2018 FIFA World Cup best XI over 30

Experience is certainly one of the best teachers.

This also applies in sports and the FIFA World Cup will be filled with talented football players who have a wealth of experience under their belts.

These will certainly come in handy when they represent their nations in an attempt to lift the most coveted trophy in international football.

While the World Cup is a place where young names make their mark and start paving the way for their legacies, there are also players who are looking to put an exclamation point in their careers with defining moments in the competition.

These players, often aged over 30 years old, may have their days playing international football numbered but they are still capable of producing at a world-class level.

With a 4-4-2 formation, here are the best players above 30 who are in the 2018 World Cup.

GOALKEEPER: Manuel Neuer (32 years old) from Germany (Club: Bayern Munich)

Considered as one of the best goalkeepers in recent years, Germany’s Manuel Neuer will be the defending champions’ top shot-stopper in Russia.

He has been plagued with injuries recently, with a broken foot in September sidelining him for the rest of the season, he made his return just in time for the World Cup.

The fact that Neuer was chosen ahead of Marc-Andre Ter-Stegen who has been in form for Barcelona speaks highly on the Bayern Munich man’s capabilities in between the sticks.

He has excellent reflexes and is very mobile for his size, Neuer is already a World Cup champion and won the Golden Glove in the same competition back in 2014.

CENTER-BACK: Sergio Ramos (32 years old) from Spain (Club: Real Madrid)

Just like fine wine, it appears that Sergio Ramos keeps getting better as he grows older.

At 32 years old, the Spanish international is still playing at an extremely high level with Real Madrid, recently helping the team win yet another UEFA Champions League trophy.

Ramos also featured in Spain’s lone World Cup triumph and can be seen leading the defence again here in Russia.

He plays smart and oftentimes beats the opponents through excellent positioning, which will definitely come in handy when they face the best strikers the other nations have to offer.

Deservingly, Ramos will wear the captain’s armband in Russia.

CENTER-BACK: Gerard Pique (31 years old) from Spain (Club: Barcelona)

Completing the Spanish dominance in the position is Barcelona’s Gerard Pique.

At 31 years old, Pique is one of the most established players in Europe, winning everything there is at club and international level.

Using his size and mobility, Pique can engage against the best strikers their opponents can throw at them and oftentimes Pique comes out on top.

Aside from these attributes, Pique also has a very high football IQ which comes in handy especially with Spain looking to bounce back from a dismal 2014 World Cup campaign which saw them crash out of the group stages.

Expect his partnership with Sergio Ramos to be one of the best in the competition.

RIGHT-BACK: Stephan Lichtsteiner (34 years old) from Switzerland (Club: Arsenal)

To show just how talented Stephan Lichtsteiner is, even at 34 years old he is still wanted by big European clubs – proof of it is his recent signing with English outfit Arsenal.

He is best remembered for his performances with Juventus, leading to the team’s seven straight Serie A championships and four straight Coppa Italia triumphs.

Versatile and strong with or without the ball, the Swiss’ native can do a lot of things to help the team especially on the defensive end.

Despite already in his mid 30s, another impressive thing about Lichtsteiner is his excellent shape and how he remains healthy. He made 32 appearances for his club across all competitions and continually plays at a high level.

LEFT-BACK: Marcelo (30 years old) from Brazil (Club: Real Madrid)

Being one of the most popular players in a star-studded Real Madrid team shows just how good Marcelo is when he’s on the pitch.

The Brazil left-back always plays hard-nosed football and is not afraid to make and take challenges to help the team with their cause.

At 30 years old, he looks to be in prime form to help Brazil bounce back in the World Cup, and his strength in the attack should also come in handy when the Brazilians are looking for answers in the final third of the pitch.

Considered as one of the best left-backs in the world, Marcelo can control his side of the pitch from the defensive end and running towards the offensive, making him an unpredictable threat against any team in the World Cup.

CENTRAL-MIDFIELD: Andres Iniesta (34 years old) from Spain (Club: Vissel Kobe)

Undoubtedly one of the best players to ever grace the game, Andres Iniesta’s talent speak louder than any of his words can.

A consummate professional, many were surprised when he announced he was leaving Barcelona, and is likely to be playing his final World Cup for Spain.

With that in mind, his inch-perfect passing game is always a sight to behold and he should be inspired to help Spain regain the World Cup as his Swan Song.

He played a big role in their 2010 triumph and as he is still a key cog in the Spanish machine, many expect Iniesta to find his second wind in Russia.

CENTRAL-MIDFIELD: Luka Modric (32 years old) from Croatia (Club: Real Madrid)

Many believe that Croatia can turn a few heads in this year’s World Cup competition.

With a squad filled with big names, Luka Modric is expected to lift the heaviest load when it comes to leading the Croatians to new heights in the World Cup.

A main reason for Real Madrid’s recent successes, Modric may lack in height and strength but makes up for it with excellent positioning and admirable passing.

He is important in the middle of the pith for his control of the ball which can easily translate to instant offence for his country or to squander any chance of an attack by their opponents.

RIGHT-WING: Lionel Messi (30 years old) from Argentina (Club: Barcelona)

Among all the positions in this list, the wingmen are arguably the most threatening – with one half being filled up by Argentina superstar Lionel Messi.

With a number of individual and club trophies under his belt, Messi has done almost everything there is to be considered the best – with the World Cup only the glaring omission to the list.

He came close back in 2014 and now that he is 30, he is likely to go all out to repeat the chance of reaching the final.

Messi’s has a tireless work ethic which results in him constantly running in the pitch, finding the ball on his feet to beat opponents and score with either foot. He is part of a very talented Argentina squad but Messi is head and shoulders above everyone else.

LEFT-WING: Cristiano Ronaldo (33 years old) from Portugal (Club: Real Madrid)

It is only fitting to place Cristiano Ronaldo on the opposite side as Messi in this incredible list.

The star from Portugal may be considered a one-man wrecking machine and his gifted foot can help Portugal reach new heights in the competition.

CR7 was a big reason that Portugal won the European Championship in 2016 and he will undoubtedly be the center of attention for Portugal’s attack in the World Cup.

At 33 years old, he has switched his style of play but he may still have a lot in store for fans as he carries the weight of an entire nation on his perfectly-chiselled shoulders.

STRIKER: Luis Suarez (31 years old) from Uruguay (Club: Barcelona)

Once popular for, both, his on pitch talent and antics, Luis Suarez has now matured into a fearsome striker for Uruguay and Barcelona.

At 31 years old, Suarez still has the pace to beat opposing defences, and yet he can also be very crafty as he tries to score a goal for his club and country.

With 97 international caps for Uruguay, Suarez has found the back of the net with ease with a tally of 50 goals that will surely increase in the World Cup.

Playing alongside another feared striker in Edinson Cavani, Suarez should have a grand time picking off defences to help his country in the competition.

STRIKER: Sergio Aguero (30 years old) from Argentina (Club: Manchester City)

Often overlooked in international football due to the Lionel Messi phenomenon, Argentine striker Sergio Aguero is still one of the deadliest marksmen in the game today.

Plying his trade with Manchester City, Aguero is very reliable and Argentina may rely on his heroics to bring them back to the World Cup final in Russia.

This year, he only appeared in 25 Premier League games, but he scored 21 times for an impressive games-to-goal ratio.

Aguero has excellent vision and pace that are paired with intelligence and poise in front of goal which are rare commodities in young strikers these days.

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