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England's top performers in Russia include Kieran Trippier, Harry Maguire and Jordan Pickford

The dust has settled on England's wild World Cup ride and, though it ended in underwhelming fashion with defeat to Belgium in the third-place playoff, many of Gareth Southgate's squad left Russia knowing that their performances have boosted their standing in the football world and beyond.

ESPN FC takes a look at the five England players who did most to bolster their reputations at the World Cup.

Kieran Trippier

It's incredible to think that a year ago Trippier wasn't even considered a starter for Tottenham, never mind England.

Mauricio Pochettino took his game to another level following the sale of Kyle Walker to Manchester City in the summer of 2016 and Southgate's unorthodox 3-5-2 system unleashed his full attacking potential as a marauding wing-back at the World Cup.

Trippier was England's most consistently impressive performer in Russia and their most reliable attacking outlet, creating 24 chances -- more than any other player at the tournament, never mind a defender -- with devilishly delivered set-pieces.

He deserved the signature moment that arrived when he curled a superb free kick beyond Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic, becoming only the third English player to score in a World Cup semifinal.

One of the least heralded inclusions in Southgate's squad a month ago, Trippier is a household name now. He's even been awarded the freedom of his home town, Bury.

Jordan Pickford

No decision that Southgate has made has been as emphatically vindicated as the one to make Pickford his No. 1 goalkeeper in Russia.

There was far from a consensus, with Jack Butland also having a good case, but it's hard to imagine anyone dislodging Pickford now providing that fitness remains in his favour.

Belgium's Thibaut Courtois may have won the Golden Glove, but Pickford arguably created more memorable moments than any other goalkeeper at the World Cup.

After making an outrageous stop to keep out Juan Uribe's long shot for Colombia he became the first England goalkeeper since David Seaman to save a penalty in the shootout, and Pickford also produced several crucial interventions in key moments against Sweden and Croatia.

England have waited a long time for a goalkeeper with tournament presence. It appears they have finally found one.

Harry Maguire

Southgate's unorthodox system was primarily designed to put his centre-backs in position to carry the ball out of defence, and Maguire -- who watched England as a fan from the stands in Euro 2016 -- was tailor-made to thrive in it.

Despite looking a little ungainly at times he consistently used the ball well, and the man unkindly labelled "Slabhead" by Leicester City teammate Jamie Vardy was also one of the most crucial elements to England becoming the most feared set-piece team in the tournament.

His goal against Sweden provided the exclamation point on an excellent tournament for Maguire, and it wouldn't be a surprise if Leicester receive a very big transfer offer for him this summer.

John Stones

At the age of 24 it already feels as though Stones has lived an entire career, from the hype that surrounded his emergence at Everton to the multitude who were willing to write him off during a difficult first two seasons at Manchester City.

In Russia he came of age, marshalling an inexperienced England back three with poise and maturity as well as carrying a big set-piece threat at the other end. He would have earned hero status had Sime Vrsaljko not cleared his header off the goal line with Croatia and England deadlocked at 1-1.

As it stands, he will have to settle for a tournament that should convince Pep Guardiola not to leave him on the Manchester City bench next season.

Harry Kane

Going into this tournament as arguably the best striker in world football, Kane needed no reputation boost. But in his debut campaign as England captain he made the biggest mark on a tournament of any Three Lions frontman since Gary Lineker in 1990.

Six goals made him only the second Englishman after Lineker in 1986 to win the Golden Boot at a World Cup and he was flawless from the penalty spot, a stage on which very few Englishmen have ever shone on the international stage.

Kane's late winner against Tunisia changed the whole trajectory of England's tournament and while he clearly ran out of gas in the knockout stage, the Tottenham star never stopped trying and played a key role in making this team more likeable and successful than any Three Lions side for 20 years.


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