He may be fighting to be fit for the competition but Phil Kitromilides believes the Liverpool striker can shine in Brazil and is backing him to be player of the tournament at 25/1On the biggest stage of them all, the world's biggest players are expected to perform at their very best. The World Cup is a show case for the most talented footballers on the planet and punters will look on with interest at the market offered by bet365 for Player Of The Tournament.
Leading the betting is Neymar at 6/1 (7.00), a logical enough selection when you consider that he is the star player of the hosts and favorites, Brazil. Yet the Barcelona forward has had an inconsistent season, and the pressure on his shoulders to lead Brazil to their sixth World Cup title will be immense.
Whether or not he can deal with it remains to be seen, but this Brazil side is not a team build to dazzle. Functional rather than flamboyant, Neymar will have to put in some supreme performances to shine brightly enough to win this award and is best avoided at such a short price.
Just behind the Brazilian in the betting is his Barca teammate Lionel Messi at 7/1 (8.00) and that might be a better option, given that Argentina are a side build to attack and they have - on paper at least - a straightforward group.
A prolific haul of goals in the group stages could see Messi well on his way to winning the award if not the World Cup itself.
Where there is Messi, there must also be Ronaldo and the Real Madrid forward is the third favorite at 9/1 (10.00) although that price is more of a testament to Ronaldo's relentless form rather than Portugal's chance of progression.
The Iberian nation are unlikely to make any great in-roads and Cristiano is unlikely to complete his set of titles and awards.
There is a bit of a jump in the betting to the likes of Andres Iniesta, Franck Ribery and Marco Reus all of whom are offered at 20/1 (21.00) to be the player of the tournament.
However, for a value bet the price of 25/1 (26.00) for Luis Suarez to win the award looks like an interesting option. The Liverpool striker was the standout player in the Premier League, topping the goal-scoring charts and winning individual awards.
In Uruguay he is worshiped, and he will be deeply motivated to lead his small but proud nation once more in the country of their greatest ever triumph 64 years later.
Of course there are question marks about his fitness but the player himself believes that he will be fine for the competition and he has been included in Uruguay's final squad. Objectively speaking, Suarez is one of the world's best players and his national team are the champions of South America and filled with technically superb footballers.
Playing in a neighboring country they could have a decent run and Suarez will be at the heart of that. The price of 25/1 (26.00) for him to be the best player of the tournament looks too big and is likely to go down
once any doubts over his fitness are dispelled.
|Luis Suarez to be player of the tournament at 25/1 (26.00) for a 0.5pt stake with bet365