World Cup Now: Picking our team of the Group Stage after first round

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Brazil’s 2-0 win over Serbia on Thursday marked the end of the first round of group stage matches at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Ahead of the start of the second round on Friday, “World Cup Now” hosts Warren Barton, DaMarcus Beasley and Jimmy Conrad picked their team from the group stage (so far).

Porter: Thibaut CourtoisBelgium

Conrad: I know people are going to say, “Oh, Memo Ochoa! He saved another big penalty for Mexico in that 0-0 draw against Poland.” But Thibaut Courtois also saved a penalty and made other big saves to keep Belgium relevant when Canada took advantage. He is my goalkeeper for this first round.

Thibaut Courtois saves Belgium

Thibaut Courtois saves Belgium

Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois makes an amazing penalty save after Canada drew a handball in the box.

Defender: Romain Saïssmorocco

Barton: Saïss played very well. He organized the backline, threw himself in front of the ball. To go against Croatia, who got to the final in Russia and seemed to do well here, I just thought he was excellent organizing the backline and defending.

Midfielder: seagullSpain

Beasley: Youth has served us well so far. Anytime your name lines up with Pele, you’re doing pretty good. And I’m just talking about this game. I know Gavi has won the Golden Boy award for the best young player in the world, but I’m just talking about this performance and what it means for Spain. He is a great player. I think he’s going to have a phenomenal career. At 18 years and 10 days, the youngest player to score a World Cup since Pelé.

The Spanish Gavi scores a goal against Costa Rica

The Spanish Gavi scores a goal against Costa Rica

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

Come in: Olivier GiroudFrance

Conrad: Giroud He scored two goals, and I think the good thing is that with the second goal against Australia, he set the record for most goals for the French national team, surpassing Thierry Henry. We’re talking big names here. He has been a loyal partner to every club he has played for, always does the dirty work and now has a record that will be hard to beat. In fact, it has benefited Karin Benzema, the current Ballon d’Or winner, who was injured just before the start of the tournament.

France’s Olivier Giroud scores twice against Australia

France's Olivier Giroud scores twice against Australia

Olivier Giroud scored twice against Australia to help France to a 4-1 victory.

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