A trio of Gunners will surf into pre-season training on waves of elation after sampling the sweet taste of World Cup glory this summer.
Understandably, it’s Arsenal’s German contingent who fare best in our review of the tournament from an Emirati perspective, but there are plenty of fellow north London-dwelling comrades who prospered in Brazil.
Mesut Ozil/Per Mertesacker/Lukas Podolski
Ozil made the most successful final-third passes in the tournament and only Lionel Messi’s 23 topped his 17 chances created.
Mertesacker made six appearances in a defence that kept the most clean sheets and few could outdo cheerleader-in-chief Podolski for his spirit-raising escapades on Twitter as well as the sidelines.
The £35m man plundered one third of Chile’s World Cup goals and confirmed that his versatility in attack compliments his mesmerising skills with strong performances on the wing and through the middle.
Frequently chastised for his comic club-level standard, the Swiss stopper raised his game statistically in Brazil.
His 1.8 tackles bested the 1.5 he managed on loan at Hamburg last term, as did his 2.5 World Cup interceptions to 1.8 in the Bundesliga.
The crown jewel in the Costa Rica attack tore Uruguay to shreds and held his own against sterner defences as the minnow nation ventured into unchartered quarter-final territory.
He proved a handy tactical tool, providing a direct outlet through the middle when Didier Deschamps wanted to use Karim Benzema’s technical nouse from the left.
A goal and an assist isn’t a dreadful effort for an individual who only started two of France’s matches either.
Giroud’s Les Bleus compadre had to settle for being first reserve to Mamadou Sakho, surprisingly.
He was reliable when called upon, but this was all too infrequently.
The Ox remained in the England squad despite a knee injury, but didn’t play a game owing to the Three Lions early elimination.
He played a bit-part role in Spain’s disaster of a tournament, but starting the only
match they managed to win keeps his head above the ‘loser’ parapet.
Smoking Jack’s fitness issues obviously hampered his preparations, but when
called upon, as he was for 90 minutes in total, the rebel Gunner was largely