Most players dream of the moment that they can represent their countries in the FIFA World Cup.
Being part of the biggest international football competition in the world, the World Cup promises action, drama with millions of people watching from around the world.
For players, this can also be a platform for them to finally be recognised around the world for their football skills, with the hope some of the biggest teams in the world can track their talents and sign them.
There have been a number of players who have done just that in this year’s World Cup, but there have been some unfortunate instances that resulted in players underwhelming in world football.
Here are some of the names in which their stocks have likely been hit after the competition.
ADEM LJAJIC (SERBIA)
After winning their first game of the competition, Serbia were thought to have enough to secure their place in the knockout stages.
Unfortunately, they lost their next two games and are now going home after a short World Cup appearance.
Adem Ljajic was expected to help the team as the attacking midfielder was lauded for his pace and excellent passing game.
The 26-year-old was so underwhelming in the competition that he only registered 65 passes in three matches. He failed to score or assist in any while also failing to register at least one shot throughout the competition.
Rated at around €13 million, the Torino midfielder should have done much better in Russia and those who have him on their radar are surely going to look for more moving forward.
MANUEL NEUER (GERMANY)
Considered to be one of the best goalkeepers in the game today, Manuel Neuer has done everything for his national team and his club Bayern Munich.
At 32 years old, the shot-stopper won the Golden Glove in 2014 and was expected to be the ever-reliant keeper for the defending champions.
Unfortunately, Neuer was also coming off a long layoff due to injury and he was a shell of his previous self in this year’s World Cup. He appeared to be slow on his feet and his reflexes were not up to par as Germany allowed four goals in three matches.
Germany were poor all-around which resulted in them exiting the World Cup in the group stages and now many are questioning whether Neuer’s €35 million price tag still justifies what he can bring to the table.
RAHEEM STERLING (ENGLAND)
Looking at how England have played so far in the World Cup, it should be easy to overlook the fact that Raheem Sterling has been far from his usual self.
The Manchester City man is known for his pace and how he can easily influence the game with his runs and passing, but has been underwhelming so far in the competition.
Seemingly overshadowed by other players like Jesse Lingard, Sterling has only one assist to his name while also only attempting one shot on target. The midfielder has only 43 passes in the competition so far in only two games played.
With a price tag of €90 million heading into the World Cup, teams like Real Madrid were reportedly eyeing the services of the Englishman. However, if Sterling keeps failing to make an impact in the game, the La Liga outfit may end up asking for a lower price if they still want him on their team.
NICOLAS OTAMENDI (ARGENTINA)
Considered as one of the leaders of the Argentine defence, much is expected of Nicolas Otamendi as he is part of the team looking to bounce back after finishing second in the 2014 World Cup.
At 30 years old, the Manchester City star is a veteran presence on the team, but has greatly struggled as seen by Argentina’s poor performances so far in the competition.
Despite being part of the last-16, the Argentine squad looks off at times and this is especially evident in the defensive end, where Otamendi specialises.
The team have yet to secure a clean sheet and their defence has allowed five goals so far in the competition. Much more is expected for a man worth €35 million as he leads the defence of an elite national team.
JEROME BOATENG (GERMANY)
The German team has two names in the list as it is a reflection of their forgettable performance in Russia, and this time Jerome Boateng makes the list as he has been a non-factor in the World Cup.
Towering over opponents at 192.0 cm tall, Boateng should have been Germany’s anchor in the back line as they looked to defend the title.
Unfortunately, the Bayern Munich man was sloppy in defence, fouling a total of five times in two appearances in the competition.
With over 70 international caps for the country, much was expected of Boateng but he offered no help as he was given a red card against Sweden rendering him helpless in Germany’s last game against South Korea.
In a game where they needed a result to move on, Boateng was on the sideline and the team suffered as they lost 2-0 and crashed out of the competition.
Priced at €45 million, the 29-year-old was reportedly being scouted by the two Manchester teams in the Premier League but they arguably had much to work with based on Boateng’s World Cup appearances.
Who are the other names that could have made the list?