With the World Cup in Brazil just days away and with so much attacking talent on display defenses will need to be at their best to deny the stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar. This article looks at the contenders for the golden boot award at this year’s World Cup.
The main contenders
Messi may not have enjoyed his best season by his own standards but still managed to score 41 goals in 46 games in a mixed season for Barcelona. He is the favourite to finish this tournament as top goal scorer at 15/2. The Barcelona attacker is expected to play a different role in this Argentinean side.
With his club side Barcelona Messi has played as the false 9 in a 4-3-3 system. Argentina are likely to play 2 strikers upfront with “the flea”playing in the 10 role behind them. At the last World Cup he assisted Higuian to score a hat-trick and contributed in many of his team’s goals despite only scoring 1. I would expect Argentina to reach the latter stages and Messi to shine but in this team it may be as provider. The Argentine is 16/1 to provide the highest number of assists and with so much attacking talent supporting Messi this looks a more appealing bet.
The Golden boy of Brazilian football. The weight of expectation will be on the 22 year olds shoulders to provide the flair in this Brazil team at this year’s World Cup. With Brazil more than likely to each the latter stages of this competition this should increase his chances of winning the Golden Boot.
The former Santos attacker will be playing on home soil and will be inspired by a nation expected their side to lift the World Cup for the first time since 2002 where Ronaldo won the golden boot. Neymar has scored 7 goals at the last 2 major tournaments. At the 2012 Olympics he scored 3 and helped Brazil to reach the final. At the Confederations Cup last year he scored 4 and helped Brazil defeat Spain in the final. Neymar is 10/1 to be top scorer.
The Ballon d’Orwinner is 12/1 to be top scorer at this year’s World Cup. The Real Madrid star is expected to be fit but may not be at his best after struggling with tendonitis for the last number of weeks. Ronaldo has not managed to score more than 2 goals at a major tournament for Portugal. However if the Madeira born attacker gets over his injury woes he is capable of scoring at any given moment.
Portugal are also in a difficult opening fixture against Germany and are not expected to reach the latter stages of this tournament. It is hard to back against the former Manchester United star but he may not have supporting cast to get the best of his goal scoring talents.
The other contenders
Sergio Aguero is 14/1 to be top scorer and with Argentina expected to reach the latter stages .Messi and Angel Di Maria can provide the City attacker with the supply to fire Argentina to the latter stages.
Diego Costa at 20/1 has had a great season at Athletico. If he starts for Spain he should have adequate supply from a gifted Spanish midfield.
Luiz Suarez is 18/1 to be top scorer and it would have been very tempting only for concerns over the Liverpool attackers fitness. If Uruguay reaches the latter stages with Suarez fit then he is with a great chance.
Mario Balotelli is 33/1 and with the former Manchester City striker likely to lead the line for Italy. The Milan striker could be a good outside bet. The Italian has 8 goals in his last 14 appearances for the Azzuri.