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FIFA World Cup 2022: Team of the group stage | PFF News & Analysis – Pro Football Focus

Doha, Qatar; Iran midfielder Ahmad Nourollahi (21) knocks the ball away from United States of America midfielder Tyler Adams (4) during the first half of a group stage match during the 2022 World Cup at Al Thumama Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports
We are now through the group stage matches at the FIFA 2022 World Cup and have been able to dig into our data after some impressive performances to open the tournament.
Here is our Team of the Group stage.

What feels like the only no-brainer, Szczęsny was a standout in the group stage, earning a 95,5 shot-stopping grade. He has saved 18 of the 20 shots he faced, including a Lionel Messi penalty.
Coming in for his injured brother Lucas, Theo did not waste any time getting to work, racking up two assists and six key passes. Theo ended the group stage with five grades over 70.0, including a crossing grade of 81.5 and a passing grade of 75.4. 
A hot name on the transfer market right now, Gvardiol has only increased his price tag with his performances thus far. The Croatian defender won 57% of all challenges, winning about five challenges per game. He produced three grades over 80.0, highlighted by his 84.1 50/50 duel grade and 82.2 challenge grade. 
The Liverpool captain has had a strong start to this 2022 World Cup. He won 16 aerial duels and completed eight line-breaking passes to end the group stage with five grades over 70.0, including an aerial duel grade of 80.8 and a passing grade of 77.7. 
Known for his attacking prowess, Hakimi has been a rock in the back. The PSG man has won 70% of all challenges, successfully defending seven dribbles and winning eight tackles and seven aerial duels. Hakimi finished the group stage with seven grades over 70.0, which includes a challenge grade of 89.9 and a 50/50 duel grade of 84.2.
The newly named United States captain has come to play this World Cup. Adams has won 12 tackles, all seven of his 50/50 duels and five aerial duels. Pair this with 22 completed line-breaking passes, and it is easy to see how he earned a spot here. He ended the group stage with a passing grade of 74.3 and 50/50 duel grade of 90.0. 
The Borussia Dortmund man has impressed both in the attack and defense through three games. He completed 92% of his passes, including 11 line-breaking passes. He has also won seven tackles and nine aerial duels. Jude Bellingham goes into the knockout stages with three grades over 80.0, including his 80.1 passing grade and an 87.3 shooting grade
Griezmann has been outstanding amid all the injury concerns for France. He had one assist and 10 key passes. He completed 45% of his crosses, the highest completion rate for any player who has attempted 20 or more. He also finished group play with the best crossing grade (94.7) and a passing grade of 87.1.
Gakpo was already the subject of transfer rumors before the tournament started, but after his play in the group stage, more teams will be looking to acquire him. He scored three goals, one in each game, and also created five chances. The PSV man ends the group stage with an 85.2 shooting grade.

Dembele has been at his best through the group stage of the 2022 World Cup. He recorded one assist and seven key passes, and he completed 50% of his crosses. On top of that, the French winger completed 10 of his 16 dribble attempts, good for seventh out of all players.
Dembele has five grades over 75.0, including a 76.1 dribbling grade and an 87.5 crossing grade.
Valencia did all he could for Ecuador, fighting through injury throughout the group stage. He scored three goals, with two coming in the opening match against hosts Qatar. His shooting grade of 95.1 led all players through the first three games.
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