5 simple steps to earn a big-money move at the World Cup
Frustrated at your current club? Have no fear. Our five-step plan for this summer in Russia will have you playing at Old Trafford or the Bernabeu in no time.
STEP ONE: Find the form of your life
The World Cup is all about grabbing attention.
It doesn’t matter how poorly you played in the weeks, months or even years prior to the finals – if you’re the talk of the tournament, a lazy manager who hasn’t done his homework is going to be tempted.
Take Moussa Sissoko, who managed to write off a shocking season with Newcastle in the space of four starts at Euro 2016 to bag himself a move to Spurs.
Or Gary Breen – yes, Gary Breen – who was a failed medical away from signing for Inter Milan after starring for Ireland in 2002.
It’s simple: get out there, live your best life for four weeks and con a desperate director of football into throwing a load of cash your way.
STEP TWO: Have a great name
Listen, James Rodriguez was fantastic in Brazil four years ago.
But would he have signed for Real Madrid if his name wasn’t pronounced Ham-ez and he was just…James?
We can’t answer that question, but first impressions are important, and there’s no doubt that some players are easy to get excited about just because of what’s on the back of their shirt.
So here’s a word of advice: stick an –inho on the end of your name.
You’ll be at Old Trafford or the Bernabeu in no time.
STEP THREE: Knock England out
Zlatan Ibrahimovic said it best:
“That's the way it is with the English. If you score against them, you're a good player. If you don't score against them, you're not.”
The Premier League is where the money’s at, so you need to impress the world’s most fickle footballing country if you want to strut your stuff at Turf Moor and Dean Court next season.
That means playing a part in breaking the Three Lions’ hearts.
Gilberto Silva and Jerome Boateng both saw off England in the knock-out stages in 2002 and 2010 respectively, and found themselves in the Promised Land just a few weeks later.
So don’t be surprised if you suddenly see a few Panamanian players knocking about in the top flight next season.
..STEP FOUR: Become a national hero
You’ve got the name, you’re playing well, but still no move has materialised.
Don’t panic, there’s still hope.
Fabio Grosso was a decent full-back – a starter for Palermo with a regular spot in the Italy side – but one who most supporters outside of his home country probably hadn’t heard of.
Then he put the Azzurri into the World Cup final with a 120th-minute goal against Germany to become an Italian football icon and the face of the 2006 finals.
Grosso was suddenly such hot property that Inter Milan couldn’t wait for the end of the tournament to sign him up, and he got himself a nice, new club three days before scoring the winning penalty against France in the final.
Unsurprisingly, he was average for Inter before joining Lyon a year later – proof that you can earn a move purely through goodwill in your home country alone.
STEP FIVE: Bite someone
It’s time to go nuclear.
Sometimes, when all else fails, you’ve got to make your position at your current club completely untenable in order to force a move through.
Luis Suarez’s decision to take a chunk out of Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder in a 2014 group-stage match seemed, at first, a tad rash.
Sure enough, though, the Uruguayan got his £75m transfer to Barcelona just over a fortnight later in what was more a PR decision for Liverpool than a football one.
A bold move, perhaps, but an effective last resort. Chiellini’s got the scars to prove it.
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