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5 World Cup winners you didn't know are still active on the club scene

Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta was a World Cup winner with Spain
Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta was a World Cup winner with Spain
Ume Elvis
ANALYST
Modified 06 Jan 2021, 08:17 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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Winning the World Cup is regarded as the pinnacle of a professional footballer's career, and only a handful of players throughout history can count themselves among those who have achieved this feat.

While club football brings with it the fame and fortune of the modern-day game, there remains a certain allure to international football as for 90 minutes, you are representing millions of your compatriots on the field.

The fact that the World Cup comes along every four years means that winning it raises a footballer to a higher pedestal. It is a memory that all winners hold dear for the rest of their lives.

Considering the pedigree associated with World Cup winners, it stands to reason that they are almost always in the public light. However, this is not entirely the case.

Several factors such as having a final hoorah in one of the less-followed leagues, a loss of form, or just being usurped on the hierarchy by younger players means that some World Cup winners have fallen off public consciousness for some time.

While some World Cup winners like Paul Pogba, Toni Kroos, Sergio Ramos and Kylian Mbappe continue to ply their trade on the biggest stages weekly, some of their teammates have fallen off the radar.

Here, we shall have a rundown of five World Cup winners you might not know are still active on the club scene.


#5 Adil Rami (Boavista FC)

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Adil Rami lifting the World Cup in 2018
Adil Rami lifting the World Cup in 2018

Adil Rami was an unused member of the France squad that won the World Cup in Russia 2018. He announced his retirement immediately after the tournament, although he was strangely called up for subsequent matches (without making another appearance).

The presence of several established centre-backs like Raphael Varane, Laurent Koscielny and Samuel Umtiti meant that Rami did not become established on the international scene in his prime, and he retired with just 36 caps to his name.

Rami's club career has seen him represent several clubs across different European countries but he is mostly associated with his time in La Liga, where he spent five years between Valencia and Sevilla.

The Frenchman joined Russian side Sochi after terminating his contract with Fernabache in February 2020. However, with the season curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic soon after, he left Sochi without having played a single game.

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These days, he plies his trade in the Portuguese Primeira Liga with unfancied Boavista. He has so far made five league appearances for the relegation-threatened side, although he has been sidelined by a muscle injury since December.

#4 Sami Khedira (Juventus)

Sami Khedira was part of the German squad at the 2014 World Cup
Sami Khedira was part of the German squad at the 2014 World Cup

Sami Khedira has had a storied career that has seen him win virtually everything at both club and international level.

Despite not being the most technically gifted player, the 33-year-old has tenacity and efficiency, which has seen him excel at the highest levels of the game.

Having begun his career with VfB Stuttgart, Khedira was named as a replacement for the injured captain Michael Ballack at the 2010 World Cup. He became a key component of the extremely youthful German side that captured imaginations.

He played in all Germany's games in South Africa and was an indisputable member of the team that reached the semi-final of Euro 2012 two years later.

Despite suffering a long-term ACL injury, Khedira recovered in time to be named in Germany's 2014 World Cup squad, although an injury sustained in the warm-up for the final saw him miss out on the showpiece event as his nation won their 4th world title.

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Khedira's club career has also been highly decorated, with five successful seasons at Real Madrid followed by an equally trophy-laden spell with Juventus.

His career in recent years has, however, been blighted by injuries and a loss of form, limiting him to just 22 Serie A appearances across the last three seasons combined.

So far, Khedira is yet to get a single minute of action for the Bianconeri across all competitions, and it is easy to forget that he is still a member of the squad.

Latest reports in the media suggest that a move away from Turin could be on the cards for him, with Everton reportedly leading the race for his signature.

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Published 06 Jan 2021, 08:17 IST
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