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Neymar the value bet to top score at the World Cup

| 22.01.2014

Given his scoring exploits for both club and country it may seem odd to refer to Brazil’s Neymar as a wonderkid, but at just 21-years-of-age the Barcelona forward still falls into that bracket.

However, this should not deter those tempted to back the former Santos man to top score at this summer’s World Cup as his record shows he is wise beyond his years when it comes to finding the net.

At odds of 10/1, the Brazil striker is second to only Lionel Messi in the race to land the coveted Golden Boot award and with 27 goals from his 46 internationals so far looks a good bet to get among the goals again.

Neymar may have to operate in the shadow of his Argentinean team mate at the Nou Camp but he has a proven track record in cup competitions and should relish being the star man in his homeland for the showpiece tournament.

In Santos colours the forward notched an impressive 13 goals from 15 domestic cup outings and added a further 15 strikes in 29 Copa Libertadores matches.

This touch has not deserted him since his move to Europe with one goal from two domestic cup games and three from six in the Champions League.

Add this to 11 strikes from 26 La Liga appearances and Neymar appears a man in form preparing to feature in relatively easy group games against Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon.

Both Croatia and Mexico required play-off wins to book their tickets for the finals and with the hosts 1/4 to win their first game against the Europeans, who kept just four clean sheets in 12 qualifying matches, it stands to reason that Neymar can find the back of the net.

Mexico conceded 14 goals in their 17 games en route to the finals and with Neymar netting in the most recent meeting between the two – a 2-0 win for Brazil – there could be more goals for the youngster here.

Cameroon looked a fairly solid defensive unit in qualifying for the tournament but games against Togo, Congo and Libya hardly provided a stern enough test for what is to come.

Brazil are 3/1 favourites to lift the cup and should they make the final Neymar will have more opportunities than most to rack up the goals and be the top scorer of a tournament for the fourth time in five years.

In 2010 he outscored all comers in the Copa do Brazil, followed that up in 2011 with the most strikes in the South American Youth Championship and smashed nine goals in 14 games to claim the Copa Libertadores crown in 2012 – all making the 10/1 on offer for the 2014 Golden Boot an enticing option.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.