Looking Back at 14 Players Who Earned a Move After Impressing at the 2014 World Cup

The World Cup is the ultimate shop window when it comes to players looking to earn themselves a big transfer.


It is the easiest way to impress the largest number of potential suitors, although it can often be the case that some are never able to replicate their World Cup form for their new clubs.


Four years ago, numerous players earned a move off back of the World Cup in Brazil. Now, as the 2018 tournament in Russia nears, here's a look at how 14 of them have fared...

14. Guillermo Ochoa (México)

With his release from relegated Ajaccio confirmed prior to the tournament, Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was actually playing for his club future at the 2014 World Cup.


He starred as Mexico followed Brazil into the Last 16 from Group A, conceding only once in four games and making a number of excellent saves.


Ochoa signed a contract with La Liga side Malaga after the tournament, although he was second choice and played just 19 games in two seasons. He is now with Standard Liege in Belgium after a loan with Granada in 2016/17.

13. Carlos Sanchez (Colombia)

Carlos Sanchez earned plenty of plaudits as the defensive shield at the base of Colombia's midfield, with his disciplined performances in Brazil giving others the chance to shine.


Aston Villa spied his potential and it seemed the Premier League side might have snagged themselves a bargain by snapping up his signature for less than £5m from Elche in Spain.


But Sanchez struggled in an increasingly poor Villa team and joined Fiorentina after relegation from the Premier League in 2015/16. He has since gone back to Spain on loan to Espanyol.

12. Gary Medel (Chile)

Having been part of a Cardiff team that suffered relegation from the Premier League in 2013/14, Chilean defender Gary Medel needed an impressive World Cup to earn himself a move back to one of Europe's big leagues.


He did just that when an impressive Chile side reached the Last 16, only to be knocked out on penalties by hosts Brazil, and joined Inter Milan for £10m.


Medel was with Inter for three seasons and played over 100 games for the club, although the Nerazzurri performed below their usual standards. He is now with an exciting Besiktas side.

11. DeAndre Yedlin (USA)

DeAndre Yedlin was the electric young American full-back who came off the bench in several games at the 2014 World Cup, helping the USA into the Last 16. So impressed were Tottenham that they struck a deal with Seattle Sounders a few weeks later to sign him.


Yedlin stayed with Sounders until the following January, at which point he made the switch to England. He played just once for Spurs and spent the next season on loan with Sunderland.


That was followed by a £5m move to Newcastle in the summer of 2016, with Yedlin finding his feet in the Championship. He has been a regular in the Premier League in 2017/18.

10. Stefan de Vrij (Netherlands)

A largely new look Netherlands team surprised everyone by finishing third at the World Cup in 2014, and that surprise was despite the Oranje reaching the final four years earlier.


Feyenoord defender Stefan de Vrij was one of the new generation of younger talents moulded by coach Louis van Gaal. It was initially thought that he might sign for Manchester United after the tournament because of Van Gaal's new job, but ended up joining Lazio instead.


Now 26 years of age and reaching his prime, De Vrij is still with Lazio and is once more impressing in Serie A this season. He was heavily linked with Liverpool before the Reds sealed the signing of fellow countryman Virgil van Dijk.

9. Yacine Brahimi (Algeria)

Yacine Brahimi was a little known Granada winger when he went to the 2014 World Cup with Algeria. His performances helped the Desert Warriors break new ground by reaching the last 16 and he was snapped up by Porto mere weeks later.


The player was crowned BBC African Footballer of the Year at the end of 2014 and his name has often been the subject of Premier League transfer gossip.


However, nothing has ever materialised, suggesting the rumours might actually have been the work of a proactive agent, and Brahimi remains at Porto for the time being.

8. Enner Valencia (Ecuador)

Enner Valencia's name first hit the spotlight in the build up to the 2014 World Cup when he gave Ecuador a surprise lead against England in a pre-tournament friendly in Miami.


The striker subsequently scored three more goals in the World Cup itself against Switzerland and Honduras. And even though Ecuador were eliminated, the Pachuca player had very much put himself in the shop window for all to see.


West Ham landed his signature for £12m, but Valencia's World Cup form was short-lived. He was eventually loaned to Everton in 2016 after scoring just 10 goals in 68 games and is now back in Mexico, where he was playing prior to 2014, with Tigres.

