FIFA World Cup 2010: 20 Players To Follow More Closely on the Club Level
Well the World Cup has come to a close. Congratulations to Spain on a wonderful achievement in winning the title.
Now the focus will shift to the 2010-2011 season, and there's great anticipation as to who is moving where.
But amongst the talks, here are 20 players who after incredible World Cups will be more closely watched.
Some are young talents who have made the occasion their own, others are more well-known names who have reestablished their recognition with brilliant performances. Then there are one or two old folks who have just impressed.
Thomas Muller (Germany/ Bayern Munich)
Many might have heard of the young German during the Champions League; I first heard his name when Bayern Munich played Manchester United.
Initially he didn't impress me, but then came South Africa 2010 and Muller along with his German team were amazing.
His stood out from a team that's littered with stars.
Now Muller will return to Bayern with a new status as a bigger player, and undoubtedly more responsibility to remain on top of his game. This is a challenge I think he will welcome.
His stay at Bayern Munich gives us some reassurance that he won't be poached easily to England or Spain.
But he's definitely someone to keep your eye on.
Mesut Ozil (Germany/ Werde Bremen)
The "find" of the World Cup simply was one of the young players who on first sight seems to have a great future ahead. He has great ball control, speed, agility, vision and an eye for goal.
Ozil is almost the perfect young footballer who with the correct management could earn great things.
Mesut has already attracted massive interest from Europe's big clubs' the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal are a few names to mention.
While he still might be a Werde Bremen player, Mesut will be watched and many would hope he moves to a bigger club. A move to the EPL could be on the cards and something many fans would relish.
Sami Khedira (Germany/ VfB Stuttgart)
The third German to make the list, Sami has been another of the young talents to bring joy to many Germans during the World Cup.
His been dubbed the "Next Paul Scholes" for his defensive yet attacking style and has great vision when moving the ball around.
His another player who could see a move in the near future with a number of clubs interested in his services.
Andre Ayew (Ghana/ Arles-Avignon)
Ayew is a young, talented Ghanaian whose is also the son of African Footballing Legend Abidi Pele.
Ayew attracted massive support from locals with his dazzling skill and runs which was part of Ghana's success in South Africa.
While Ayew hasn't seen interest from the big clubs, there is interest from smaller clubs in the Premiership.
A move to England could be exactly what he needs to kick-start his career. According to reports Ayew is keen on a move away from France.
Michel Bastos (Brazil/ Lyon)
Brazilian left back Michel Bastos certainly impressed and was a shining light in what might have been a disappointing end to the World Cup for the Brazilians.
He is short on experience which will come with time, but he has the ability and talent to grow as a player.
Currently playing in France, Bastos could move to Italy or Spain in the next couple of years.
Robinho (Brazil/ Manchester City)
Another one that failed at Real Madrid. He signed with Manchester City hoping for success, but with the influx of high profile signings he found himself short.
Robinho has spent the last season in Brazil at Santos where he rediscovered his form and seems to be enjoying the game much more.
I have watched a number of matches and his partnership with Neymar and Gonso (Paulo Henrique) has been excellent.
Robinho seems to be ready for a return but Santos are hoping to increase his loan spell, while there are talks about a possible swap deal on the cards.
Robinho for Ibrahimovic could see Robinho return to Spain this time to Madrid rivals Barcelona.
Interestingly it doesn't matter where he plays in the coming season, whether it's Santos, Manchester City, or Barcelona, there's no doubt that he will once again shine.
Alexis Sanchez (Chile/ Udinese)
Alexis is not one of those who might have caught the eye of everyone, but he has a lot to offer.
He is a worker and forms an integral part of the Chilean team. Currently playing in Italy, many feel he could be tempted to a move to England.
Manchester United have been rumored to be interested in him.
Keisuke Honda (Japan/ CSKA Moscow)
Honda is another name that we remember from South Africa; he stood out as one of the key players in the Japanese squad and could go on to bigger things.
A move to a more recognizable club in England or Spain could help Honda earn more support.
He certainly has the ability to make it in England with some of the smaller clubs but that could spur him on and make him a better player.
If not England, I think we can expect him to move to Germany. As a result we as spectators will get to see more of this amazing player.
Giovanni dos Santos (Mexico/ Tottenham Hotspurs)
Could be mistaken for Ronaldinho when he's on the ball, his hair, body movement, and style reminds us of the two-time Footballer of the Year.
But he also has the skill, talent and ability to go with it.
Giovanni made his move from Spain to England with the hope for more first team opportunity.
But with so much great talent at Spurs, he was sent off loan, which seems to have been a good thing.
He seems more focused and ready for a new and bigger challenge. With the league to start soon, Spurs could use his talent as they look to be a part of the Champions League after having finished fourth in the EPL.
Giovanni will be watched with great interest come the start of the season.
Pablo Barrera (Mexico/ Pumas UNAM)
Another young Mexican who has impressed in South Africa, Barrera seems to be on his way to the English Premiership. According to reports he will be joining West Ham United soon.
