In the latest of its summer transfer market round-ups, FIFA.com looks at the moves that have been capturing the headlines over the last few days.
The big-money deal
How to stay motivated when you have won everything there is to win? That is the question midfielder Toni Kroos must have been asking, having claimed, at the age of just 24, every club honour going with Bayern Munich and the FIFA World Cup™ with Germany.
Kroos has just answered the question by giving himself a tough new challenge, that of making his mark at another of the biggest clubs in the world, Real Madrid, with whom he has signed a six-year deal. One of the architects of Die Mannschaft’s stylish triumph at Brazil 2014, Kroos will now be intent on helping Carlo Ancelotti’s men win back La Liga's crown and retain the UEFA Champions League title they won last season.
The World Cup effect
Kroos is not the only player to have appeared at the recent World Cup and earned himself a move to pastures new. Ecuador striker Enner Valencia has also put pen to paper, leaving Mexican side Pachuca for West Ham United, while Kroos’s Germany team-mate Matthias Ginter has joined Borussia Dortmund from Freiburg.
Meanwhile Netherlands full-back Daryl Janmaat has swapped Feyenoord for Newcastle United, who have said goodbye to Frenchman Mathieu Debuchy after the full-back completed his move to Arsenal. Finally, Côte d’Ivoire defender Serge Aurier has nailed down a loan move from Toulouse to Paris Saint-Germain.
80 - the number of millions of euros spent by Real Madrid in acquiring the services of James Rodriguez from Monaco. Not content with an impressive season in Ligue 1, the attacking midfielder went to Brazil 2014 and thrilled the world with a string of superb displays.
As well as helping Colombia reach the last eight, he top-scored with six goals to pocket the adidas Golden Boot and also earned the nod from FIFA.com users for the Goal of the Tournament, for his wonder volley against Uruguay. James’ fee makes him the fifth most expensive signing in football history behind new team-mates Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo and the Barcelona duo of Neymar and Luis Suarez.
Barcelona are the club where front man Bojan Krkic learned his trade. The Spanish striker made his Liga debut as a 17-year-old in 2007 and replaced Lionel Messi as the club’s youngest ever scorer in the league when he converted an assist from the Argentinian at the age of 17 years and 53 days.
Bojan failed to hold down a regular first-team place at Barça, however, and has turned out for Roma, AC Milan and latterly Ajax over the last three seasons. Now 23, he is about to play in his fourth European league, having signed on the dotted line for English Premier League side Stoke City.
Back to their roots
After making his professional debut with West Ham United, his breakthrough with Leeds United and becoming a Manchester United legend in a 12-season stay at Old Trafford, centre-half Rio Ferdinand is going right back to where it all started. The 35-year-old former England international has signed for Queens Park Rangers, where he began playing the game at the age of ten.
Another idol to go full circle is Argentinian creative midfielder Juan Riquelme, who started out with Argentinos Juniors in 1995 and has just decided to make his return there. In the meantime, Riquelme attained hero status at Boca Juniors, spending 13 seasons there either side of a five-year stay in Spain between 2002 and 2007.
While Welsh defender Ben Davies and Dutch goalkeeper Michel Vorm have both chosen to swap Swansea for Tottenham Hotspur, Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson has decided to head in the opposite direction, leaving White Hart Lane for the Welsh club’s Liberty Stadium.
Player to watch
Assured, watchful and invariably in the right place at the right time, Gaston Silva is one of those players who team-mates love to have around and who opponents dread the sight of. The Uruguay skipper at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013, Silva is now following in the footsteps of Jose Nasazzi and Diego Lugano, two other fine defenders to wear the Celeste captain’s armband.
Three years on from making his debut with Defensor Sporting, Silva received his first call to the full national team from Oscar Tabarez and was on El Maestro’s provisional squad list for Brazil 2014. A runner-up with Uruguay at Turkey 2013, he has now made the move to Europe, signing for Serie A side Torino.
Joining the neighbours
Another player heading to Turin is Spanish front-man Alvaro Morata, who has left Real Madrid to reinforce a Juventus attack already featuring Carlos Tevez, Sebastian Giovinco and Fernando Llorente. Aware of his ever-diminishing chances of getting first-team football at Juve, Italy striker Fabio Quagliarella has chosen to cross town and join neighbours and rivals Torino, the club where he launched his career in 1999.
What they said
“If that’s not a stupid story, I’ll go and eat a broomstick,” Jurgen Klopp reacts to rumours linking his Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels with a move to Manchester United.