Europe XI v Rest of the World XI - how the teams would look in 2018

FIFA once had the great idea of putting a Europe XI vs Rest of the World XI idea into motion.

After all 32 teams had qualified for the 1998 World Cup, football’s governing body decided to do something a bit different.

It took place in 1997 at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, with Europe beaten 5-2 by a team spearheaded by legendary strikers Gabriel Batistuta and Ronaldo Nazario.

Even though the fixture was highly entertaining, the concept was put to an end the same year.

So it begs the question, what would the two lineups look like now if the match were to take place in 2018?

Well, we’ve had a pretty good shot at it. As the World Cup is already over, we’ve decided to use players from any country – just to make things a bit different.

Remember, one country cannot have more than one player in the team.

This really would be some match.


What. A. Team. With so many great players hailing from Europe – represented by the last four teams at the World Cup coming from the continent – this was not easy.

Cristiano Ronaldo leads the line, flanked by former Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale and World Cup Silver Ball winner Eden Hazard.

The Golden Ball winner Luka Modric headlines the midfield alongside Christian Eriksen and Sergio Busquets.

Choosing a player from France was mighty difficult, but Raphael Varane features in defence alongside Kieran Trippier, Giorgio Chiellini and David Alaba.

Despite a poor World Cup, Manuel Neuer simply has to feature.


Not bad either, especially that front three. Lionel Messi, Neymar and Mohamed Salah? Surely FIFA should give a different MSN the chance to play together.

James Rodriguez and Arturo Vidal make the cut in midfield, with Mexico’s reliable workhorse Hector Herrera the more pragmatic option behind them.

The centre-back partnership of Diego Godin and Kalidou Koulibaly is a pretty scary thought as well, with both recognised as two of the best in the world.

Both full-backs aren’t bad either in Faouzi Ghoulam and Tottenham’s Serge Aurier. Peru’s World Cup star Luis Advincula was hard to leave out at right-back.

And to finish it all off, Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas stands between the sticks.

So there you have it, two of the finest teams ever assembled on paper. 

The question is, who wins? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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