Summer transfer window 2010 observed some high profile player transfers in European club football. Performance of the players in FIFA World Cup 2010 had considerable effect on some of those transfers. Here is a list of top ten Summer transfers affected by the performances of World Cup in South Africa:
Mesut Ozil (From Werder Bremen to Real Madrid)
The 21-year-old German youngster joined Real Madrid in a move way from Werder Bremen following a highly successful World Cup mission in South Africa. In fact, Ozil’s creative display in the midfield was instrumental behind Germany’s progress to the semi final of the tournament.
Going to South Africa as a lesser known player, Mesut Ozil emerged as one of the star players of the World Cup and was one of the top contenders for the Golden Ball award. His superb World Cup performance did not go unnoticed as a number of top European clubs including Arsenal and Real Madrid showed interest in him. Ozil finally joined Real Madrid on 17 August 2010 for a reported fee around €15 million.
Asamoah Gyan (From Rennes to Sunderland)
The Ghanaian’s strong performance in this year’s FIFA World Cup accelerated his move to a bigger club in the form of Sunderland. It was Asamoah Gyan who helped Ghana to become the only third African country after Cameroon and Senegal to reach the quarter final of World Cup. The 24-year-old scored 3 goals in the tournament.
Besides Sunderland, few other clubs were also interested to secure Gyan’s service but, the former Udinese player decided to join the Premier League club Sunderland and singed a deal worth £13 million to complete the move away from French club Rennes.
Sami Khedira (From VfB Stuttgart to Real Madrid)
When Sami Khedira was named in Germany’s 23-man World Cup squad, hardly anyone outside Germany knew his name. After his international debut in September last year, Khedira took little time to cement his place in Germany’s first eleven. The midfielder was a regular starter for Germany in the World Cup 2010 and his strong performance helped his country to reach the semi final.
His performance in South Africa attracted Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho who instantly made his interest known. On 30 July 2010, Sami Khedira signed for Real Madrid in a move away from VfB Stuttgart for an undisclosed fee.
Raúl Meireles (From FC Porto to Liverpool)
Portugal’s performance in the World Cup may not have been satisfactory as they failed to reach the quarter final, but their 27-year-old midfielder Raúl Meireles showed his skill and talent in the biggest stage of world football. He started in Portugal’s all 4 matches in South Africa. Meireles is an excellent all-round midfielder who can be deployed with the central role or as a holding midfielder.
His strong World Cup performance attracted the attention of Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson who identified him as the player to fill up the void left by Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano. Raúl Meireles joined Liverpool from FC Porto for a fee of £11.5 million on 29 August 2010, just a day after Mascherano’s move to Barcelona.
Robinho (From Manchester City to AC Milan)
Brazilian striker Robinho may have failed to settle in Manchester City, but his excellent performance for Brazil national team in the World Cup was enough to attract the interest of Italian club AC Milan. Despite showing a strong performance in South Africa, Robinho’s club future appeared to be hanging in the balance as City boss Mancini showed no interest to include him in his Premier League squad.
Then AC Milan stepped in and signed the 26-year-old Brazilian on a four-year contract for an undisclosed fee. Turkish club Fenerbahce also showed their interest in Robinho, but the player decided to move to Italy to unite with compatriot Ronaldinho.
Javier Mascherano (From Liverpool to Barcelona)
The Argentina captain was a constant source of transfer rumors throughout the Summer. Javier Mascherano became the target of top two European clubs Barcelona and Inter Milan even before the World Cup 2010 kicked off, but his strong World Cup performance convinced Barcelona to spend a whopping £22 million (some say £17.25 million) that finally melted the ice between Liverpool and Barcelona.
Javier Mascherano was one of the top performers for Argentina in the World Cup, despite his team’s woeful performance in South Africa. Rafael Benitez, who had just left Liverpool to become Inter Milan manager, was highly interested to reunite with the 26-year-old holding midfielder at San Siro, but Barcelona finally won the battle as they were desperate to replace Manchester City-bound Yaya Toure.
Ricardo Carvalho (From Chelsea to Real Madrid)
At the age of 32, Ricardo Carvalho put on another strong performance for Portugal in this year’s World Cup in South Africa. Along with Bruno Alves, Carvalho formed a lethal partnership at the heart of the defense and the pair’s excellent performance helped Portugal concede no more than 1 goal in 4 World Cup matches.
Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho knew Carvalho very well since his managerial stint with Porto, and having seen Carvalho’s World Cup form, Mourinho took no time to approach Chelsea for their experienced center back. Carvalho himself was highly interested to reunite with his former boss at the Spanish capital. Finally, Ricardo Carvalho completed his £6.7 million Real Madrid move on 10 August 2010.
Bruno Alves (From Porto to Zenit St. Petersburg)
Alike his central defense partner Ricardo Carvalho in Portugal national team, Bruno Alves also changed club following his excellent performance in FIFA World Cup 2010. His performance in the tournament was so strong that Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg became well-convinced to spend €22 million to secure his service.
After coming through Porto’s youth ranks, Bruno Alves gradually made himself a key player for the Portuguese giants. With Porto, he won 4 League titles and 3 Cup tiles in Portugal. A tall defender, Alves has always been excellent in tackling and strong in the air, and his physical presence has been an advantage for whatever team he represented.
Winston Reid (From FC Midtjylland to West Ham United)
The 22-year-old New Zealand international was one of the top performers for his country in this year’s World Cup football. His injury time equalizer in 1-1 draw against Slovakia in the opening game earned New Zealand their first ever point in World Cup finals.
A regular starter in New Zealand’s all 3 matches in South Africa, Winston Reid proved to be a strong defender. His impressive World Cup performance attracted the attention of Premier League club West Ham United. On 15 August 2010, Winston Reid joined the Hammers on a 3-year contract for a fee of £4 million.
Rafael Van der Vaart (From Real Madrid to Tottenham Hotspur)
The 27-year-old Netherlands international moved away from Real Madrid to join the Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur on the back of a good performance in World Cup 2010 where he started in Netherlands’ all 3 group stage matches, but eventually lost his place to Arjen Robben after the latter’s recovery from injury. Rafael Van der Vaart then made substitute appearances in the semi final and final of the tournament.
The Dutch midfielder was, however, struggling at Real Madrid and was reportedly out of favor of new manager Jose Mourinho. After the World Cup, the Dutch midfielder was linked with a move to Bayern Munich, but it was Tottenham Hotspur who eventually signed the player for a fee of £8 million.