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OUR MAN IN BRAZIL

5 men whose lives have changed in 30 days

The World Cup may be over for these players. But as far as their football careers go, a new and exciting chapter is about to kick off.

Published on Jul 8, 2014 1:41 PM
 

James Rodriguez (Col), 22

  • Position: Attacking midfielder
  • Club: Monaco
  • Who he was before: Although signed for €45 million (S$76 million) from Porto in 2013, the 22-year-old was largely under the radar, given that Radamel Falcao was Monaco's star player.

Still, 10 goals and 12 assists in his first season with the club gave a hint of his potential.

  • Who he is now: With six goals and two assists in five matches, Rodriguez is the undoubted star of Brazil 2014, regardless of which nation win the World Cup.

It is highly likely he will win the top scorer award.

He is also in the running for the best player award. Surely he has earned enough accolades to make him one of the world's best players.

  • Wanted by: Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea.

BEFORE CUP: $76M

AFTER CUP: $127M


Guillermo Ochoa (Mex), 28

  • Position: Goalkeeper
  • Club: Free agent
  • Who he was before: A relative unknown at French side Ajaccio. Was relegated to France's second division with the team and left them before the World Cup started, entering the tournament jobless.
  • Who he is now: After his heroics in the 0-0 draw against Brazil and two man-of-the-match awards, he has been hailed as one of the Cup's top performers. His feat of diving full stretch to stop the ball on the goal line has been compared to Gordon Banks' stop on Pele in 1970, widely regarded as the best save in World Cup history.
  • Wanted by: Arsenal, Liverpool, Atletico Madrid and Malaga.

BEFORE CUP: FREE

AFTER CUP: FREE


Yacine Brahimi (Alg), 24

  • Position: Attacking midfielder
  • Club: Granada
  • Who he was before: A promising French youth player, he switched allegiance to Algeria last year. Largely unheard of until the World Cup.
  • Who he is now: One of the top performers of the Algeria team who surprised many by making the second round. He scored one goal and had one assist in Brazil and caught the eye with his vision and play-making ability.
  • Wanted by: Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, Roma.

BEFORE CUP: $6.4M

AFTER CUP:$26M


Keylor Navas (Crc), 27

  • Position: Goalkeeper
  • Club: Levante
  • Who he was before: A steady performer at club level, although not one to capture the headlines.
  • Who he is now: A key member of the Costa Rica team who made the quarter-finals, his saves were key to Los Ticos' best performance at a World Cup. Known for his quick reflexes and agility.
  • Wanted by: Arsenal, Liverpool and Atletico Madrid.

BEFORE CUP: $0.26M

AFTER CUP:$14M


Juan Cuadrado (Col), 26

  • Position: Winger
  • Club: Fiorentina
  • Who he was before: Scored 12 goals for Fiorentina last season and was key to Colombia qualifying for the World Cup. But in a national team with Falcao and Rodriguez, he was often an afterthought.
  • Who he is now: His pace and trickery down Colombia's right was a key reason behind their success in Brazil 2014. His speed defined Colombia's counter-attacking philosophy as he held his own against some of the world's best defenders.
  • Wanted by: Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

BEFORE CUP: $26M

AFTER CUP: $86M

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