But imagine having not only those two at your disposal, but the entire squads of the reigning world title holders and the defending champions of South America.
With France and Argentina set to face off in the Qatar World Cup final on Sunday and the chance to write themselves into the history books, Les Bleus manager Didier Deschamps and Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni have several tough choices in terms of picking their starting XIs.
And below, Sportsmail‘s Max Mathews lays out his joint France-Argentina team ahead of this weekend’s tournament showpiece.
Kylian Mbappe’s France and Lionel Messi’s Argentina contest the World Cup final on Sunday
The PSG team-mates will go head-to-head, but what if you could select both in the same team?
Below, Sportsmail’s Max Mathews lays out his joint France-Argentina XI ahead of the final
THE LINE-UP (4-3-1-2)
Goalkeeper – Hugo Lloris
The goalkeeping position is a close call.
Argentina’s Emiliano Martinez has come a long way since his one-game emergency loan at League Two Oxford United 11 years ago and is a penalty-saving specialist who leads from the back in terms of the Albiceleste’s combative, fearless style.
But Lloris is supremely experienced on the highest level, captained his side to World Cup victory in 2018 and – some are forgetting – pressured England’s Harry Kane into missing the second penalty in the quarter-final win by going the right way.
Right back – Nahuel Molina
Amid all the (rightful) brouhaha over the best assist of the World Cup, Lionel Messi’s lovely slide-rule reverse pass in the build-up to the opener in the barnstorming four-goal quarter-final against Holland, it’s easy to forget the goalscorer.
But Nahuel Molina has been quietly effective for Scaloni, switching between a back four and a back five, neutralising opposition threats – like Ivan Perisic in the semi-final – and even getting on the end of that gorgeous Messi pass to finish calmly.
He’s also a more natural right back than France’s man filling in there – one of the centre backs to be named in this team, further below.
Versatile, combative defender Nahuel Molina (right) is named at right-back in our writer’s team
Centre back – Cristian Romero
It’s always entertaining watching Romero. Not always a good thing, for a centre back, constantly providing fans with a rollercoaster of emotion. But the 24-year-old has enjoyed a revival after the country’s hugely disappointing opening game.
Starting very soon after recovering from injury, his side were stunned in a 2-1 reverse against Saudi Arabia – the shock of the entire competition – and the Spurs star was arguably at fault for both goals.
He was replaced before the hour by Lisandro Martinez and many felt that was his tournament done. Not so. How successfully he shackles Mbappe and striker Olivier Giroud on Sunday could decide the final.
Centre back – Jules Kounde
A surprise inclusion over Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard at right back so far at this World Cup, and perhaps a surprise inclusion at centre back in this team too.
But Nicolas Otamendi, 34, is prone to rash challenges, and a trio of France defenders in Raphael Varane, Ibrahima Konate and Dayot Upamecano are all struck down by illness.
Pictures show all three – and, in fact, all of the players who have been struggling with a virus, returned to training on the eve of the final, meaning they are in contention to play on Sunday.
But it’s not guaranteed, and Deschamps may decide to shift a fully fit Jules Kounde across to centre back to plug a gap in his defence. With that in mind, the versatile Barcelona defender gets the nod next to Romero.
Amid doubts over the fitness of three France defenders, Jules Kounde is named at centre half
Left back – Theo Hernandez
France’s squad depth is bordering on ludicrous. Didier Deschamps could conceivably construct a competitive World Cup squad comprised of the players he left out of the 26-man group, and that depth was proven in their opening game.
A superbly talented left back called Hernandez gets ruled out of the tournament with a nasty knee injury 13 minutes into their tournament opener? No problem, the boss can call upon… another superbly talented left back called Hernandez.
Theo has stepped in for brother Lucas seamlessly, scoring a fine improvised acrobatic effort to open the scoring in the semi-final win against Morocco, and has linked up really nicely with Mbappe.
