Just as reliable as the tournament itself, is the rush of big clubs to buy up players who impressed while playing for their country.
One of the first up, Pablo Barrera, a 23-year-old Mexican winger who plays for UNAM in Mexico. Of course, Mexico have a deep pool of talented youngsters who love to attack, and Barrera didn't even make the starting XI, he was used as a substitute in three of their four matches. Yet he is still being chased by West Ham, Lazio, Espanyol, and Celtic. Barrera looks to be a good prospect, and he will not be too expensive, but he will be more than he was a month ago.
A good signing was announced a few weeks ago by Manchester City. I have to say, for all the complaints about Manchester City throwing their money around, it's difficult to point to specific signings and say they were bad. Even the ones that have turned out poorly (Robinho, Bojinov) I thought were justifiable at the time. City signed Jerome Boateng from Hamburg in Germany for about £12 million. Considering that he has played well for Germany, and Germany have been outstanding in getting to the semi-final, City saved themselves a substantial amount of money by signing him before the tournament started.
I must admit though, the Yaya Toure signing does perplex me a bit. The fee of £24 million is a little high for a holding midfielder, but not crazy, as he is a very good player. What I don't understand is why they would sign Toure when they already have Nigel de Jong, Vincent Kompany, Gareth Barry, and Patrick Vierra in the same role.
The red half of Manchester enjoyed similar good fortune, as United's signing, Mexican forward Javier Hernandez, scored two goals and showed himself to be possibly the fastest player at the World Cup. He cost £10 million, and looked like a very good prospect at the tournament. By agreeing to this deal in April, Manchester United probably saved around £5 million. Which is good, because I think the Chris Smalling signing from Fulham is an absolute waste of £8 million.
I am sure more World Cup signings will come down in the next few weeks, as the players return home from South Africa, but that is what we have for now.