World Cup 2018: Mbappe, Neymar & best team of the last 16

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As we approach the quarter-finals of Russia 2018, Goal's editors have put together a list of the best XI from the first knockout round

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    Igor Akinfeev | GK | Russia

    Russia's goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was the penalty shootout hero of the game after saving both Koke and Iago Aspas' shots. He also pulled off multiple saves during the match too and conceded just the one own goal. 

  2. Mario Fernandes | RB | Russia

    Right-back Mario Fernandes put in an outstanding shift to limit the threat on Spain’s left wing and keeping the score to 1-1 before the penalties that took Russia through to the quarter-finals. 
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    Victor Lindelof | CB | Sweden

    Manchester United centre-back Victor Lindelof has formed a resilient centre-back partnership with Andreas Granqvist, who has won most of the plaudits so far this tournament with his penalty taking. But Lindelof shone as Sweden kept a clean sheet against Switzerland to win 1-0 and reach the quarter-finals.
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    Diego Godin | CB | Uruguay

    Uruguay centre-back Diego Godin put in yet another mammoth defensive performance, stopping Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portuguese team-mates from netting more than the one goal.

  5. Diego Laxalt | LB | Uruguay

    Left-back Diego Laxalt continues to impress for Uruguay at World Cup 2018. Against Portugal, the left wing-back constantly challenged for the ball and provided ammunition for Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez to attack the goal with.
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    Paul Pogba | CM | France

    Paul Pogba was the beating heart of France’s midfield as they defeated Argentina 4-3 in an all-time classic last 16 tie. Helping dictate the attacks like an NFL quarterback, feeding fantastic through balls to the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud.

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    Marouane Fellaini | CM | Belgium

    Belgium's Marouane Fellaini was sprung off the bench into action as Japan led by two goals in the second half. His aerial threat from corners and crosses - including scoring the equalising goal - was crucial in their 3-2 last 16 victory.
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    Takashi Inui | CM | Japan

    Although Japan were eliminated in the last 16 after losing 3-2 to Belgium, Takashi Inui scored an absolute dream of a goal and put Belgium on edge throughout the game with his midfield movement, passing and dribbling.

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    Kylian Mbappe | FW | France

    France teenage forward Kylian Mbappe was the star of the last 16. His barnstorming pace and inch-perfect finishing put Argentina to the sword and announced him as a genuine world-class talent.
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    Edinson Cavani | FW | Uruguay

    A phenomenal all-round forward performance from Edinson Cavani saw him net two goals against Portugal and continue Uruguay's journey into the World Cup 2018 quarter-finals. His attacking partnership with Luis Suarez might just be the best in the tournament.
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    Neymar | FW | Brazil

    Look past the play-acting and diving that have caused him to be the butt of Oscar jokes. While Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo bowed out of the World Cup, Neymar scored one goal and created the other as Brazil eliminated Mexico in the last 16 with a 2-0 win.