Nations League: Who joins Harry Kane in a combined XI of the semi-finalists?
Whilst there was some trepidation about the UEFA Nations League at first, some exciting final-day encounters have led to plenty of fans and pundits coming around to the idea of the new competition.
Four teams – England, Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland – will battle it out next summer to become the inaugural winners of the Nations League, and we will see some quality players on display.
We’ve taken a look at each of the four competing teams and made what we think is the best-combined XI of them all.
Here’s who made the cut in a 4-3-3 formation.
GK: Jordan Pickford
Yann Sommer, Jasper Cillessen and Rui Patricio are all very good goalkeepers but we’ve given the nod to England’s Jordan Pickford. The Everton star is his country’s undisputed number one and has continued to impress for England.
RB: Kyle Walker
There’s an argument to be made that Kyle Walker is the best right-back in the world, so this was a pretty easy decision. His performances for England and Manchester City have been superb.
CB: Virgil van Dijk (c)
Since joining Liverpool, Virgil van Dijk has developed even further and is rightly seen as one of the best defenders on the planet. Scored a great, late equaliser for his country against Germany to seal a spot in the semis. He’ll captain this team too.
CB: John Stones
There were a few decent options to partner Van Dijk, but John Stones is the man we’ve selected. He too has grown since making a big money move to a top club, and he deserves his place in the team.
LB: Ricardo Rodriguez
Switzerland’s Ricardo Rodriguez has been regarded as one of Europe’s best left-backs for a number of years and he’s in our team based on consistency.
CM: Ruben Neves
Since signing for Wovles, Ruben Neves has shown his true quality and he continues to get better and better. Not only does he offer this team a lot in terms of his general play, but he’s also a major threat due to his amazing ability from set-pieces.
CM: Frenkie de Jong
If reports are to be believed, it won’t be long before Frenkie de Jong leaves Ajax to join one of the world’s best sides as the likes on Barcelona, Man City and Real Madrid monitor his progress. Aged 21, De Jong has already shown that he’s more than capable of playing at the highest levels.
CM: Bernardo Silva
Anyone who watches the Premier League will know just how good Bernardo Silva is. He’ll be the link between midfield and attack in this team.
RW: Raheem Sterling
Memphis Depay will feel a bit hard done by but we’ve decided to play Raheem Sterling as one of our front three players. His pace is a huge threat to opposition defenders and his intelligent runs make him almost impossible to pick up.
LW: Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t played much football in the Nations League but he’s expected to be in the Portugal side in the summer. He’s an easy pick to play in the front three.
ST: Harry Kane
Harry Kane will be the man in the middle of Sterling and Ronaldo. The England captain is as clinical a striker as there is in world football and he’d score plenty in this team.