The phrase ‘putting yourself in the shop window’ was coined with World Cup performances in mind.
But doing it on the biggest stage of all doesn’t necessarily forge a healthy career afterwards.
Far from it.
In fact the number of massive hits are equally balanced by the amount of devastating misses when it comes to post-tournament transfer activity.
So we thought we’d take a deep dive into the murky, lawless wasteland that is the World Cup signing.
If you want to make a successful post-World Cup acquisition, follow Real Madrid’s example.
Fabio Cannavaro made the Bernabeu switch after Italy’s roaring triumph in 2006 and he remains the last defender to win the Ballon d’Or.
Four years later Real doubled up, pinching Mesut Ozil and Angel di Maria as both youngsters stole the show for Germany and Argentina respectively.
Ozil was also joined by countryman Sami Khedira for a combined fee of just £30m as the Germans invaded Madrid.
Real were then at it again after the last World Cup in Russia, luring the standout breakthrough star James Rodriguez to the Spanish capital for a whopping £70m.
Away from Madrid, Arsenal’s scouting department deserve acknowledgement too for bringing 2002 star Gilberto to north London.
But for every roaring success there’s a categoric failure waiting around the corner.
Sir Alex Ferguson is the most important figure in Man United folklore but he’ll want to forget the decision to bring Kleberson to Old Trafford after winning the World Cup with Brazil in 2002.
Along with Bebe and Eric Djemba-Djemba, no new signing in Red Devils’ history has been derided and mocked so much.
Their north west rivals haven’t fared much better though.
Roy Hodgson’s forgettable reign at Liverpool was destined to fail as soon as he signed Milan Jovanovic after a couple of decent performances for Serbia in 2010 in South Africa.
His only goal for the Reds came in a League Cup tie with Northampton at Anfield which they went to lose on penalties.
It didn’t get much better four years later when, armed with the Luis Suarez money, Brendan Rodgers snapped up Divock Origi after the young Belgian benched Romelu Lukaku in Brazil.
Origi went back to Lille on loan for a year and was duly named in Ligue 1’s worst team of the season.
Three words. El-Hadji Diouf.
The Senegalese stunned holders France in 2002 but if there’s ever an example of why World Cups might not be the best judge of character, look no further than Diouf at Liverpool.
The forward, who was followed by compatriot Salif Diao, swiftly went onto become one of the most despised figures in English football, even spitting at a Celtic fan in a UEFA Cup tie.
He scored a grand total of three league goals for the Merseysiders before a move to Bolton in 2004.
Two of the finest players in their respective positions, plying their trade under Alan Pardew in east London.
No this isn’t a bizarre Football Manager outcome, it actually happened at West Ham in 2006 and led to one of the strangest transfer sagas in Premier League history.
Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano rocked up at Upton Park on Deadline Day but third party complications meant West Ham were sued by Sheffield United after they stayed up at their expense.
Tevez became a cult hero with some vital goals but Mascherano’s status was refined at Liverpool, who he swiftly joined in January 2007 after registration issues.
The 90 minutes of fame
The most pulsating encounter at the last World Cup saw a relentless Belgium side pepper Tim Howard’s USA goal into submission in the last 16.
A caveat to the enthralling clash saw DeAndre Yedlin announce himself to the world stage after being forced to come on for the injured Fabian Johnson after half an hour.
Yedlin proceeded to tear the Belgian left hand side to shreds well into extra time and his exploits saw Tottenham come calling.
He made just one Premier League appearance at Spurs before being shipped up north to Sunderland and then Newcastle.
Dream Team World Cup has landed!
The greatest show on Earth just got that bit more exciting.
That’s because the Dream Team World Cup game is now live ahead of this summer’s tournament.
Dream Team World Cup
- Completely free to enter
- £50m budget and 20 transfers throughout the tournament
- £175k total prizepot (for UK players only)
- SIGN UP FOR DREAM TEAM WORLD CUP NOW
Messi? Ronaldo? Jordan Henderson? Take your pick, they’re all available for you to select at your mercy.
It’s absolutely free to enter, there’s a mouthwatering £175k prizepot and you can even play outside the UK.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up here!