Janmaat’s buccaneering raids down the right earned him an assist in the win over Spain, another in the third-place win over Brazil and a multi-million pound move to Newcastle. It was a wrench to leave Feyenoord, though. This is the team Janmaat supports and the club he landed a dream return to after they initially released him as a schoolboy.
“I played there for eight years and it was my dream to become a professional footballer there. It looked like it was over. They told me I was too light.”
Undeterred, he put on some weight, resurrected his career first at Den Haag and then Heerenveen before Feyenoord realised the error of their ways and resigned him in 2012.
“They bought me back and that was really nice.”
They cashed in on the back of the World Cup though, selling him for £5m to Newcastle. It was a good career move but it meant uprooting his young family – Janmaat now has three children – from Rotterdam to the North East of England.
“Yes, it was hard to start with. We lived in Heerenveen for four years so we got used to being away from family but Newcastle was the first time we went to another country. The beginning was hard but we quite liked it there and had a good time. It was an honour to play there, they have a great stadium, great support.”
Two seasons later he was on the move again, this time to Vicarage Road. Newcastle’s relegation to the Championship meant Janmaat was allowed to jump ship and Watford got themselves to the front of the queue.
“They gave me a presentation and told me about the project,” says Janmaat. “I had offers abroad and other clubs in the Premier League but I was quite convinced about what Watford said. It’s a club with ambitions and hopefully we can do what the owner wants.”