How Does the World Cup Affect the Transfer Market?

Had the schedule not changed, we would be enjoying the World Cup at this time of the year—mid June to mid-July 2022. Instead, football’s biggest competition will take place later in December in Qatar.

Why, you ask? Temperatures in Qatar can rise to the highs 44 0 C during summer months. As such, the weather would have been too hot for players and guests had the tournament been held during the summer. Temperatures are more bearable during the winter, hence the December schedule.

That said, the World Cup is a chance to watch players shine for their countries. Also, it’s a time to discover new talents. For players, the World Cup not only means making your country proud but also increasing your transfer value. Indeed, the World Cup has historically impacted the football transfer market tremendously. Here’s how:

Discovering New Stars

If there’s one thing the World Cup is good at, it’s helping the world of football discover hidden gems. Think of the 2010 World Cup. It helped us discover Mesut Ozil. Then in 2014 the world came to know of James Rodriguez.

Sure, these players had football careers before the World Cup. But Rodriguez was nowhere near Real Madrid’s transfer radar until he scored six goals during the 2010 World Cup. Not that it matters, but his performance also helped people learn how to pronounce his first name—Hames.

Besides Rodriguez and Ozil, these players were also picked by big football teams after shining at the World Cup:

  • Sami Khedira
  • Arturo Vidal
  • Angel Di Maria
  • Mats Hummels
  • David Ospina
  • Keylor Navas

Do you think you know which underrated players will perform at their best in Qatar? In this age of sports betting, you can profit from your predictions. You can investigate the best World Cup betting sites at

Look for a site with betting markets related to football transfers if you want to predict which players will transfer to what teams after the tournament.

Countries with the Most Transferred Players

Every World Cup, there emerges a country that performs much better than expected. In 2018, Croatia was that country. And after reaching the finals, Luka Modric got rewarded with a Ballon D’Or while some of his teammates moved to bigger clubs.

Usually, countries that surpass people’s expectations at the World Cup have many of their players nabbed during transfer windows. This also includes nations that were expected to perform well and did so.

For example, many of France’s World Cup winning squad have experienced contract boosts or transferred to bigger clubs. Picture Kylian Mbappe—the youngster is now one of the best paid football players of all time.

Antoine Griezmann, on the other hand, had his dream to play for Barcelona come true. But he ended back in Atletico Madrid one season afterwards. Ousman Dembele moved to Barcelona while Matteo Guendouzi ended up at Arsenal before moving to Marseille.

In other words, some countries have many of their players win new contracts after performing well at the World Cup. In the last decade, Belgium, England, France and Brazil have been home to some of the biggest football contracts made after the World Cup.

Outstanding Youngsters

The World Cup provides a platform for youthful players not part of club academies to showcase their talents to potential teams. Far often than not, the tournament stars a couple of under 18 players who impress the world. And usually, these players get rewarded with new contracts.

Because of comprehensive scouting systems, it is difficult for clubs to come across players they’ve never heard of at the World Cup. Yes, the world might not know some of these athletes.

But football clubs and scouts usually know these youngsters. And as such, the World Cup is just a platform for determining the value of the players.

Who are the best top guns discovered at the World Cup? There’s Samuel Eto’o. The former Barcelona and Inter Milan forward caught the world’s attention at the 1998 World Cup.

Eto’o didn’t gain Barcelona’s admiration until 2003, however, when he scored against Brazil during the Confederations Cup.

At 17 years and 234 days, Brazil’s Pele is yet another football legend who represented his country at the World Cup while still a teenager. Pele first played for Brazil at the 1958 World Cup in a game against USSR. Brazil went on to the win the trophy that year.

Clubs with the Best World Cup Players

As mentioned, many football clubs in Europe already have an idea of the players they want to sign. However, the World Cup helps boost or lower a player’s value in the transfer market.

It can also determine whether a team will go ahead and sign a specific player or look for an alternative. That said, many clubs want to acquire top-performing players after the world cup.

The reason is simple. Players who excel at the World Cup have a chance of performing at the club level. This is particularly true for footballers under 25 years.

Transfer values for performing youngsters at the World Cup tend to shoot significantly. By comparison, the values of players approaching or over 30 years improve slightly or remain the same.

Historically, Europe’s Big Five leagues nab more than 70% of top-performing players at the World Cup. The English Premier League attracts up to 40% of these players, according to data provided by bwin.

World Cup Flops

Although the World Cup helps shine light on certain players, it doesn’t mean they continue to rise post the tournament. There are many documented cases of players flopping after dominating the World Cup.

Think of Manchester United’s Luke Shaw, Mario Balotelli at Manchester City and Valencia, also at United. These players got big contracts after shining at the World Cup. But upon getting their big breaks, they turned into minnows.


There was a time when the entire world waited for the World Cup to discover new talents. Not any more—many clubs have scouts who know every player at the 2022 World Cup.

Still, the World Cup will have a big impact on the transfer values of all the players involved in the competition. For some, this will be a chance to move to a major club. For others, this could mean retirement.