Czech Republic vs Wales prediction, World Cup, football

Euro stars: Who will sign them this summer?

With Euro 2020 now over, attention is shifting to the upcoming domestic football season but the competition’s impact may be felt here as well.

Until the first ball of a new campaign is kicked, the attention of fans tends to be fixated on the transfer market, where the Euro 2020 stars will have drawn the attention of the game’s big spenders.

We have already analysed which clubs had the biggest influence on the tournament but now we’re looking ahead to what the rest of the summer may bring.

We have reviewed every previous World Cup and European Championship since the year 2000 – a total of 10 tournaments – to see what happened to the players who moved clubs immediately after starring in them.

To ensure we do not accidentally track the fortunes of those who did not have a chance to impress for their national teams, we have ignored anyone who played fewer than 180 minutes at a given tournament.

Unsurprisingly it is one of football’s biggest spenders that has been the most likely to sign players who impressed on the international stage.

Spanish giants Real Madrid are the only club to have signed at least one of the players who featured at each of the last 10 tournaments. A total of 16 arrivals range from memorable ‘Galacticos’ such as Luis Figo and Ronaldo to knee-jerk moves for the likes of James Rodriguez and Emerson.

No other club has come within five signings of Real’s tally, with three clubs then tied on 11 including both of the Milan clubs in Italy.

No team has signed more players off the back of a single tournament since 2000 than Inter did in 2006 when they added Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Hernan Crespo, Patrick Vieira and Fabio Grosso to their squad.

Four consecutive Serie A titles followed, the first three of which saw Ibrahimovic end the season as top scorer.

City rivals AC Milan have not been shy of signing players in the wake of an international tournament but few of them have worked out as they would have hoped.

Rivaldo may be a legend of the game but he made just 22 league appearances for the club. The signings of Alessandro Nesta and Gianluca Zambrotta are the bright spots on a less-than-impressive list.

The third club with 11 post-World Cup and European Championship signings to their name is Real’s nemesis Barcelona.

The double signing of Emmanuel Petit and Marc Overmars in 2000 was seen as a major coup at the time but Petit left after just one season, later claiming that Lorenzo Serra Ferrer did not even know what position he played when he joined the team.

The signing of David Villa a decade later had a happier ending, with the former Valencia man chipping in with 23 goals on the way to La Liga and Champions League glory in his first season at the Nou Camp.

Will Gunners go for Euro stars again?

Four Premier League clubs feature in our top 10 but the only one to reach double figures is Arsenal, who have already been linked with Manuel Locatelli after he was one of the Euro 2020 stars for champions Italy.

Alexis Sanchez wrote his name into Gunners folklore following the 2014 World Cup but apart from the signing of the Chilean, Arsenal’s dealings after major tournaments leave a lot to be desired.

Of their three most recent signings, Granit Xhaka still has time to prove his worth but one of the players who joined after the 2018 World Cup spent last season out on loan and the other has already left the club.

There are no French teams in the top 10 – although PSG may break into it eventually – and only one from Germany.

While Bayern Munich have a bigger reputation for throwing their weight around in the transfer market, Dortmund have been busier when it comes to recruiting international stars after major tournaments.

None of their acquisitions could be described as true marquee signings, but each of them has gone on to make at least 50 appearances for them.

Alexander Frei, in particular, proved to be a shrewd acquisition, finishing as top scorer in two of his three seasons at the club.

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