To many the hardest region to qualify for the World Cup is in South America. From world class opponents, to altitude, to heat, things are never easy in Conmebol. The games are tight, and the level of play is out of this world.
Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador is on their way to Qatar with Peru needing to win an intercontinental playoff to make it a straight 5 teams from the region. While each team has provided memorable moments these XI players have proven to be a cut above the rest.
Here is the Best XI from Conmebol World Cup qualification, here are eleven players to keep an eye on in Qatar 2022.
Emiliano Martínez - GK
The Aston Villa netminder came into his own during the 2021 Copa America and since then has taken sole command of the Argentine net. Martinez has great shot stopping abilities and knows how to get in the head of opposing forwards.
Danilo - RB
Juventus full back Danilo was a menace going down the flanks in qualification and helped Brazil maintain only 5 goals against in Conmebol World Cup qualifying. While Brazil would mix their lineup when qualification was assured, Danilo was top rate when things originally got started.
Cristian Romero - D
Coming out of the blue was Spurs defender Cristian Romero, who was one of the top defenders in the Copa America and a mainstay in Argentina in their lead up to qualification.
Thiago Silva - D
Still going strong Thiago Silva was a rock at the back for Brazil and will be one of the leaders for the five-time champions at the World Cup. At 37 and playing for Chelsea, Silva did not miss a beat and rarely made mistakes during qualification.
Pervis Estupiñán - LB
Ecuadorian left back Pervis Estupiñán was solid for the Tri Color during their World Cup qualification campaign, scoring two goals during the competition against Chile and Colombia. A player to watch in the World Cup.
Federico Valverde - DM
Uruguay’s Federico Valverde continues to become better and better, one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, Valverde has elegance on the ball and a lethal shot from outside the box.
The Real Madrid defensive midfielder is a bull in the middle of the field, one of the best box to box midfielders in the world, the Brazilian has a huge work rate scoring 1 goal against Ecuador in 2022.
Lionel Messi - 10
Lionel Messi scored 7 goals for Argentina as they qualified yet again to the big stage. Messi played very well for his national team who seem to finally know how to play with Messi, rather than depending solely on Messi.
Luis Suarez - FW
Conmebol’s all-time leading scorer in World Cup qualifying scored 8 goals, but it was rather an up and down campaign for Suarez. Not at his best level his 8 goals were good enough to lead Uruguay back to the World Cup. He scored a sensational bicycle kick goal against Chile.
Marcelo Martins - FW
Bolivia was a trainwreck, but Martins was not, scoring 10 goals, unfortunately it was not enough as Bolivia finished 9th in qualification losing their last 4 games.
Neymar - FW
Neymar scored 8 goals and looked really good for Brazil in their run to the World Cup. Ney seems to benefit from playing with the national team, the question is can he lead the team to a sixth World Cup?