7. Divock Origi (Belgium)

After scoring 32 Premier League goals in the two seasons leading up to the 2014 World Cup during loans with West Brom and Everton, Romelu Lukaku was the focus of much of the intrigue surrounding a fancied young Belgium team in Brazil.


But it was another emerging forward in Divock Origi who stole the limelight, prompting Liverpool to move quickly and sign the teenager for around £10m from Lille.


Origi initially remained at Lille on loan before moving to England in 2015. He scored a total of 21 goals in two seasons for the Reds, but has been sent on loan to Wolfsburg in 2017/18 to gain greater first-team experience. He's still only 22-years-old.

6. Marcos Rojo (Argentina)

Manchester United were suitably impressed by Marcos Rojo to merit spending £16m to prise him away from Sporting CP in the summer of 2014, having witnessed his marauding displays as Argentina's starting left-back at the World Cup.


Argentina reached the final, but Rojo was actually the only member of the Albiceleste squad to be named in the Castrol Index best XI for the tournament.


Rojo struggled to establish himself in his first two seasons at United under the management of Louis van Gaal. But he finally found a place for himself as a centre-back when Jose Mourinho later took charge and still remains an important player at Old Trafford.

5. Keylor Navas (Costa Rica)

Keylor Navas was already playing his club football in Spain at the time of he 2014 World Cup, but his heroic performances in goal for a Costa Rica side that was a penalty shootout away from the semi-finals paved the way for a move to Real Madrid.


Navas spent his first season at Real playing back-up to Iker Casillas. That changed when the Bernabeu legend left in 2015 and then a proposed swap deal with David de Gea fell through.


The goalkeeper has since won La Liga and two Champions League titles with Real and continues to hang on as number one despite the never ending speculation about De Gea.

4. Daley Blind (Netherlands)

Named Dutch Footballer of the Year at the end of the 2013/14 season after winning a fourth successive Eredivisie title with Ajax, Daley Blind shone at that summer's World Cup and earned a £14m move to Manchester United as a result.


He began life at Old Trafford as a defensive midfielder, the same role in which he had performed so well in his final season at Ajax. He then dropped deeper into the centre of defence and earned good reviews despite his limited size and physicality.


Since Jose Mourinho arrived at the club, Blind has returned to the left-back role he was playing for the Netherlands in 2014. His days at United now seem numbered, though.

3. Toni Kroos (Germany)

Toni Kroos had already established himself as one of the best midfield players in Europe after helping Bayern Munich to a treble in 2012/13, but his stardom soared to new levels in 2014 when he took centre stage as Germany won a first World Cup as a unified nation.


Kroos scored twice in the infamous 7-1 semi-final annihilation of Brazil and was later shortlisted for the Golden Ball prize as the tournament's best player.


Few could believe it when Real Madrid were able to strike a €30m deal within a few days of the World Cup final and Kroos has since gone from strength to strength with Los Blancos to become a genuinely world class superstar.

2. Alexis Sanchez (Chile)

Alexis Sanchez enjoyed his best individual season at Barcelona in 2013/14. But with the club looking to sign Luis Suarez, the Chilean knew his chances would soon be limited and so a strong World Cup was needed to secure himself the best move possible.


Sanchez scored twice in the tournament, helping Chile dump holders Spain out of the competition at the group stage, and moved to Arsenal for £35m soon after.


Fast forward three-and-a-half seasons and 80 goals, and Sanchez joined Manchester United in January 2018 as part of a high profile swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan after refusing to sign a new contract with the Gunners for well over a year.

1. James Rodriguez (Colombia)

In Colombia's first World Cup in 16 years, James Rodriguez finished the 2014 tournament with the prestigious Golden Boot after top scoring with six goals - which also later yielded him the FIFA Puskas Award for the stunning volley against Uruguay.


Just one year after joining Monaco for €45m, James was on his way to Real Madrid as a result, now with an €80m price tag and the latest of the Galacticos - he still remains the last.


Despite a promising start, things eventually turned sour during 2015/16 when he failed to suitably impress coach Zinedine Zidane. After months of his agent knocking on doors and creating hype through the press, the player joined Bayern Munich on a two-year loan in 2017.