Two Tottenham Hotspur players were recognized today in what at first glance looks like the official World Cup all-tournament team. Spurs (and France) captain Hugo Lloris and England fullback Kieran Trippier were both named to the XI, but the team itself is weird as hell and pretty bad, and many are now calling it fake news.
Near as I can tell, the propagation of this team was kicked into gear, if not started, by FOX soccer commentator Stu Holden. Here’s his tweet.
I mean, yow. Many of the picks are fine, though you can quibble. Kylian Mbappe and Luka Modric are gimmes, as is Antoine Griezmann. Eden Hazard? Sure. Neymar is... ehhhhhhhhhh. But Ashley Young as an all-tournament left back? Paulinho in central midfield? DEJAN LOVREN?
As Ben Daniels pointed out in the Carty Free writer’s Slack this morning, even WhoScored did a better job, and they included Harry Kane, who despite scoring six goals probably didn’t have the best of tournaments on the whole. (Please yell at me in the comments)
Couple the weird selections with the fact that the image Holden tweeted isn’t on FIFA’s official Twitter feed, nor is it on the official World Cup website, and some are starting to wonder if it’s fake. I think it almost HAS to be, or else it was determined by an online fan voting system. There’s really no other explanation.
So let’s all have a good laugh about it, and then ask ourselves: who would you put into your all-World Cup team of the tournament? Put your picks in the comments.