Ramires to Stam – 5 players to get big move after World Cup
The World Cup is rightly seen as the biggest of stages for players to make an impression and land a move that can work wonders for their careers.
The 2014 instalment in Brazil will be no different and it may only take a handful of strong displays to tempt one of Europe’s bigger clubs to part with a large wad of money.
Below are five names that have previously used the World Cup as a stepping stone to a high-profile transfer.
Jaap Stam – PSV to Man Utd (1998)
Having failed to replicate their Eredivisie success of 1997 when finishing second to Ajax, PSV’s six Dutch representatives at the 1998 World Cup had some decisions to make following the tournament.
Arthur Numan went to Rangers and Wim Jonk joined Sheffield Wednesday, while Barcelona snapped up midfield duo Phillip Cocu and Boudewijn Zenden.
However, Jaap Stam arguably got the biggest move in signing for Man Utd and in 12 months he had completed the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble.
El Hadji Diouf – Lens to Liverpool (2002)
Gerard Houllier was convinced to pay £10m for Diouf after he played a leading role in Senegal’s shock run to the quarter finals of the 2002 World Cup.
After scoring twice on his Anfield debut though, Diouf failed to fire Liverpool to the title as Houllier hoped, failing to net again until March and hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons soon after when spitting at a Celtic supporter.
In the following season, when Liverpool’s number nine, he failed to contribute a single Premier League goal and eventually he was shipped off to rekindle his career at Bolton.
Dirk Kuyt – Feyenoord to Liverpool (2006)
Liverpool were back raiding the World Cup market four years later, albeit with the much more proven Dirk Kuyt, who had played in 11 of Holland’s qualifying matches to make the finals and started ahead of Ruud van Nistelrooy in their round of 16 defeat to Portugal.
His career at Liverpool was successful, scoring the decisive penalty in a semi-final Champions League shoot-out success over Chelsea in his first season and then scoring their only goal in the final defeat to AC Milan.
Kuyt made over 200 appearances for the Reds in total and was on target importantly in extra time against Cardiff in the 2012 League Cup final, which helped secure his only trophy with the club.
Didier Zokora – Saint-Etienne to Tottenham (2006)
Zokora has gone on to be the Ivory Coast’s most capped player and was the defensive figure stationed alongside Yaya Toure at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
His positional awareness and selfless attitude were key criteria in Zokora lasting three years at White Hart Lane, until he ended up playing second fiddle to £12m signing Wilson Palacios.
Ramires – Benfica to Chelsea (2010)
Ramires’ importance to the Brazilian team at the 2010 World Cup was highlighted by then-manager Dunga, who suggested that their tournament-ending defeat to Holland was a result of the midfielder’s ban.
Chelsea bought him from Benfica after the tournament for around £20m and he made an impact with his driving runs from midfield and tenacity to win back possession in high areas of the pitch, largely taking over from Michael Essien.
Ramires has already won three trophies at Chelsea, with the club 9/4 to win the 2014/15 Premier League title.
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