World Cup Golden Boot: Messi leads the runners and riders
Lionel Messi failed to find the net against Switzerland last time out for Argentina but the Barcelona hitman remains the bookies’ favourite to take home the Golden Boot at the World Cup in Brazil.
Available at 5/2 with Ladbrokes after scoring four goals in La Albiceleste’s three group games, the 27-year-old is just one goal off the current leader in the scoring standings with a quarter-final encounter against Belgium to contend with.
But while the Catalan star has a proven track record for goals with club and country, that doesn’t always equate to success in front of net at the World Cup – as the likes of Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli and of course Wayne Rooney demonstrate.
So who is in the running to be named top scorer? Read on to get the inside track on all the runners and riders.
Currently leading the way in the scoring charts with five goals, James has the momentum on his side having scored in each of Colombia’s four games at this World Cup.
A quarter-final against Brazil could be tricky, but the 22-year-old will take heart from seeing Chile find the net against the hosts and, after seeing off similar South American opposition in Uruguay, another strike here could seal this individual honour.
With four goals to his name so far, it’s fair to say that Neymar is doing a fine job of coping with the pressure of an entire nation on his back. A return of 35 goals in 52 international appearances is a sensational return but the Barcelona star failed to find the net against Chile, having only scored against Cameroon and Croatia thus far.
He was quiet for much of the latter stages against Chile too and while he can still be relied upon to dispatch a penalty kick, an early Colombia goal could set the tone for another quiet day at the office.
Guilty of missing a hatful of chances against Algeria, Thomas Muller’s goalscoring form has reflected that of Germany at this World Cup: starting with an almighty bang but in danger of now going out with a whimper.
Scorer of a hat-trick against Portugal, with another strike added in the 1-0 win over Team USA, Muller could still come good for Die Mannschaft against France, having scored in their previous friendly meeting with Les Bleus back in 2013.
Another player who grabbed the headlines early on, RVP looked on course for Golden Boot glory after two games, scoring two against Spain and another against Australia.
Since then it’s all gone a bit quiet for the Manchester United man who lost some momentum after picking up a suspension for the Oranje’s third group game. A quarter-final with minnows Costa Rica could help, but Le Sele will be no pushovers.
The dark horse for Golden Boot glory in my book, Robben has been in sensational form at this World Cup, proving both pacy and deadly in front of goal for Holland so far at this World Cup.
Two goals against Spain were followed up by another against Australia and though he failed to net in the Chile match he set up one of the goals before tumbling in the box against Mexico to win a late penalty. Keen to silence his critics, more goals could come.
France’s one bright hope going forward – provided they play him through the centre – Benzema found the net against Honduras and Switzerland and could have had more if the referee in the latter of the two games hadn’t opted to blow his whistle at an inopportune time.
Scorer of Real Madrid’s goal in the 1-0 first leg win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League last season, a couple more against old foe Manuel Neuer could make his odds outstanding value.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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