Brazil nuts should back Neymar rather than the Selecao

This week, Rags To Riches dips its toes into the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil to suggest a way of backing the home team to take out the tournament at almost double-digit odds.

It is obvious to anyone who knows anything about football that the host nation has a terrific chance of winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. One did some trawling through Brazil’s home results and found that it has won 11, drawn three and lost none of its 14 matches in its own backyard since the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. Moreover, Brazil is 38-13-0 at home since losing 0-1 to Argentina in Rio de Janeiro just before the 1998 FIFA World Cup France. Claudio Lopez scored Argentina’s winning goal and Lionel Messi was a 10-year-old boy watching the game on television in Rosario.

Understandably, therefore, bookmakers are taking no chances with the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil favourite. But why back the home side at odds of 4.00 to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil when one could back its star man, Neymar, at odds of 9.00 with BetVictor, William Hill and Youwin to win the Golden Ball awarded to the player of the tournament.

The FIFA World Cup Golden Ball has not gone to a player from the triumphant team since 1994 but, before that, it was the norm. Home hero Jose Nasazzi was the player of the 1930 FIFA World Cup Uruguay and, before Ronaldo, Oliver Kahn, Zinedine Zidane and Diego Forlan collected the prize in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010 respectively, the count was 10-5 in favour of players from the successful side. