The World Cup is giving a number of unsigned players a chance to audition for their next professional contracts. Here’s a look at where soccer’s biggest free agents will land.
Guillermo Ochoa, GK, Mexico
Before Tim Howard, there was Ochoa, who became a cult hero in Mexico after stonewalling Brazil in a scoreless group-stage draw on June 17. He also will likely earn a spot on a European club powerhouse. Ochoa has spent the last three seasons toiling for Ajaccio in France’s second division, but his contract recently lapsed and now he’s reportedly being courted by Liverpool, Arsenal and Atletico Madrid. This Goal.com article has Ochoa both expressing a desire to stay in France (Monaco, perhaps) and saying “I dream of the Bundesliga,” so perhaps a German team could land him as well.
Samuel Eto’o, F, Cameroon
Released by Chelsea before the World Cup, his fourth at age 33, Eto’o reportedly is being pursued by Turkish powerhouse Galatasaray and Fiorentina of Serie A. Arsenal, Everton and Roma also could be in the mix.
Didier Drogba, F, Ivory Coast
Drogba is 36 but still scored 10 times for Galatasary last season. He could end up back at Chelsea, where he scored 157 goals.
Gonzalo Jara, D, Chile
Jara was last seen missing a penalty kick that would have extended the Chileans round-of-16 match with Brazil. He was released by Nottingham Forest of England’s second division in May, and could be an inexpensive signing for someone.
Daniel Van Buyten, D, Belgium
At 36, the 6-foot-6 giant has played in all four matches for the Red Devils in Brazil and will garner some interest after being jettisoned by Bayern Munich after last season.
Eduardo da Silva, F, Croatia
The Croatian-by-way-of-Brazil didn’t see much action at the World Cup but could find himself in Serie A after four seasons with Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine.