THE World Cup can be used as a platform for players to force a move elsewhere when they return to their clubs.
And the 2022 edition in Qatar is no different, with world renowned talents and unknown quantities making their mark on the tournament.
GettyJosko Gvardiol was one of the standout defenders at the tournament[/caption]
AlamyEnzo Fernandez was an integral part of Argentina’s World Cup triumph[/caption]
It will undoubtedly go down as Lionel Messi’s competition after he led Argentina to World Cup glory in remarkable fashion on Sunday.
And it will also be remembered for all the off-pitch controversies, most prominently Qatar’s human rights abuses.
But there are plenty of other stories to come out of this World Cup – not least the plethora of players who may well have put themselves in the shop window amid links away from their current sides.
SunSport has taken a look at the best possible XI from those who impressed for their national teams and could secure a transfer in January.
GK: Dominik Livarkovic
GettyDominik Livarkovic helped Croatia to TWO penalty shootout victories in Qatar[/caption]
Dinamo Zagreb keeper Dominik Livarkovic, 27, showed himself to be a penalty specialist as he led Croatia to shootout victories over Japan and Brazil.
He also conceded just one goal in five matches before their 3-0 defeat to Argentina in the semi-finals.
Manchester United were reportedly linked with him before choosing Martin Dubravka in the summer.
Now his performances in Qatar could see the Red Devils return for him in January.
RB: Josep Juranovic
Celtic defender Josep Juranovic, 27, was perhaps the standout right-back in Qatar.
The Croatia, who produced a remarkable display in their quarter-final win over Brazil, is being eyed up by the likes of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
But Premier League sides Everton and West Ham are also keeping tabs on him and will have been blown away by his displays over the past few weeks.
CB: Harry Souttar
ReutersHarry Souttar was superb for Australia in their run to the last-16[/caption]
This is one not many would have seen coming.
Stoke City’s Harry Souttar, 24, produced some majestic performances for Australia on their way out of the group.
Premier League clubs are thought to be circling for him, but the Championship outfit have now slapped a £25million price tag on his head.
CB: Josko Gvardiol
Irrespective of what Messi did to him in the semi-final, Croatia’s 20-year-old centre-back is a superb talent.
Josko Gvardiol was perhaps Croatia’s standout performer at a World Cup in which they finished third – showcasing his physicality and skill on the ball time and time again.
He has been linked with a £45m move to Chelsea, but Manchester City and Real Madrid are also in the hunt.
LB: Antonee Robinson
Fulham left-back Antonee Robinson, 25, was sensational for USA during their high-energy World Cup campaign.
They were eventually outdone by Holland in the last-16, but Robinson’s performances have been enough to create interest from AC Milan.
CM: Sofyan Amrabat
Morocco’s best ever World Cup campaign was typified by the performance of midfielder Sofyan Amrabat.
The 26-year-old has been with Fiorentina since 2020, but could now be poised for a big-money move to Liverpool in the coming weeks.
GettySofyan Amrabat was imperious in the Morocco midfield throughout the tournament[/caption]
CM: Azzedine Ounahi
Alongside Amrabat in the heart of Morocco’s midfield was Azzedine Ounahi.
The 22-year-old currently plies his trade for Ligue 1’s bottom club Angers.
You do not imagine he will be there for much longer following his imperious displays in Qatar, with Leicester eyeing up a £39m move.
CM: Enzo Fernandez
The Young Player of the Tournament award went to Argentine midfielder Enzo Fernandez.
The 21-year-old came into the side during the group stage and scored a beauty against Mexico.
He then went on to play a key role in them lifting the trophy and could now be set for a move away from Benfica as Liverpool, Man Utd and Man City are all thought to be interested.
RW: Hakim Ziyech
Hakim Ziyech has made very little impact on the Chelsea team in recent times.
But in the space of a month he showed more for Morocco than he has over two years for the Blues.
Now AC Milan are stepping up their interest for the 29-year-old forward – even if it is only on a loan deal.
ST: Goncalo Ramos
Very few outside of Portugal had heard of Benfica forward Goncalo Ramos before this World Cup.
Now, after replacing Cristiano Ronaldo and scoring a hat-trick against Switzerland, everyone knows his name.
The 21-year-old is being linked with a January move to Man Utd.
ReutersGoncalo Ramos scored a hat-trick against Switzerland in the last-16[/caption]
LW: Cody Gakpo
Cody Gakpo was a major transfer target of Manchester United’s in the summer but Erik ten Hag failed to get a deal over the line.
The Ajax man, 23, has since gone on to score three goals at the World Cup and boosted his price tag to £43m.