Sun, Jul 13, 1:44pm by Brad McGrath
Argentine superstar Lionel Messi is $2.50 favourite with German midfielder Thomas Muller outright second favourite at $3.75.
While Colombian gun James Rodriguez ($4.33) and Dutch speedster Arjen Robben ($11) are also prominent in Sportsbet’s market, the Golden Ball winner looks destined to take the pitch during the World Cup final.
A prominent display from Messi, who has scored four times during the World Cup, would surely stitch up the coveted award.
If Muller guided his team to its first World Cup win since 1990 he would also be hard to look past.
Toni Kroos ($17) and Phillip Lahm ($67) are other German players to be nominated for player of the tournament.
Argentina also has injured midfielder Angel Di Maria ($101) and Javier Mascherano $15 nominated.
AustralianGambling takes a look at the individual player awards and makes predictions ahead of the World Cup final on Monday morning.
Angel Di Maria (Argentina) – If it hasn’t been the little master Lionel Messi terrorising opposition defences it was Di Maria. Scored Argentina’s round of 16 winner and was a constant threat throughout the tournament. Di Maria will miss the final after suffering a thigh injury in the quarter finals. The injury probably rules him out as a contender. Sportsbet is offering $101 on Di Maria being named player of the tournament.
Mats Hummels (Germany) – Has been a pillar of strength for the Germans in defence and has also managed to contribute two goals. Would take an extraordinary performance against Argentina in the final to win the Golden Ball but any victory for his country’ could not be done without him. Sportsbet is offering $41 on the on the defender winning the award.
James Rodriguez (Colombia) – Prior to the tournament Colombian Rodriguez was regarded as one of the best young players in the world. His outstanding World Cup has catapulted him into a global star. Rodriguez scored six goals for the Colombians in an attacking midfielder role and is genuinely in the mix for the Golden Ball award. If his team had have pushed past the quarter finals, where they lost to Brazil, Rodriguez would be much shorter than the $4.33 on offer with Sportsbet.Toni Kroos (Germany) – The German midfielder has easily been one of the most influential players of the tournament. Kroos has scored twice for the Germans and has set up four others during his stay in Brazil. If Kroos put in a blinder in the final he could put himself in Golden Ball contention – but it would take something special. Sportsbet is offering $17 on Kroos emerging the tournament’s premier player.
Philipp Lahm (Germany – The German captain has been brilliant throughout the tournament. Has pushed into the midfielder from his usual position at right back and has been a big factor in his team’s charge to the final. Would take a minor miracle for him to win the award (i.e a triple in the final) and the $67 on offer looks about right. (Lahm is paying $101 with Sportingbet).
Lionel Messi (Argentina) – The greatest player of the modern era looks set to add the Golden Ball to his glittering awards cabinet. Despite the pressure associated with being Messi he has scored four goals and set up Di Maria’s winner in the round of 16. Even if his team loses the final, as long as Messi doesn’t have a shocker he should win the player of the tournament. He’s a $2.50 chance with Sportsbet.
Thomas Muller (Germany) – The German striker just keeps producing. He has scored five goals and continually set up chances for his brilliant team. Muller is paying $3.75 to win the Golden Ball and may only be a win and a goal away from claiming this award.
Arjen Robbben (Netherlands) – The Dutch sensation enhanced his reputation with a dominant display which lead his team to an unexpected semi-final appearance. Robben scored three goals and one assist during the tournament with his high coming against Mexico. Robben is paying $11 with Sportsbet.
Neymar – Carried Brazil with four goals during the tournament before a back injury ended his campaign in the quarter final win over Colombia. Neymar was sorely missed in the hosts 7-1 loss to Germany in the semi-finals. Neymar is paying $67 to win the Golden Ball.
Colombian James Rodriguez is the $1.40 favourite with Sportsbet to win the Golden Boot award courtesy of his one goal lead over German Thomas Mueller $4.
The only other player truly in contention to win the Golden Boot award is Lionel Messi ($4) with the Argentinian superstar needing a double to equal Rodriguez.
It’s more than likely that Rodriguez will take out this award and he looks a safe leg for your multis.
The three nominations for the Best Young Player at the Word cup are Frenchmen, midfielder Paul Pogba and defender Raphael Varane. The third nomination is Netherlands youngster Memphis Depay,
Australian bookmakers are not offering a market for this award.
The race to be named the best goalkeeper of the tournament appears over.
Germany’s Manuel Neuer, barring a disaster in the final against Argentina, looks to have one hand on the Golden Glove Award.
Shootout heroes Costa Ricas’s Keylor Navas and Argentina’s Sergio Romero have also been nominated.
American keeper Tim Howard was overlooked for a nomination, perhaps on the back of letting through two goals in extra time against Belgium.
Neuer is an unbackable $1.12 favourite for this award, while Navas ($6) and Romero $10 looks to be making up the numbers.
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