Five players who shined more for their country than their club, including former Arsenal, Liverpool and Bayern Munich stars


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The international break has brought some big performances from big players.

Harry Kane has shined for England, scoring a hat-trick against Bulgaria and once against Kosovo to take his tally for the Three Lions to 25 in just 41 games.

De Bruyne ran the game against Scotland for Belgium

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De Bruyne ran the game against Scotland for Belgium

While on Monday evening, Man City playmaker Kevin de Bruyne was unplayable for Belgium, notching up three assists and a goal against Scotland.

However, sometimes football fans grow frustrated at players on the international stage and find themselves asking, why can’t he play like that for my club?

In light of this, talkSPORT.com has identified five players who previously shined more at international level rather than for their club team…

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Peter Crouch (England)

There is no question that Crouch will go down as a Premier League great – after all, he is part of the ‘100 club’ – a select group of players who scored more than 100 goals in the division.

However, the lanky marksman never had a campaign where he scored more than 15 goals, and for some reason, he seemed to be a different beast with the national team.

For England, he hit 11 goals in 12 games in 2006 and went on from there, eventually ending with a better than one-in-two ratio, with 22 goals in 42 appearances.

Crouch was different gravy for England

Lukas Podolski (Germany)

Podolski was far from a failure for Bayern Munich and Arsenal but by no means can you consider him one of the best German players in history.

However. if you didn’t know who he was and you saw his stats for his country, than you’d think he’d deserve a statue outside the Olympiastadion.

The versatile forward made 130 caps for Germany, putting him third in their all-time rankings behind Lothar Matthaus and Miroslav Klose.

He’s also their third-highest scorer behind Klose (71) and Gerd Muller (68) with 49 goals.

The Russia World Cup in 2018 was Die Mannschaft’s first major tournament without Podolski since 2002 – and we all know how that ended up.

Podolski was superb for Germany every time he put on the shirt

James Rodriguez (Colombia)

Rodriguez lit up the 2014 World Cup with Colombia, which prompted Real Madrid to splash big money on him from Monaco.

And despite enjoying a stellar debut campaign in the Spanish capital, his tenure with the LaLiga giants has been a nightmare ever since.

He has struggled to break into the first-team under several Real bosses, with Zinedine Zidane’s return most likely signalling the start of another spell on the sidelines for the playmaker this season.

However, he always seems to dazzle on the international stage, playing an instrumental role in Columbia’s run to the quarter-finals of the Copa America in 2016.

He was unfortunate to be injured for the most part of the 2018 World Cup but is still seen as a hero in his native country, with 22 goals in 76 appearances putting him third on the all time top scorers list.

Rodriguez lit up the 2014 World Cup with Colombia

Eduardo Vargas (Chile)

Former Queens Park Rangers midfielder Vargas once said: “I have no idea why I’m playing better for the national team” – and no one else does either.

The Chilean marksman is one of the most popular players in his country and he rarely disappointed when putting the famous red shirt on.

The striker was the Copa America’s top scorer twice in a row, in 2015 and 2016 – and the Chileans won both tournaments, having failed to do so in their history.

Vargas had a solid 2014 World Cup too, scoring in a crucial 2-0 win over Spain.

He has a remarkable record for the national side, scoring 38 goals in 90 appearances.

Vargas boasts a solid goal record for Chile

Asamoah Gyan (Ghana)

Gyan shocked his nation after he announced he would be making a U-turn on his decision to retire from international football prior to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

However, the decision was welcomed considering his phenomenal record for Ghana.

He is their all-time record goalscorer, with 51 goals from 106 games, but that consistency has eluded him when it comes to club football, with the striker plying his trade in France, Italy, England, China, Turkey and, most recently in the United Arab Emirates with Al-Ain FC.

Gyan announced a U-turn on his decision to retire

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