.

Keep it up and he’ll be hot in January.

Diego Godin (Uruguay)

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