Finding form for their countries
Every World Cup brings a number of players who found life tough with their clubs, yet with the shackles off on the international stage, they show their true, natural ability. Here is our guide to those who have banished their poor club form and replaced it with international glory in Brazil.
Marouane Fellaini [Belgium]
Club: Manchester United
Status: Lambasted in his first season at United, a shining star for Belgium. "Every time I watch Belgium play, Marouane Fellaini is the best player on the pitch," said David Moyes, as he signed off on the 27.5 million pound deal that took this shaggy-haired midfielder from Everton to Old Trafford last summer. Those words and that signing were to come back to haunt him as Fellaini disappointed at United, leaving many to suggest that was one of the reasons why Moyes lost his job. It meant he started this World Cup as a benchwarmer for Belgium, before a stunning goal in their opening game against Algeria and a decent display in the crucial win against Russia confirmed he still has a key role to play in his national team setup.
Miroslav Klose [Germany]
Status: German national team royalty. Not always so impressive in club colours. "Please don't compare me to Gerd Muller, I will never be mentioned in the same breath," insisted Klose, as he edged past 1974 World Cup winner Muller in Germany's all-time scoring charts earlier this month. It was a typical comment from this unassuming team player, yet his 70th international goal in the 2-2 draw with Ghana last weekend -- and his record-equalling 15th in World Cup finals -- ensured the player who has struggled to shine with Bayern Munich and Lazio in recent years is assured of a place in the game's folklore.
Giovani dos Santos [Mexico]
Status: Starring as Mexico's No. 10 at Brazil 2014. Dos Santos failed to make an impression during his spell at Premier League side Tottenham, but he has done better in Spain with Mallorca and Villarreal in the last couple of years, and he has remained a key cog of the Mexico side. This playmaker seems at home on the international stage and is thriving amid the pressure of the World Cup finals.
Julio Cesar [Brazil]
Club: Toronto and QPR
Status: Still Brazil's No. 1 despite a fall from grace at club level, spending the first half of this season on loan in MLS at Toronto from QPR. How can a player who could not make the starting lineup for QPR, a second-tier team in English football, remain as Brazil's No. 1 keeper? It is a question Selecao coach Luiz Felipe Scolari was asked time and again in the build up to the World Cup, but he is convinced the shot-stopper is still the best man for his team. So far, Cesar has not let him down.
Joel Campbell [Costa Rica]
Club: Olympiakos and Arsenal
Status: Making his name as part of Costa Rica's surprise guys. Many Arsenal supporters may not have been aware of Campbell's status as one of their players when he popped up with a Champions League goal against Manchester United while on loan at Olympiakos last season. That display sparked debate over whether he could do a job for the Gunners in the Premier League, yet boss Arsene Wenger has not pushed to get this 21-year-old into his squad since he joined Arsenal in 2011, after he gained a work permit last summer. Could Campbell's impressive World Cup change his mind?
Eduardo Vargas [Chile]
Club: Valencia and Napoli
Status: One of the key men in a thrilling Chile side. Napoli were keen to promote their so-called "coup" as they signed Vargas from Universidad de Chile in January 2012, but he failed to catch fire in Serie A and has spent the last couple of seasons out on loan, first at Gremio and then Valencia. A goal and an assist in the group stage of the World Cup for a Chile side that have enchanted all who have watched them should change the perception of this talented 24-year-old forward.
Shinji Kagawa [Japan]
Club: Manchester United
Status: Trying to find his form again after a poor season at Old Trafford. United appeared to have signed a player who came with a guarantee to succeed when they lured Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund in summer 2012, with his impressive displays in the Bundesliga and Champions League. Yet after some initial promise, his United career has stumbled and halted, with Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes offering him limited first-team chances over the last couple of years. Despite that, he has shown flashes of inspiration for Japan at this summer's World Cup.
Bryan Ruiz [Costa Rica]
Club: PSV Eindhoven and Fulham
Status: A star turn for Costa Rica at Brazil 2014. As Ruiz headed home the goal that put Italy's World Cup hopes in doubt, he showed the kind of ability that he seldom seen in the Premier League. Eight Premier League goals in three years with the London club is hardly an impressive record, and he was loaned out to PSV for the second half of last season. But the relegated Cottagers can be confident of selling him this summer after his efforts at Brazil 2014.
Javier Hernandez [Mexico]
Club: Manchester United
Status: Showing some of his old form in Mexico colours. Chicharito instantly became a darling of the Old Trafford faithful when he made his move to Manchester United in 2010, yet that early promise has faded, and the talk in the last year has been that Hernandez may be a makeweight in deals for United's transfer targets. He may have started this World Cup as a backup striker for Mexico, but he has looked the part when thrown into the fray, with his goal in the win against Croatia cementing his nation's passage to the round of 16.