World Cups have provided ample players with a platform to announce themselves as a global star and earn a career-defining move to a giant of the game.
With clubs running the rule over an array of players to have impressed recently in Russia, Sportsmail provides a word of warning by reflecting on 10 post-World Cup transfers that didn’t work out for the best.
Kleberson (Atletico Paranaense – Manchester United)
The Brazil midfielder was heralded by his national coach Luiz Felipe Scolari as the driving force behind the side that lifted the 2002 World Cup. Sir Alex Ferguson clearly agreed – he signed him from Atletico Paranaense the following year and he was presented as a Man United player alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.
‘One of the reasons we sold Juan Sebastian Veron was because we knew we were getting Kleberson – that shows how highly we regard his talent,’ Ferguson said.
But this was one that Ferguson got wrong. Kleberson made just 20 appearances over two injury-hampered seasons before joining Besiktas in 2005.
Brazil midfielder Kleberson joined Manchester United alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in 2003
Denilson (Sao Paolo – Real Betis)
Denilson became one of the most sought-after players after appearing in every game for Brazil as reached the World Cup final in 1998.
The Sao Paulo winger had also picked up the Confederations Cup Most Valuable Player award the previous season.
Signed by Real Betis for a world record-breaking fee of £21.5 million, it looked like Denilson was going to be a hit at the Estadio Benito Villamarin.
Perhaps the price tag that hung heavy around his neck because things did not turn out as planned. Denilson struggled to become a regular starter, and in his second season with Betis, the club were relegated into the Segunda Division.
The Brazilian returned to Flamengo on loan before returning to Betis in January 2001. The club were promoted back into the Primera Division, but Denilson was sparingly used—most often as a substitute.
A World Cup-winner in 2002, Denilson went to Bordeaux on a free transfer in 2005.
Denilson’s move to Real Betis from Sao Paolo set a world record transfer fee in 1998
El Hadji Diouf (Lens – Liverpool)
Liverpool announced the signing of the Senegal forward a day after he helped his country shock World Cup holders France with a 1-0 win in the opening day of the 2002 tournament.
Diouf had been scouted ahead of the tournament and wasn’t signed purely on the basis of his exploits in Japan and South Korea, but his performances at the World Cup gave reason for Reds fans to be genuinely excited.
However, Diouf failed to build on his promising tournament and did not live up to the billing. He struggled to endear himself to the fans and his time at Anfield was largely marred by several controversial incidents – most notably spitting at a Celtic fan during a European match.
Diouf scored a brace in his second Premier League game for Liverpool before going on a barren stretch until March, where he registered just one more. The following season Diouf did not find the back of the net once in 26 top-flight appearances.
He was eventually sold on to Bolton Wanderers in August 2004, having made 69 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool.
El Hadji Diouf moved to Liverpool after an impressive 2002 World Cup campaign with Senegal
James Rodriguez (Monaco – Real Madrid)
For Colombia, James Rodriguez took the 2014 World Cup in Brazil by storm, claiming the Golden Boot with six goals.
He had been making waves around Europe even before the World Cup and only enhanced his reputation in Brazil, having enjoyed a stellar first season in France with Monaco in the 2013-14 campaign.
But few would have predicted his feat of outscoring every player at the tournament – a factor that proved to be key in convincing Real Madrid to splash out £60m to sign him.
James Rodriguez starred at the 2014 World Cup but failed to repeat his success at Real Madrid
The La Liga side signed Toni Kroos the same summer and despite Rodriguez settling in a more advanced role, he would soon grow frustrated at his lack of playing time in the Spanish capital. He enjoyed an impressive first season, scoring 17 in 46 but he would only play 65 times in the two seasons that followed and was regularly on the bench.
Zinedine Zidane came in as boss in 2015 and was prepared to upset the apple cart in order to push through the likes of Isco and Marco Asensio. Rodriguez was the one who was sacrificed.
In the summer of last year, he joined Bayern Munich on a two-year loan deal.
Andreas Isaksson (Rennes – Manchester City)
The Sweden goalkeeper earned a move to Manchester City after playing as his country’s No 1 stopper in the 2006 tournament, held in Germany. The fee, of £2m, from Rennes was reasonable too – this was before City were bought by Sheik Mansour.
