Footballers are notorious for their style — although whether that style is good or bad varies from case to case. Either way, in honor of the World Cup, Highsnobiety has put together its most stylish XI pooled from the players who have been featuring at Russia 2018.
Our team lines up in a 3-4-3 formation — a tactical approach that has been on-trend in recent seasons — and features a mix of players from across Europe’s top leagues. Some players are household names, while others are relatively obscure, offering our XI a nice balance of stars and scrappers.
So, without further ado, scroll through our team below and leave your thoughts on our choices in the comments.
Goalkeeper: Kevin Trapp (Germany, Paris Saint-Germain)
Kevin Trapp might not be Germany’s first choice between the sticks, failing to play a single minute in Russia before Germany’s ignominious exit, but he’s done enough to make it into the Highsnobiety XI. Playing his club football in Paris, it’s no surprise the former Eintracht Frankfurt keeper has an eye for fashion. As you would expect from a goalie, he tends to keep things simple — and to good effect. If you’re arguably the best-dressed guy in a photo with David Beckham and Neymar, you’re probably doing something right.
Defender: Jerome Boateng (Germany, Bayern Munich)
Despite Germany's early exit in the group stage, Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng has little to prove at this stage of his career. The World Cup winner has won countless trophies at Germany’s most successful club and has been a key part of a Germany squad that has been one of the best international sides of the last decade. All of which is reflected in the defender’s steez, with the center-back looking comfortable in a range of styles. Most recently, Boateng modeled Virgil Abloh’s World Cup collection — so he's perfectly at home in Team Highsnobiety.
Defender: Presnel Kimpembe (France, Paris Saint-Germain)
Paris Saint-Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe made his World Cup debut in a 0-0 draw against Denmark earlier this week. The game was dull, but the same certainly can't be said for Kimpembe’s style off the pitch. The 22-year-old's favored looks are full GucciGhost tracksuits and, as seen above, camo OFF-WHITE work shirts.
Defender: Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid)
Sergio Ramos isn’t exactly a streetwear guy (although he tries), but if you’ve ever seen him in a suit, you’ll know the man is stylish. Whether he’s in full-on black tie mode or wearing a more casual khaki suit (which is not easy to pull off, let’s be honest), the Real Madrid hardman is steezy AF. His insane will to win and tough-tackling style of play are just on-pitch bonuses at this point.
Midfielder: Rúrik Gíslason (Iceland, SV Sandhausen)
Rúrik Gíslason is the reason we love doing lists like these. Because among all the big names, you’re likely to stumble across a relative unknown who surprises you. Versatile Gíslason — who plies his trade in the German second tier and appeared this summer with the smallest nation ever to make it to a World Cup — wears his share of Gucci and YEEZYs but doesn’t overdo it. He can rock a tailored suit or keep it casual, making him a fine addition to our team.
Midfielder: Jesse Lingard (England, Manchester United)
Would it even be a list of fashionable footballers if we didn’t select a player who loves rocking head-to-toe Gucci? Jesse Lingard, who has impressed with England in Russia, is that wildcard every squad needs on and off the field.
Midfielder: Paul Pogba (France, Manchester United)
Sure, he sometimes overdoes it (both in terms of fashion and on the field), but we had to include Paul Pogba. The France and Manchester United midfielder has a varied wardrobe — shout-out to the Givenchy track bottoms above — but his style is perhaps best defined by his love of sneakers. He's been spotted flexing a pair of custom all-white YEEZY Boost 350s and adidas has given him his own sneaker and apparel line.
Midfielder: Denis Zakaria (Switzerland, Borussia Mönchengladbach)
Denis Zakaria’s star is firmly on the rise. After completing his first season in the German Bundesliga with Borussia Mönchengladbach, the young defensive midfielder is part of a Switzerland World Cup squad that has progressed to the knockouts and is a footballer with a real sense of style. Like most of the players on our list, he falls back on tried and trusted Gucci/OFF-WHITE/YEEZY combinations, but he makes them work better than others.
Forward: Alex Iwobi (Nigeria, Arsenal)
Arsenal schemer Alex Iwobi makes our team not for his off-field style but because he plays for Nigeria, which had the best kit at World Cup 2018 (until the Super Eagles were dumped out by Argentina this week) and an equally eye-catching apparel collection. Above, Iwobi is rocking the lifestyle tracksuit with a crisp pair of white Air Force 1s. The caption says it all: “Name a national team collection that’s better.” Just a shame the team itself wasn't better.
Forward: Neymar (Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain)
Love him or hate him, love his style or hate his style, the World Cup wouldn't feel quite right without Neymar's outrageous skills, obnoxious manner, and off-field hypebeast ’fits. Some say the Brazilian star’s style peaked with the Balmain jacket above, others say his recent spaghetti-style haircut proves otherwise. He might be divisive, but you can't take your eyes off him.
Forward: Michy Batshuayi (Belgium, Chelsea)
On the field, striker Michy Batshuayi had a storming second half of last season at Borussia Dortmund on loan from Chelsea. Off it, he's a fan favorite for showing a quick wit on social media equal to his quick feet in the penalty box, never missing out on a chance to meme or troll someone. Gags aside, his style is serious, with an affinity for brands such as OFF-WHITE, Gucci, and Supreme, and footwear choices that include Y-3s and YEEZYs.
Next, check out our ranking of every single kit at World Cup 2018 here.