Some are star in their own right plying their trade abroad, others are players making an impression on the biggest stage for the first time, while others still are average footballers enjoying the weeks of their lives.
Members of each of these categories have ended up playing in the Premier League and here’s a list of the top five transfers on the back of a World Cup summer over the last 20 years.
1) Jaap Stam
In 1998 Holland ultimately fell a step short of reaching what would have been their first World Cup final in 20 years but the then PSV defender emerged as one of the best centre-backs in the world.
So impressed was Sir Alex Ferguson by the Dutchman that he decided to fork out £10.6m for the then 26-year-old, making Stam the world’s most expensive defender and the most expensive Dutch footballer in history at that point.
Stam went on to win the Treble in his inaugural season with United and won other two Premier League titles in the following two seasons before being controversially sold to Lazio – a move Fergie has admitted regretting ever since, which speaks volume for the quality of the giant Dutchman.
2) Yaya Toure´
Ivory Coast might have failed to make it out of a tough group containing Portugal and Brazil four years ago, but Toure´showed his class in South Africa after a wonderful season with Barcelona, during which he had lifted six trophies.
Barely a week after Ivory Coast were knocked out despite a 3-0 win over North Korea – a game in which Toure´got on the scoresheet – Kolo’s brother moved to Manchester City for £24m.
Two Premier League titles and two domestic cups later, those £24m look like an incredible bargain as the Ivorian has made a habit of terrorising midfielders and defenders in the Premier League on a weekly basis, but his time at the Etihad could be coming to an end after rumours of him growing disillusioned with life in Manchester.
3) Jurgen Klinsmann
The most eye-catching of Spurs’ post USA 1994 imports, the German was preceded to England by his reputation for being a diver, but immediately set out to let his football do the talking.
Having scored in his debut against Sheffield Wednesday – and celebrating by mimicking a dive – Klinsmann, who had netted five times at the 1994 World Cup, went on to net 29 goals in all competitions and became an instant hero with the White Hart Lane faithfuls.
However, despite his goalscoring exploits, the German left North London after a single season following a £2m move from Monaco to sign for Bayern Munich.
4) Dietmar Hamann
It seems hard to believe that over a decade ago German football wasn’t famous for producing crafty playmakers or fleet-footed wingers but hard, solid, industrious midfielders.
Hamann epitomised the prototype of the German midfielder during the second half of the 1990s and even though he struggled to cement a place in Germany’s starting XI during the group stage of the 1998 World Cup, he started both games in the knockout phase, as Germany were sent packing after losing 3-0 to Croatia.
Soon after the World Cup Hamann joined Newcastle from Bayern Munich for £5.5 and established himself as a pivotal figure for the Magpies, who lost the FA Cup final to Manchester United.
Hamann’s performances in his first season in the Premier League caught Liverpool’s eye and the German swapped Tyneside for Merseyside ahead of the 1999-2000 season.
A Premier League title was to remain elusive, but Hamann won two FA Cups, two League Cups, a UEFA Cup and a Champions League during his spell at Anfield.
5) Carlos Tevez
Arrived in England alongside fellow Argentine Javier Mascherano, Tevez’s stay in the Premier League seemed, initially at least, less controversial than that of his former teammate at Corinthians.
While Liverpool had to demand FIFA clearance to lure Mascherano away from Upton Park in January 2007, Tevez stayed with the Hammers until the end of the season and his goal at Old Trafford on the final day of the season ensured West Ham avoided relegation.
The following season Tevez moved to United on a two-year loan after a tussle between West Ham, his agent and United and ended up winning two league titles, a League Cup and a Champions League at Old Trafford as well as the FIFA Club World Cup.
Acrimony surrounded his cross-town switch to City – the transfer fee is still largely unknown – where he won an FA Cup and a Premier League title amid even more controversy – and golf breaks.
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