Search icon


17th Jul 2018

No, that FIFA Team of the Tournament doing the rounds is not real

Niall McIntyre

Football is no stranger to fake news

Images did the rounds on Tuesday afternoon claiming to have been the official FIFA Team of the Tournament. With no confirmation of such on FIFA’s official website or on their Twitter account, it seems to have been nothing more than a sick joke.

In fairness, whoever is behind it did a brilliant job of pulling the wool over people’s eyes, until they threw it all away by naming a certain someone in midfield.

They nearly had us up until then.

Nearly because there were a number of frankly outrageous inclusions in this Dream XI. From Dejan Lovren to Ashley Young, we were sceptical by the time we’d left the back four.

And if you don’t fall off your chair by the time you make it to midfield then you obviously didn’t watch much of the World Cup over the last few weeks.

It says a lot about the organisation that some actually believed they had contrived to such an outrageous string of calls.

It started off with Hugo Lloris in the nets. That’s a dubious enough call considering the Spurs man committed the howler of all howlers in the World Cup final, but we hadn’t given up hope yet.

Then they put England’s Ashley Young in the left back position. This is a man who was barely worth his place on Gareth Southgate’s team while Lucas Hernandez was bossing it for France all the way to World Cup glory.

Dejan Lovren‘s inclusion at centre-back raised eyebrows further, despite the fact that he is “world class”, because surely Samuel Umtitti warrants a place ahead of the Croatian.

This is FIFA we’re dealing with, we told ourselves.

But then, we were pushed over the edge with the selection of one man: Paulinho.

But we’ll give him this, he confirmed our suspicions.

And with Neymar getting the nod up top, we realised the creators were laughing at us.

Gianni Infantino would have had a lot to answer for…

If you want a real team to savour, here’s what the JOE team of the tournament looked like.