The 2022 World Cup in Qatar saw Lionel Messi finally win the greatest trophy in football, cementing his place at the very top of the sport.
But the global spectacular also ushered in a new generation of potential megastars.
While Messi was a global icon beforehand, the tournament saw several players burst onto the world stage, elevating themselves to new heights despite being relatively unknown before the action in Qatar began.
The World Cup provides a platform for players to spark their career into life and examples from Qatar are just the latest in a long line from the football history books.
The 2018 World Cup saw home nation hero Aleksandr Golovin grab the headlines, with his performances earning him a move to Ligue 1 giants AS Monaco.
In 2014 James Rodriguez shone for Colombia and was soon snapped up by reigning Champions League winners Real Madrid.
So, which players followed Golovin and James in thrusting their names into the limelight, and how much are they now worth?
Using the unique FootballTransfers xTV algorithm, we look at the ‘new’ January transfer window values for five breakout stars from Qatar.
We factor in a number of key metrics to arrive at our valuations - including:
The price a player is eventually sold for depends of course on the appetite (and sometimes desperation) of the buying club.
We, on the other hand, apply data and science to come up with our numbers.
Argentina started the 2022 World Cup without Benfica ace Enzo Fernandez in their first-choice midfield.
An unconvincing group stage showing changed that, with Lionel Scaloni quick to realise that Fernandez was crucial to his side’s hopes in the tournament.
Combining grit and steel with poise and calmness in midfield, Fernandez drastically changed the outlook of Argentina’s midfield, simultaneously making them more defensively solid and more potent in attack, which helped them to glory in the final against France.
Despite his rise to prominence for the newly-crowned world champions, Fernandez has just six months of experience in European football under his belt, and as a result he is valued by FootballTransfers at just €24.3 million - a fraction of his €120m release clause at Benfica.
Reports suggest big-spending Chelsea did agree personal terms with the player regarding a January transfer, but as yet the Blues have not been able to agree a fee with Benfica.
Goncalo Ramos is the man who replaced Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal’s national team starting XI, and he proved just why in his first start for his country.
The Benfica man bagged a hat-trick in a 6-1 last-16 rout of Switzerland to ensure Portugal’s place in the quarter-finals.
The clinical forward replaced Darwin Nunez as the focal point of Benfica’s attack following the Uruguyan’s transfer to Liverpool in 2022 and he has risen to prominence thanks to his form for his boyhood club.
Ramos is an all-round number nine who combines strength with speed, poacher instincts and link-up play.
As a result, Manchester United have begun sniffing.
However, just like with club team-mate Fernandez, it may take his €120m release clause to force Benfica to sell. Ramos’ actual transfer xTV is far cheaper at €38.4m.
A Brighton & Hove Albion player is a World Cup winner and his name is Alexis Mac Allister.
The former Argentinos star joined the south coast Premier League side in 2019, but returned to his homeland on loan before finally making his Brighton debut in 2020.
Since then, Mac Allister has enjoyed a rapid rise to the top of world football. Under Graham Potter, he wasn’t always a starter until he worked his way into the first-choice XI in 2022.
Deployed as a No.6 from the start of the 2022/23 season, Mac Allister found a home at the Amex Stadium, adding immense quality on the ball to the Brighton midfield, along with a goal threat and defensive nous.
He played in a slightly more advanced position at the World Cup, showing the versatility he provides in midfield. As a result, Chelsea and Arsenal have been linked, although Brighton have proven to be a shrewd selling club in generating nearly €200m in player sales since 2021.
Mac Allister’s current FootballTransfer value now stands at €29.5m - a rise of more than 30% thanks to his exploits in Qatar last month.
Amrabat was one of Morocco’s standout players in Qatar, helping his country become the first ever African nation to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup.
The Fiorentina star was a reliable presence at the base of Morocco’s midfield, providing solidity in possession, and more importantly a level of defensive security. Amrabat frequently stopped opposition attacks and was a key part of Morocco’s counter-attacking style.
However, his form in the tournament hasn’t frequently been seen at club level, with Amrabat not always a regular in Florence.
He featured just 23 times in Serie A during the 2021/22 season, with 15 of those appearances coming as a substitute.
As a result his FootballTransfers value still stands at a lowly €6.5m, despite his immense tournament and transfer interest. The likes of Liverpool and Tottenham were linked with Amrabat during the 2022 summer transfer window, but decided against signing him.
Morocco’s feat of reaching the last four is made all the more impressive when considering the fact that two of their key men - Azzedine Ounahi and Sofiane Boufal - play for relegation-threatened Angers in Ligue 1.
During the tournament, it was Ounahi who caught the eye more, with AS Roma head coach Jose Mourinho eager to praise the midfielder for his performances in Qatar.
Ounahi was a vital member of Morocco’s squad, with his ability to evade pressure and keep possession in tight spaces often allowing the side to maintain the ball and sustain attacks even against better opposition.
He has since been targeted by Napoli and Premier League clubs, with the Italians publicly admitting their interest.
We value Ounahi at €12.4m right now.