World Cup 2014: Johan Djourou, Bryan Ruiz, Julio Cesar...Premier League flops who’ve made the grade in Brazil
They may not have set the English top-flight alight, but have excelled here
Johan Djourou will tomorrow seek to become the latest player to fail in England but succeed at the World Cup. The Swiss defender finally left Arsenal in April after 144 appearances over a decade. Djourou, who has signed for Hamburg, only once threatened to establish himself at Arsenal, in 2010-11, but having won a place in the side he got a shoulder injury and never wrested it back.
In Sao Paulo, Djourou will have the unenviable task of trying to stop Lionel Messi. Should the 27-year-old succeed he will join Julio Cesar, Pablo Armero and Bryan Ruiz in the World Cup quarter-finals. Cesar, the hero of Brazil’s penalty shoot-out victory over Chile, was QPR’s third-choice goalkeeper last season and made only one appearance, in the FA Cup.
While his exclusion may have been motivated by a desire to shift him off the wage bill, Armero was left out at West Ham because Sam Allardyce preferred George McCartney. The Colombian, whose cross created James Rodriguez’s second goal against Uruguay, started only three games on loan with the Hammers.
Ruiz was the winner of a trio of Fulham players in Recife on Sunday night, defeating Greek pair Giorgis Karagounis and Kostas Mitroglou. He spent the second half of last season on loan at PSV Eindhoven but is still a Fulham player and could come good. More likely the club – who have already released Karagounis – will cash in on his World Cup success and sell him.
Ruiz is not alone in finding the pace, and winter slog, of the English game different to international football.
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