The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil will, as ever, see impressive performances from relatively unknown players—players will be thrust into the eyes of the world and suddenly become household names.
Some of those watching eyes will be football scouts and managers, eager to make a signing and impressed by what they've seen.
Frequently we see players impress at a World Cup and earn themselves a move based upon their performances at the tournament.
It's a risky strategy, just ask Gerard Houllier, who was Liverpool boss in 2002. He'd signed El Hadji Diouf prior to the Senegal forward impressing at the tournament, and he then went out and signed midfielder Salif Diao immediately after. Proof, then, that not all signings work out based on World Cup performances.
More recently we've seen Real Madrid in particular make big name signings post World Cup. They signed Italy's World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro in 2006, and they added German duo Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil in 2010.
Here, we rank the 11 greatest signings that were made based upon their World Cup performances.
The criteria used for ranking is based upon:
- how impressive the player performed at that World Cup
- how obscure the player was prior to the tournament—and the club they played at
- how big the club and transfer fee was for the player
- how successful their move was in the long-term
Have a read and let us know your choices in the comments.