Defensive midfield – Aurelien Tchouameni
It took a lot to outshine England’s Declan Rice in the quarter-final, but Real Madrid’s Aurelien Tchouameni managed it.
It’s telling how little France have missed injured world-class operators like N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba, the engine-room pair that spearheaded their World Cup-winning side in 2018, and a lot of that is down to the defensive midfielder.
Whoever plays next to him in midfield, perhaps Youssouf Fofana, perhaps Adrien Rabiot, they know they’ll have Tchouameni’s protection beside and behind them. The future of the Los Blancos midfield, along with whizkid Eduardo Camavinga.
Centre midfield – Rodrigo De Paul
To call Rodrigo De Paul ‘Lionel Messi’s protector’ does him a great disservice. Sure, he looks out for the little magician, and he will fight you (without getting sent off) if you foul his team-mate.
But he is a wonderfully gifted playmaker who can do both sides of the game – the silk and the steel – with similar ease and has the tactical understanding and awareness to fill different roles across the midfield.
For example, if this side wanted to move to a 4-4-2, De Paul could easily move to the nominal right hand side of midfield, with Griezmann left. You want to be in the footballing trenches with a player like De Paul.
Centre midfield – Enzo Fernandez
Of course, there are plenty more talented options to play in midfield for our side. Camavinga, Rabiot, Leandro Paredes, Alexis Mac Allister. But are any of them as fun as Enzo Fernandez?
Targeted by Premier League side Liverpool and potentially the next star to leave Benfica in a multi-million deal, the 21-year-old has only got nine caps and played just 13 league games in Europe.
His namesake is Enzo Francescoli (one of Zinedine Zidane’s idols as a kid, along with Michel Platini) and if he can emulate a third of one of those player’s careers, he’ll be some player. Keep an eye on this kid.
Argentine duo Enzo Fernandez (left) and Rodrigo De Paul are selected as central midfielders
Attacking midfield – Antoine Griezmann
Griezmann is often underestimated at the very top level. He’s never won a LaLiga title, they say. He didn’t really do it at Barcelona. Managers don’t know what his best position is. He doesn’t know what his best position is, they add. Ignore them.
Griezmann is a little reminiscent of Kai Havertz, another lithe left-footed attacking midfielder who drifts about, seemingly aimlessly, across the pitch before out of nowhere conjuring a breathtaking piece of skill to change a game.
Exhibit A: the cross to Giroud against England. Exhibit B: the cross to Mbappe against Denmark. There are lots of other examples. You don’t play 73 consecutive games for the world champions unless you have something about you.
Forward – Lionel Messi
Potentially the two least controversial decisions in the whole team, the strikers. Sure, I could take out a midfielder and have Olivier Giroud as a central figurehead instead, with Messi right and Mbappe left, cutting onto their stronger sides.
But Messi can play as a striker in a two, like he has been with Manchester City’s Julian Alvarez. He can do anything, anywhere. Set aside all his career achievements before this World Cup and you still have loads of moments of magic.
Messi (left) and Mbappe (right) make up an all-star attacking pairing in Sportsmail’s team
A goal against Saudi Arabia, a goal against Mexico, a brilliant performance against Poland (albeit he missed a penalty), a goal against Australia, a goal and assist against Holland, a goal and two assists against Croatia. At 35 years old. Absurd.
Forward – Kylian Mbappe
Mbappe and Messi, PSG team-mates, the best of the current generation (don’t come for me, Cristiano Ronaldo fans) and the best of the next, the two current top scorers at the World Cup and the front two in my team.
I shouldn’t really have to justify it – he’s just very, very good at football. Even in a ‘quieter’ game against England in the quarter-final, England’s (largely successful) plan to stop him opened up time and space for others.
The 23-year-old has already done what Ronaldo, and potentially Messi, may never achieve in their career – lift a World Cup. Can he lift another on Sunday? Don’t put it past him.
Sportsmail’s final definitive combined France-Argentina XI, lining up in a 4-3-1-2 formation