Brazil’s rock Lucio can be an alternative Golden Ball winner
Brazil captain Lucio is one of the leading defenders in world football, and at 66/1 the centre-back is great value to receive the Golden Ball as player of the tournament.
Tall, agile and technically able, Lucio is the complete defender, and the 2002 World Cup winner is in the best form of his life.
Having marshalled Inter Milan’s defence as the Italian club won last season’s Champions League, Serie A and Italian Cup, Lucio is a player who is used to lifting trophies.
The towering former Bayern Munich man also skippered Brazil to their Confederations Cup triumph last year, and they are 9/2 to follow that success by winning the World Cup.
Historically, it is attacking midfielders and forwards who have been awarded the Golden Ball, but in recent years defensive players have received more recognition.
In 2002, Oliver Kahn was named as the player of the tournament, while four years ago Italy’s central defender and captain Fabio Cannavaro was awarded the Silver Ball, an award for the second most outstanding World Cup player.
This is an encouraging precedent for Lucio, who is already one of European club football’s most decorated players having won three Bundesliga titles and six German cups at Bayern, and the treble with Inter last season.
The Golden Ball winner is decided by a panel of media representatives, and should this year’s committee veer away from the billboard names of Messi and Rooney, then the award could go to a player whose responsibility is to stop, rather than score, goals.