Four players who earned big moves after impressing at a major tournament

Major international tournaments come along once every two years (or three on this occasion), and with them comes the opportunity for players to make an impact on the biggest of stages.

Plenty of talk ahead of the upcoming Euro 2020 is about how the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo will perform for their countries this summer.

But there will be plenty of other names – perhaps lesser known – that will be keen to make their presence known as well, and perhaps secure a dream move to one of the giants of world football afterwards.

Let’s take a look at four players that have earned big moves off the back of impressing in major tournaments.

Andrey Arshavin (Zenit Saint Petersburg to Arsenal, 2009)

Image Credit: Getty/The Arsenal Football Club plc

Andrey Arshavin was one of the standout performers throughout Euro 2008, putting in a series of impressive performances for Russia.

He scored in victories against Sweden and Netherlands, and helped his country to the semi-finals. That was despite missing the two group games through suspension.

Zenit turned down bids for the midfielder in the summer transfer window from Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur.

Six months later, it was Arsenal who finally got a deal done – albeit amidst the chaos of a deadline day snowstorm. Who can forget those four goals he scored against Liverpool later that year?

Mesut Ozil (Werder Bremen to Real Madrid, 2010)

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Mesut Ozil was just 21 when the 2010 World Cup came around, but the playmaker had already established himself as an important fixture of the Germany national team.

He had won the award for the ‘best player of the first half of the season’ in the Bundesliga, helping Werder Bremen to third place in the table.

Ozil was marked as one to watch during the tournament – and he certainly delivered on expectations.

His assist tally of four was better than any other player in the tournament as Germany reached the semi-finals.

The giants of world football soon came calling. Real Madrid were the ones to seal the signing, and Ozil went on to reach new levels at the club.

James Rodriguez (AS Monaco to Real Madrid, 2014)

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The following World Cup, it was the name of James Rodriguez (not Bond) that dominated many of the headlines in the early stages of the tournament.

Colombia breezed through the group stages, winning all three matches. Rodriguez was on the scoresheet in each of the wins over Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan.

He showed no signs of slowing down. The midfielder scored both goals in the 2-0 win over Uruguay in the last 16 – the first a piece of footballing genius.

He controlled the ball with his chest from around 35 yards out, before firing the ball beyond the goalkeeper in one swift motion.

Rodriguez scored again in the quarter-finals, although Colombia were knocked out as a result of a 2-1 defeat against Brazil. Two weeks later, he signed for Real Madrid for a fee of £63 million.

Benjamin Pavard (VfB Stuttgart to Bayern Munich, 2018)

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Benjamin Pavard elevated himself into the thoughts of Europe’s biggest clubs with some outstanding performances during the 2018 World Cup.

The Frenchman – who had played most of the previous season at centre-back for Stuttgart – was chosen by Didier Deschamps as the national side’s first choice right-back for the tournament.

He comprehensively repaid that faith. Pavard played every game for the eventual World Cup winners, and earned himself the ‘Goal of the Tournament’ award.

His half-volley, which cut across goal and arrowed into the bottom corner, was scored during France’s last-16 tie with Argentina.

Pavard moved to Bayern Munich that summer, and has made 56 Bundesliga appearances in his two seasons at the club.

Featured Image Credit: Getty