Barrera, who was also linked with United, City, and Chelsea is another player with great talent, speed, and awareness.
He still has to gain experience, but he will be watched with a great deal as he has a lot to offer.
A move to England will give him a much wider audience and no doubt his fan group will grow.
Javier Hernandez (Mexico/ Manchester United)
So much has been said about this young talent; Hernandez still needs some grooming but there's little disagreement on his talent and ability.
United clinched the deal in April, already making him a great buy. Hernandez will join the squad soon as he now will look to have a break after the World Cup.
With Rooney's fitness in doubt, many would look to Hernandez to be amongst the names that could lead the line at Old Trafford.
Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands/ Inter Milan)
Reborn after a spell in Spain at Real Madrid, it seems the Dutchman has come out a better player after joining Inter Milan under Jose Mourinho.
Having won the Champions League, Italian Cup, and Serie A, Sneijder and his Dutch colleagues failed to lift the World Crown.
He has strongly been linked with a 29 Million Pound move to Manchester United but has said he will stay at Inter.
His career is on the up and will be another great player to keep your eye on. He has the experience, the talent and as a current Champions League winner Sneijder will look to become amongst the World's best.
Eljero Elia (Netherlands/ Hamburger SV)
Amongst the young group who have stood out, Elia only played a small part in the World Cup, having come on as a sub on numerous occasions.
But when he did, he always seemed to have an impact and impressed all with his silky footwork.
Currently at Hamburg, it won't be long before he makes his way to one of Europe's elite clubs.
It will be interesting to watch him week in and week out out in the league format.
Elia seems to follow the Arsenal style of football and could be a great buy for Wenger to consider.
Angel Di Maria (Argentina/ Real Madrid)
I was first impressed by Di Maria during the qualifiers and since then I've kept a close eye on his performance.
He started the World Cup slow but soon grew in confidence and played important roles during their time in South Africa.
Now his has a new challenge on his hands, Real Madrid under Jose Mourinho.
The Argentinian will look to earn a place in the Madrid lineup, which could be tough looking at the stars already there.
The La Liga has brought so much interest in the last few seasons and seems to only be heating up.
Sergio Aguero (Argentina/ Athletico Madrid)
Another young ambitious Argentinian, who is playing in Spain already.
Aguero has been linked to England for some time now but nothing seems to be coming out of it.
His role in the Atletico squad is vital as he brings the X-factor which is required in every team.
Atletico will look to challenge for a top-four position, and he will have to be at his best to be a part of that success.
Vladimir Weiss (Slovakia/ Manchester City)
The young Slovakian has already been introduced to many at City and has made somewhat of a mark in terms of his presence with his dazzling skill, speed, and vision.
He once again impressed many as Slovakia made it to the last 16 after sending the former World Champions Italy home.
Weiss will look to play a much more important role in the season as City looks to bolster the squad with big names.
Weiss will look for every opportunity to make his own name counted amongst the many new faces.
David Villa (Spain/ Barcelona)
His name has been ringing in our ears for the last month and with a huge season ahead, it seems the name Villa will be chanted and cheered for much longer.
No doubt Villa will take along many female fans to Barcelona as he will look to set himself amongst some of the best players in the World.
Villa who had a wonderful World Cup by scoring five goals and taking home the winner's medal, will now look to enjoy a break before joining his new team mates at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona seems to be the strongest team on paper, with the likes of Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, and Ibrahimovic to be part of the force that will look to defend the title.
He will no doubt be the one player that many will wait eagerly to watch as he and Barcelona look to hold tight on to the La Liga crown as Mourinho and his soldiers prepare to battle it out.
Pedro Rodriguez (Spain/ Barcelona)
An amazing young talent, his rise to fame came about when Henry got injured, and since then he took every opportunity with open hands.
He's a great impact player, likes to get involved, and has quick feet and intelligent runs.
Pedro will have to be even more resilient and fight even harder for a starting place in the Barca lineup since Villa will now challenge for a position.
Luis Suarez (Uruguay/ Ajax Amsterdam)
For many they will never forgive him for his handball which saw the hopes and dreams of Africa crushed. But he served his punishment and after a "losers-final," he ended in fourth place with Uruguay.
But now it's back to club football, and many are waiting to see whose going to snatch up the young goal scoring machine from Ajax.
Suarez has a great eye for the goal, and is a poacher and provider.
Diego Forlan (Uruguay/ Athletico Madrid)
He might be the oldest player on this list at age 31, but that didn't stop him from putting on the greatest show in South Africa.
Forlan walked away with the most coveted individual honor at the World Cup; he was presented the Golden Ball as the Player of the Tournament.
Forlan also just missed out on the top scorer award.
Now he will return to Spain as he will look to take this form and attempt a top-four finish with Athletico.
While many see him returning to England, he has rejected those claims and said he is focused at staying in Spain.
As the La Liga heats up ahead of the start of the season, Forlan will be amongst the players to watch.