World stage is set for birth of stars

Uruguay's Martin Caceres (right) shows that he is unfazed by the challenge of going against one of the best players in the world in Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo during their last-16 clash.
Uruguay's Martin Caceres (right) shows that he is unfazed by the challenge of going against one of the best players in the world in Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo during their last-16 clash.PHOTO: REUTERS

Trend continues in international football in which players shine for country but not club

Twenty of the players on the pitch ply their trade for elite European clubs.

Had Dani Alves not been ruled out of the World Cup, it might have been 21. The 22nd played for West Bromwich Albion, albeit not very often. Last summer, Swansea had tried in vain to sign him. They got relegated. So did West Brom.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2018, with the headline 'World stage is set for birth of stars'. Print Edition | Subscribe