The World Cup always offers players a chance to prove themselves on the biggest stage of all. Sometimes that even means a lucrative move to a bigger clubs afterwards (see Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez moving from Monaco to Real Madrid four years ago).

But which players’ values will have gone up? And which have gone down after their exploits in Russia?

Here is a list of those whose stock has changed since the start of the World Cup.



Arguably the star of the tournament with France. His £160 million move to Paris Saint-Germain became official after they resolved their FFP issues, but with Real Madrid needing to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, the French club might have a fight on their hands.

Kylian Mbappe.

HARRY MAGUIRE (England, Leicester)

Gareth Southgate insisted pre-tournament that Maguire could be revelation in Russia and the Leicester centre-back has stood out with his defensive qualities and aerial threat.

Harry Maguire.


Mexico’s World Cup ended in the round of 16 as usual, but PSV Eindhoven winger Lozano lived up to his pre-tournament hype, starting with a bang by scoring the winner in the 1-0 victory against Germany.

Hirving Lozano.

EDEN HAZARD (Belgium, Chelsea)

The Chelsea forward has always struggled to make his mark in the Champions League, but he shone on the biggest stage in Russia, most notably in Belgium’s quarterfinal win against Brazil. Finished second in the Golden Ball voting.

Eden Hazard.

YERRY MINA (Colombia, Barcelona)

The Colombia centre-back will be remembered at this World Cup for his late header against England, but the Barcelona man also stood out with some excellent defensive displays and scored in three games.

Yerry Mina scored three goals at the World Cup finals.
Yerry Mina.

DENIS CHERYSHEV (Russia, Villarreal)

Russia began their World Cup with Cheryshev on the bench, but an injury to Alan Dzagoev in the opening game gave the Villarreal winger his chance and he took it with both hands, scoring four goals for the hosts in the competition.

Denis Cheryshev.

DIEGO LAXALT (Uruguay, Genoa)

The Genoa player was one of the unsung heroes of Uruguay’s run to the quarterfinals playing in an attacking left wing-back role. Tough, energetic and a real team player for Oscar Tabarez’s men.

Diego Laxalt.

IVAN PERISIC (Croatia, Inter Milan)

Jose Mourinho was desperate to sign the Inter Milan winger for Manchester United last summer and the Croatian has shown why in Russia, with his power, strength, pace and goals from the flank helping his country reach the final.

Ivan Perisic.

KIERAN TRIPPIER (England, Tottenham)

The Tottenham defender’s free kick in England’s semifinal defeat against Croatia propelled him into the spotlight, but even prior to that stunning strike, he had emerged as the best right-sided defender in the World Cup. He set a new record for chances created by an England player at the World Cup, his 24 eclipsing the 18 of Sir Bobby Charlton in 1966.

Kieran Trippier.

JORDAN PICKFORD (England, Everton)

The Everton goalkeeper has secured the England No. 1 spot in Russia and, despite his inexperience, has emerged from the tournament with a vastly enhanced reputation.

Jordan Pickford.


LIONEL MESSI (Argentina, Barcelona)

Scored a stunning goal for Argentina against Nigeria, but that was it from the Barcelona forward. Not helped by playing in an average Argentina team, but Messi left us wanting much more.

Lionel Messi.

DAVID DE GEA (Spain, Manchester United)

Went into the tournament billed as the world’s best goalkeeper, but the Spain and Manchester United No. 1 had a World Cup to forget — so much so that even the Real Madrid rumours have disappeared.

David De Gea.

NEYMAR (Brazil, PSG)

Is he really the natural heir to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi? The Brazil forward seems unable to cope with the pressure of being his country’s talisman and his theatrics impressed no-one in Russia.


MOHAMED SALAH (Egypt, Liverpool)

The shoulder injury sustained playing for Liverpool in the Champions League final clearly hampered Salah with Egypt. This was his big stage and he was unable to perform at his best despite scoring in both appearances.

Mohamed Salah.

JEROME BOATENG (Germany, Bayern Munich)

The Germany centre-back had a nightmare competition, which ended with his red card in the 2-1 win against Sweden. Has all the attributes to be the world’s best defender, but he just didn’t look focused.

Jerome Boateng.

GERARD PIQUE (Spain, Barcelona)

He looked past his best and from a different era at times in Russia. His lack of pace is catching up with him and being good on the ball is no longer enough.

Gerard Pique.

ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI (Poland, Bayern Munich)

Just like Poland, Lewandowski came and went in Russia with anyone barely noticing. A great club striker with Bayern Munich, but he was anonymous at the World Cup.

Robert Lewandowski.

MESUT OZIL (Germany, Arsenal)

Ozil took his Arsenal persona to the World Cup rather than his Germany one, which coach Joachim Low had previously rated so highly. Dropped after the first game defeat against Mexico, when he played as if he was at the Emirates.

Mesut Ozil.


Big things had been expected of the Lazio midfielder with Serbia, but apart from the odd spark in the opening game against Costa Rica, he did little to suggest he is worth his club’s apparent £90m valuation.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

RAHEEM STERLING (England, Manchester City)

Divides opinion with England. He is either a tormentor of world-class defences or a forward who wastes chance after chance and lacks a killer final pass. Manchester City’s £60m signing of Riyad Mahrez may be a pointer to Pep Guardiola believing the latter.

Raheem Sterling.


And of course one man has to stand alone. 

CRISTIANO RONALDO (Portugal, Juventus)

Four goals in Russia for Portugal, but none in the knockout stages.

Cristiano Ronaldo.

Still, he did enough to earn a big-money move from Real Madrid to Juventus.

Cristiano Ronaldo.

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