So, the first stage of the World Cup 2018 is over, and we have witnessed some very exciting football. This edition has arguably been the best ever, given the amount of interesting events that have taken place.
Many of the 'favorites' have been brought down to earth, whereas the minnows and dark horses have excelled. The introduction of VAR has really refreshed the game, though, it is still under much debate.
Till the 37th match, there was not a single 0-0 draw, before Brazil drew Switzerland and broke the streak. Many of the unknown players have made their mark, and the so-called superstars have flattered to deceive.
Now, with the group stage over, we take a look at the 'team of the tournament' so far.
Goalkeeper: Kasper Schmeichel (Denmark)
It isn't an easy job when you are a son of one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. And that's what Kasper Schmeichel, son of Peter Schmeichel, goes through. He has never touched the greatness his father did, but in this tournament, Kasper has been outstanding.
With just one goal conceded, the Denmark shot-stopper can keep his head high. Also, he has mae a sensational 14 saves, with a record save rate of 93 per cent. He is in a type of form which puts him amongst the best in the world.
Centre Back: Diego Godin (Uruguay)
Uruguay won all three of their matches in the group stage without conceding a goal. And one of the major reason behind their success was skipper Diego Godin. The Atletico Madrid defender has been a rock in the team, and has been at his absolute best in this tournament.
Centre Back: Raphael Varane (France)
France have been struggling to score goals, but on the other end, haven't been conceding as well. And one of the big reason behind this is the form of Raphael Varane. The 25-year-old has grown into a mature defender, and was even handed the captaincy armband in the final match against Denmark.
Centre Back: Thiago Silva (Brazil)
He may be ageing, but Thiago Silva has shown what an important asset he is to the Brazil team. The Paris Saint-Germain defender has been exceptional, and despite being 33, he has the pace to shame a youngster. While he has been superb in the defense, Silva has also contributed with a goal, scoring the second against Serbia.
Left Wing Back: Hirving Lozano (Mexico)
Not many knew of this youngster before this tournament, even though he set Eredivisie on fire last season. But he has shown his quality in the World Cup, scoring one goal and helping Mexico qualify for the round of 16. On the left side, Lozano has been sensational, and has shown he can play against the best in the world.
Centre Midfield: Ngolo Kante (France)
"70 per cent of the world is covered by water, rest is covered by Ngolo Kante." Well, it may be an overstatement, but the French midfielder is that good. He has been a star at the club level, but now he is becoming a star at the international stage. His presence has neutralized the opposition threat whenever they try to break. His endless running means the players ahead of him know they can attack in peace.
Centre Midfield: Luka Modric (Croatia)
Croatia are one of the two teams, except Uruguay, to win all the three matches in the tournament. And the biggest reason behind their success has been the midfield duo of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic. While both have been equally good, Modric shades his partner in the team. He was exceptional against Argentina as his side won 3-0, and also scored a penalty in the first match win.
Right Wing Back: Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland)
He made headlines not for his performances in the tournament, but for his controversial celebration against Serbia. But don't let it shadow the fact that Xherdan Shaqiri has shown a lot of promise in the World Cup. The talented winger is often criticized for being lazy, and not fulfilling his talents. But in this tournament, he has proved he can cut it out against the best.
Attacking Midfield: Phillipe Coutinho (Brazil)
All the attention was on Neymar to deliver for Brazil, but it was Phillipe Coutinho who stole the headline. Brazil haven't been at their best, but Coutinho has been an exception. With two goals and an assist in three matches, the Barcelona man has provided the much needed spark to the five-time champions.
Attacking Midfield: Christian Eriksen (Denmark)
Along with Kasper, Christian Eriksen has been the star man for Denmark. The attacking midfielder is arguably one of the best in his position, and he has proved that in this tournament. With one goal and an assist, he has been central to everything Denmark has done in attack. He has also covered the most distance by any player in the tournament. Along with creativity, Eriksen has shown fight.
Centre Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
What can you say about him? He has had a bittersweet tournament so far. Cristiano Ronaldo was anonymous and poor in the third match against Iran and mediocre against Morocco. Yet, his performance against Spain earned him a place in this line-up. The Portugese skipper scored a brilliant hat-trick to help his side to a point in the first match. And while he was not so good against Morocco, he did score the winner.
Manager: Zlatko Dalić
The Croatia manager has done wonders with the team. While he has many brilliant players in his ranks, it doesn't take away the brilliant mind Dalic has. With three wins from three matches, seven goals scored and only conceded, Croatia have been one of the most exciting teams in the tournament. The highlight of Croatia and Dalic's tournament was the 3-0 win over Argentina. The manager set up his team to soak up the pressure, and attack on counter, which did wonders.
Notable Mentions: Harry Kane (England), Romelu Lukaku (Belgium), Marcelo (Brazil), Ivan Rakitic (Croatia), Eden Hazard (Belgium)