And after such a disappointing domestic campaign, Santa Cruz, 28, knows the World Cup is the ideal stage for him to prove he is not destined to be one of the Premier League's most expensive flops.
"It's been frustrating not to have been as fit as I would have liked in my first season at City," said Santa Cruz. "The team did well, but from a personal point of view it was a tough season for me.
"I don't think about the money City paid for me. I think people can see that when I am fit and I play, I give everything to the team.
"I couldn't play as many games as I wanted last season, and when that happens you have so few opportunities to score goals, which is what strikers are paid to do.
"When you've not been fit and you're doing well in training, sometimes you want to do too much and you push yourself too far. That happened to me quite a few times last season.
"But every time I play now I feel good and feel I can do well. But even if I have a good game but don't score, people don't think I have done my job, because as a striker you are judged on how many goals you get."