World Cup Now: Selection of our group stage team after the first round

Brazil’s 2-0 win over Serbia on Wednesday marked the end of the first round of the group stage at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Before the start of the second round on Friday, “World Cup Now” hosts Warren Barton, DaMarcus Beasley and Jimmy Conrad have selected their team from the (so far) group stage.

Goalkeeper: Thibaut CourtoisBelgium

Konrad: I know people will say: “Oh, Memo Ochoa! He saved Mexico from a great penalty again in their 0-0 draw against Poland.” But Thibaut Courtois also saved a penalty and made other big saves to keep Belgium relevant as they were pumped by Canada. He’s my goalkeeper this first half of the season.

Thibaut Courtois saves Belgium

Thibaut Courtois saves Belgium

Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois saves an incredible penalty after Canada pulled a handball inside the penalty area at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Defender: Romain SaissMorocco

Barton: He played extremely well. He organized the defence, he threw himself in front of the ball. Against Croatia, who reached the final in Russia and seemed to do well, I just thought he organized and defended his defense brilliantly.

Midfield player: GaviSpain

Beasley: The youth have served us well so far. Any time your name matches PelĂ©, you’re doing pretty well. And I’m just talking about this game. I know he won the Golden Boy award for best young player in the world, but I’m just talking about that achievement and what it means for Spain. He’s a great player. I think he’s going to have a phenomenal career. At 18 years and 10 days, he is the youngest player to score at a World Cup since Pele.

Spain’s Gavi scores a goal against Costa Rica

Spain's Gavi scores a goal against Costa Rica

Watch Spain’s Gavi score against Costa Rica in the 74th minute at the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup.

Forward: Oliver GiroudFrance

Konrad: He scored two goals and I think what’s cool is that he set the record for most goals for France with the second goal against Australia, beating Thierry Henry. We’re talking big names here. He has been a faithful servant to every club he has played for, always did the dirty work and now he has a record that will be difficult to break. He actually benefited from the fact that reigning Ballon d’Or winner Karin Benzema was injured just before the start of the tournament.

France’s Olivier Giroud scores two goals against Australia

France's Olivier Giroud scores two goals against Australia

Olivier Giroud scored twice against Australia and helped guide France to a 4-1 win.

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