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Not too late to get on Ronaldo to land Golden Boot

| 17.06.2014

Cristiano Ronaldo has drifted out to 22/1 to be the top scorer at the World Cup but could still be worth backing despite drawing a blank against Germany.

A Thomas Muller hat-trick combined with a moment of madness – from Pepe once again – means Portugal’s future in the tournament looks bleak.

However, Ronaldo is too good a player not to shine on the world stage and will surely be back among the goals in the Selecao’s remaining group fixtures against USA and Ghana.

In the immediate aftermath of the Germany game TV pundits moved to dismiss Portugal’s credentials, saying the US will give them a good run for second place in Group G.

However, as bad as it was against the Germans, Portugal are still expected to go through as the 21/20 favourites to finish second.

In order to do this they must beat the Americans and this should mean a match-winning performance from the current holder of the Ballon d’Or.

CR7 has smashed 375 goals in his 569 club games to date, including 252 in 246 since joining Real Madrid in 2009, and while he does not enjoy the same support at international level his Portugal tally is none too shabby.

A total of 49 strikes in 111 appearances shows that Ronaldo has a knack for scoring for his country but now really is the time for the 29-year-old to stand up and be counted.

Ronaldo has eight goals from his last 10 international matches, including hat-tricks against Northern Ireland and Sweden, and if he can bag another three against a limited US side he’ll be right back in the running for the Golden Boot.

Even a brace against the Americans would be enough to give Ronaldo the confidence required to restore Portuguese pride and ensure his side makes it to the knock-out stages of the competition.

And if the Madrid man can score in a win against the US there is little to suggest he can’t go on to run riot against a Ghana side that capitulated in a matter of seconds against Team USA.

The likes of Thomas Muller (3), Neymar (2) and Robin van Persie (2) have all stolen a march on Ronaldo but at 22/1 it could pay to back the Portu-geezer before he gets off the mark.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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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.