Referenced so often as the greatest footballer, the little Argentine Lionel Messi has the goal-scoring records and deadly quality to make his national squad a force to be reckoned with in the 2014 World Cup. He is favourite in the World Cup betting markets to be the outright top goal scorer in Brazil and while assists could also come thick and fast, Messi heads the betting to be player of the tournament.
Labeled as football’s current greatest player by many, Messi will be the danger man in a feisty Argentine side in Brazil having collected the prestigious Ballon d'Or award a record four times consecutively from 2009. Messi has won six La Liga titles, two Copas del Rey, five Supercopas de España, three UEFA Champions Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups and two Club World Cups, playing a hugely significant part in each and every one of them. At the age of just 25, Messi became the youngest player to score 200 La Liga goals, having made a similar number of starts to outline his menace on a football pitch.
Messi’s achievements will influence the player betting odds, having famously set a European record for most goals scored in a season during the 2011–12 season with 73 and the Forward is able to create goals from any scenario when given the chance. In a team featuring Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero, Messi will still be a certainty to grab a Forward role in every fixture, Aguero in particular a figure that could supply his strike partner with more chances to hit the target than in previous World Cups – the tournament’s Golden Boot is an accolade Messi has not yet been able to celebrate.
Messi will thrive during Argentina’s Group F matches, which will be relatively tamer than others against opposition sides Bosnia-Hercegovina, Iran and Nigeria. Expect Messi to be on the score sheet during the opening three matches, and on much more than one occasion. Messi’s International career spans to 37 goals from 83 starts prior to 2014, his World Cup performance in 2006 stymied by injury unlike his 2010 campaign when he played a huge part in the team’s road to the quarter-finals thanks to numerous assists, despite goals not heading his way on that occasion.
Messi suffered an injury in a 4-1 away win against Real Betis in late 2013, but returned in January and proceeded to score two goals on his comeback to immediately prove any side effects are not to be considered.
Lionel Messi World Cup Betting Tips
The Argentine maestro is certain to be at the centre of everything his team does, put him on your shortlist for World Cup top goalscorer and he should prove profitable to follow match by match in goalscorer and assist betting markets.
Messi stole the show in Argentina's opening game against Bosnia & Herzegovina and scored the decisive goal in the 2-1 victory. While the team struggled to break down Iran in the second game, Messi popped up with a sublime strike in injury time to register his second World Cup goal and give Argentina a narrow 1-0 win. Two more followed in the final group game against Nigeria, again crucial as Argentina emerged 3-2 winners.
The second round saw Messi fear Argentina's exit, failing to score as his country moved into the quarter-finals with an extra time 1-0 win over Switzerland.