Lionel Messi, Neymar and Paul Pogba are just a few names who are included in the best 2018 World Cup XI based on statistics through qualifying.

The likes of Brazil, France, Spain, Germany and Argentina - by the skin of their teeth, have all secured qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

Spain and Germany, not to mention Brazil, comfortably ensured their place in next summers showpiece event. But Messi and Co. left it agonizingly close.

(Watch Messi single-handedly steer Argentina to the 2018 World Cup:)

Credit: Vivo

Messi stepped up when his country needed him the most as he bagged an incredible hat-trick, firing Argentina to the World Cup. The Barcelona star effectively carried his teammates to the competition following his goals and assists.

Naturally, he makes the best World Cup XI.

Messi wheels away in celebration after scoring against Ecuador. Image: PA

So does his former teammate Neymar who starred for Brazil. He forged a deadly partnership alongside Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus, with the five-time World Cup winners scoring a mighty 41 goals in the process.

As well as netting the most goals in the South America standings, Brazil also conceded the fewest amount of goals courtesy of defensive talent in the shape of Dani Alves, Thiago Silva and Alex Sandro.

The trio of Brazilians join Neymar in the best XI.

Neymar in action for Brazil. Image: PA

And according to Who Scored, Poland's Wojciech Szczęsny, Spain's Thiago Alcantara, Germany's Toni Kroos, France's Pogba and Belgium's Dries Mertens are the standout representatives from Europe.

Here's the full best World Cup XI:

Image: Who Scored

Who Scored have crunched the all important numbers churning out a ridiculous best World Cup XI.

Meanwhile, play-offs will determine the final nine spots in the 2018 World Cup with 23 nations already guaranteeing their participation.

Former World Cup champions Italy and defending European champions Portugal still need to take care of work before heading to Russia, next summer.

But, one things for sure, the 2018 World Cup can't come soon enough.

Nasir Jabbar

Nasir Jabbar is a writer at SPORTbible. He is a combat sport aficionado and contributes to boxing and MMA articles.

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