World Cup winners and losers
Colombia
Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates after scoring a goal during the 2014 World Cup Group C soccer match between Colombia and Greece at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte June 14, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
Reuters
Wednesday 16 Jul 2014
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The World Cup has given players the chance to shine on a global stage. Some have flourished, others have flopped

With attention now shifting to domestic football, the following lists some of the players who have put themselves firmly in the shop window, and others who may now be past their sell-by date.

James Rodriguez (Colombia)

 James Rodriguez
Colombia's James Rodriguez (10) kicks the ball to score his side's third goal (Photo: AP)

Colombia's baby-faced assassin finished with the Golden Boot in Brazil after scoring six goals in five games, including a wonder strike from outside the box against Uruguay.

The 23-year-old Monaco midfielder has become one of the hottest properties in world football and while his club side have no reason to sell, his professed dream of playing for Real Madrid in La Liga could force their hand.

That Real appear willing to sell Argentina's Angel di Maria, who also enjoyed a terrific World Cup, to make way for Rodriguez suggests the player is very much a top priority for Los Blancos, with various reports putting the transfer fee at 70 million euros ($95 million).

Rodriguez joined Monaco from FC Porto for 45 million euros.

Mats Hummels (Germany)

Mats Hummels
Argentina's Lionel Messi, left, is challenged by Germany's Mats Hummels (Photo: AP)

Top quality central defenders are at a premium in European football at the moment so World Cup winner Mats Hummels is likely to command a huge transfer fee after his performances at the heart of Germany's defence in Brazil.

Borussia Dortmund took the defender on loan from Bayern Munich before signing him on a permanent deal in 2009 for 4 million euros, but the 25-year-old is likely to command a transfer of over 30 million euros with Manchester United and Barcelona both reported to be keen on him.

As well as the traditional German defensive strengths of power, timing and organisational disciple, Hummels is blessed with pace and also poses a threat at set pieces, scoring a powerful header against France that secured Germany a 1-0 win in the quarter-finals.

Memphis Depay (Netherlands)

Depay
Memphis Depay of the Netherlands (21) celebrates near Chile's goalkeeper Claudio Bravo after scoring his team's second goal (Photo: Reuters)

The precocious 20-year-old PSV Eindhoven forward scored twice in the group stage, including the winner against Australia. Considered a star of the future, Depay is reported to be on the radar of several English clubs including Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, but there is increasing talk he could accompany Dutch coach Louis van Gaal to Manchester United.

Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico)

Guillermo Ochoa
Mexico's goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, left, dives to make a save (Photo:AP)

Mexico goalkeeper Ochoa is a free agent after his contract expired at French club AC Ajaccio, but that situation is likely to change soon.

The 28-year-old kept clean sheets against Cameroon and Brazil at the World Cup, making a string of sensational saves including one against the host nation that was compared by Pele to Gordon Banks' great 1970 leap against Brazil.

The agile shot stopper has said he has received offers from several clubs in Europe, though his agent suggests he would prefer to stay in France.

David Luiz (Brazil)

David Luiz
Brazil's David Luiz walks off the pitch at the end of the first half (Photo: Reuters)

Paris St Germain may wonder why they spent a reported 60 million euros on making David Luiz the world's most expensive defender after the Brazil centre back was exposed time and time again at the World Cup.

The 27-year-old joined the Ligue 1 side from Chelsea ahead of the World Cup but his dismal display for the hosts in their humiliating 7-1 semi-final defeat by Germany will have sliced a huge chunk off his future value.

Given the chance to repair his reputation in the third place playoff against the Netherlands, David Luiz again failed to deliver as Brazil lost 3-0, and PSG will probably have to take a huge loss on the curly-haired defender if they sell him on.

Shinji Kagawa (Japan)

Shinji Kagawa
Japan's Shinji Kagawa controls the ball past Colombia's Eder Balanta (Photo: AP)

The mercurial Japanese midfielder has been on the fringes of the Manchester United team since joining from Borussia Dortmund for around 20 million euros but had hoped to put himself back in the spotlight with Japan at the World Cup.

However, the Asian champions limped out of the tournament at the first hurdle, finishing bottom of their group, while Kagawa barely made any kind of impression and was dumped to the bench for their game against Greece.

The diminutive midfielder, who confessed he had a crisis of confidence in Brazil, has recently been mentioned as a possible makeweight in a deal to return to Dortmund with Germany defender Hummels switching to Manchester United.

Mario Balotelli (Italy)

Mario Balotelli
Italy's Mario Balotelli, left, gets in a shot as England's Phil Jagielka, center, and Jordan Henderson, right, defend (Photo: AP)

Having scored the winner against England, "Supermario" followed up with two ineffective performances in losses to Costa Rica and Uruguay. He missed two good early chances against the Central Americans which could have sent Italy's campaign in a completely different direction.

The maverick striker had been on the verge of a big-money move to the English Premier League ahead of the World Cup but interest has now waned and AC Milan may be forced to offload him on a cut-price deal.

Ac Milan President Silvio Berlusconi was quoted as saying in Gazzetta dello Sport. "I was about to sell Balotelli to an English team for several millions. But after this World Cup who will buy him any more?"

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