But his time in Manchester was derailed by knee, ankle and thumb injuries and the emergence of Joe Hart. He was at the club for two seasons, his last appearance coming in an 8-1 defeat by Middlesbrough, before joining PSV Eindhoven.
Andreas Isaksson struggled to make the No 1 spot his own at Manchester City due to injuries
Salif Diao (Sedan – Liverpool)
He arrived alongside his Senegal team-mate Diouf and while Salif Diao’s time at Liverpool was much less abrasive, it was ultimately fruitless.
Bought for £5m from Sedan in France by Gerard Houllier, Diao was often played away from his favoured central midfield role and in defence or full-back.
When Rafa Benitez replaced Houllier in 2004, Diao went on loan to Birmingham, Portsmouth and Stoke, who he joined on permament terms in 2007. He departed Anfield having made 61 appearances.
Salif Diao’s move to Liverpool after the 2002 World Cup was not a success
Stephane Guivarc’h (Auxerre – Newcastle)
Guivarch was the original Olivier Giroud by France World Cup standards – he played the bulk of their games in 1998 and has a winner’s medal, but his failure to score at all consigned him to history for less than flattering reasons.
It should have been a warning sign for Newcastle, who signed him that summer for £3.5m from Auxerre. He scored on his debut, against Liverpool but was otherwise uninspiring on the pitch for the Magpies and was sold in November, four months after arriving, to Rangers.
Stephane Guivarc’h joined Newcastle in the summer of 1998 but left the club in November
Asamoah Gyan (Rennes – Sunderland)
Gyan could have been one of the rare success stories, having signed for Sunderland just weeks after starring for Ghana at the 2010 World Cup.
The striker hit the back of the net three times on Ghana’s run to the quarter-finals, though his penalty miss against Uruguay did cost them a place in the last four.
Sunderland weren’t put off though and broke the bank to sign him for a club-record £13m. Then-manager Steve Bruce had planned to pair Gyan up front with Darren Bent, but the latter was sold to Aston Villa in January when the partnership was in its infancy.
Asamoah Gyan joined Sunderland after an impressive 2010 World Cup with Ghana
The Ghanaian still enjoyed an auspicious debut season in the Premier League, scoring 10 times in 31 games. However, Gyan got tempted by a lucrative offer from the UAE in the summer which quickly led to his acrimonious exit.
Sunderland boss Bruce felt betrayed, having liked and admired the striker. He was left with no choice but to reluctantly agree to let him leave for Al-Ain on an initial one-year loan deal after Gyan made it clear he had no intentions of playing for the club again.
After spending the year in the UAE, Gyan made his switch permanent. Reflecting on his decision to leave England to play in a inferior league in front of few hundred of fans, Gyan admitted he only left for the cash.
Robert Jarni (Real Betis to Real Madrid… via Coventry)
Jarni impressed as part of the Croatia side that finished third in the 1998 World Cup in France. The then Coventry manager Gordon Strachan acted fast, so fast that he beat Real Madrid to his signature in a £2.6m deal.
But, soon after Jarni arrived at Highfield Road, Real got their way and signed him only a week later, for £3.4m. Strachan and Coventry may have dodged a bullet – Jarni never established himself and left in 1999 for second-tier side Las Palmas.
Robert Jarni joined Real Madrid after the 1998 World Cup – but first moved to Coventry
Divock Origi (Liverpool)
Origi went to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with Belgium as a 19-year-old and scored the decisive goal in the 88th minute of their 1-0 win over Russia, which booked a place in the knockout rounds.
Liverpool moved fast, securing his signature and loaning him back to Lille for the 2014-15 season. He scored 10 goals in that campaign and endured a 23-game barren run.
At Liverpool the following year, he was given plenty of first-team action as Jurgen Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers as manager. But for 2017-18, he was loaned to Wolfsburg as Klopp could not guarantee first-team football and he now faces an uncertain future at Anfield.
Divock Origi has struggled to establish himself at Liverpool and faces an uncertain future