Ranked! The best 19 players at the 2022 World Cup so far - including ex-Hull City and Sheffield man, Manchester United duo and Tottenham Hotspur pair

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has hailed the the group stage at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as the “best ever”.

The opening stage of the tournament contained plenty of thrills and upsets as Saudi Arabia beat Argentina while Japan beat Germany and Spain to send the former home early.

A number of groups went down to the wire while Belgium also crashed out earlier than expected as they finished behind Morocco and Croatia in Group F.

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No team picked up maximum points while hosts Qatar were the only nation who failed to claim a single point as they lost all three of their group phase fixtures.

AL KHOR, QATAR - DECEMBER 04:  Harry Maguire of England thanks the support after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between England and Senegal at Al Bayt Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)AL KHOR, QATAR - DECEMBER 04:  Harry Maguire of England thanks the support after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between England and Senegal at Al Bayt Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
AL KHOR, QATAR - DECEMBER 04: Harry Maguire of England thanks the support after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between England and Senegal at Al Bayt Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

“I have seen all the matches, indeed, and put very simply and very clearly, this has been the best group stage of a FIFA World Cup ever. So, it’s very promising for the remainder of the FIFA World Cup,” said Infantino.

“The matches have been of great, great quality in beautiful stadiums – we knew that already. However, as well, the public who was there was incredible. Over 51,000 on average.”

With the group stage and round of 16 fixtures complete, we have looked at who the best rated players at the tournament so far are – using ratings from WhoScored. Only including players who have played three or more games in Qatar – here’s the xx best performing stars at the World Cup.

1 – Bruno Fernandes: 8.34

England's forward Bukayo Saka takes part in a training session at the Al Wakrah SC Stadium in Al Wakrah, south of Doha, on December 7, 2022, during the Qatar 2022 World Cup football tournament. - England and France will meet in one of the Qatar 2022 World Cup quarter-finals on December 10. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)England's forward Bukayo Saka takes part in a training session at the Al Wakrah SC Stadium in Al Wakrah, south of Doha, on December 7, 2022, during the Qatar 2022 World Cup football tournament. - England and France will meet in one of the Qatar 2022 World Cup quarter-finals on December 10. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
England's forward Bukayo Saka takes part in a training session at the Al Wakrah SC Stadium in Al Wakrah, south of Doha, on December 7, 2022, during the Qatar 2022 World Cup football tournament. - England and France will meet in one of the Qatar 2022 World Cup quarter-finals on December 10. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Portugal midfielder has two goals and three assists in Qatar. He was part of the side that breezed into the quarter finals with a stunning 6-1 win over Switzerland in the last 16.

2 – Kylian Mbappe: 8.33

The Frenchman has five goals and two assists in three starts, his only blank in the tournament came in France’s 1-0 loss to Tunisia when he appeared off the bench.

3 – Lionel Messi: 7.94

AL KHOR, QATAR - DECEMBER 04: Jude Bellingham of England controls the ball during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between England and Senegal at Al Bayt Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)AL KHOR, QATAR - DECEMBER 04: Jude Bellingham of England controls the ball during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between England and Senegal at Al Bayt Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
AL KHOR, QATAR - DECEMBER 04: Jude Bellingham of England controls the ball during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between England and Senegal at Al Bayt Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

In his last World Cup, the PSG forward has played a big role in his nation’s run to the semi-finals. He has three goals and one assist while he has averaged over three key passes per game.

4 – Wojciech Szczesny: 7.88

Poland may be out but the ex-Arsenal goalkeeper produced some fine displays in Qatar. He saved two penalties in the group stage as the Eastern European nation reached the last 16.

5 – Bukayo Saka: 7.82

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The Arsenal forward has three goals in as many games for England in Qatar. At the age of 21, he looks like a player who has done this plenty of times before.

6 – Cody Gakpo: 7.8

The Netherlands forward has three goals in four appearances as Dutch make up for lost time after failing to qualify for the 2018 tournament. The 23-year-old almost joined Leeds United in the summer.

7 – Jude Bellingham: 7.72

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder is being eyed by numerous top clubs from across Europe and his performances in Qatar will only have increased the asking price. He has one goal and one assist for England.

8 – Jamal Musiala: 7.64

One positive for Germany was the performances form the 19-year-old midfielder. Claimed one assists and averaged 2.7 key passes a game before Germany’s shock exit.

9 – Richarlison: 7.62

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The Tottenham Hotspur forward has scored three goals in as many games for Brazil. After a stunning scissor kick against Serbia he scored another fine goal as Brazil eased past South Korea in the round of 16.

10 – Antoine Griezmann: 7.62

The displays from Mbappe have seen the forward go under the radar. He has one assist and averages just under four key passes a game – could cause England some problems on Saturday.

11 – Casemiro: 7.55

The Manchester United midfielder scored Brazil’s only goal in their group-stage win over Switzerland. Has averaged 2.7 tackles and two interceptions a game.

12 – Mohammed Kudus: 7.53

The 22-year-old scored twice for Ghana as they exited at the group stage.

13 – Frenkie de Jong: 7.49

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The Barcelona man has one goal and assist for the Netherlands in Qatar. Has averaged three tackles a game.

14 – Theo Hernandez: 7.49

Has two assists with France while playing down the left-hand side. Has averaged three key passes per game for the reigning champions.

15 – Vinicius Junior: 7.48

The Real Madrid man has one goal and two assists for Brazil, with the South American side in frightening form.

16 – Achraf Hakimi: 7.47

Showed his nerve as he scored the winning penalty for Morocco in their shootout win over Spain on Tuesday, casually chipping the ball down the middle of the goal.

17 – Joao Felix: 7.46

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The Portugal star has one goal and two assists in three games with his nation blowing Switzerland away with a 6-1 win on Tuesday night.

18 – Harry Maguire: 7.46

Has justified his inclusion in Qatar, with the ex-Sheffield United and Hull City defender partnering John Stones in the heart of the England defence. The Three Lions have only conceded two goals while keeping three clean sheets.

19 – Harry Kane: 7.46

The Tottenham Hotspur man scored his first goal in England’s 3-0 win over Senegal. The England captain also has three assists