Diego Milito is heading to the World Cup in the form of his life and could be a great outside bet to finish the tournament’s top scorer.
The Inter forward was majestic in his two-goal display against Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final on Saturday and could have forced his way into Argentina manager Diego Maradona’s starting line-up.
Milito hit the net 30 times in 51 games this season and helped secure his club’s first treble with title-winning goals in each of the competition’s climaxing matches.
Should such stats convince Maradona of the 30-year-old’s ruthless big-game edge then he could find a place for him at the head of the Argentina forward line, and make Milito’s 33/1 price for finishing top of the 2010 World Cup scoring charts look very appetising.
The astonishing fact of Milito’s international career though, is that Maradona almost picked 36-year-old Martin Palermo ahead of him for Argentina’s World Cup squad, so we must question whether the unpredictable boss will suddenly thrust Milito into the first XI.
What’s clear though is that Milito will seize any opportunity he gets – on Saturday night he had two chances and scored two goals. So even if Maradona only brings him on as a sub in their opening game against Nigeria, don’t be surprised if Milito scores again and forces the manager’s hand for the rest of the tournament.
Milito’s currently below Lionel Messi (9/1) and Gonzalo Higuaín (16/1) and level with Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez, mainly due to the limited way Maradona used him during qualification. Should Milito get games though, expect that price to shorten.
Walter Samuel, another member of Argentina’s World Cup squad, also shone, and his towering defensive qualities makes 8/1 for an Argentina triumph seem decent. It’s 125/1 for a Milito/Argentina double.
South America’s other World Cup hope had reason to be cheerful after Saturday’s match with three of Brazil’s back five playing for Inter, in the shape of Lúcio, Júlio César and Maicon. The difficulty opposition sides will have in breaking through the five-time winner’s defensive wall was in clear evidence. Dunga’s charges are 9/2 second favourites to do it for a sixth time, while you can back any South American World Cup winner at 9/4.
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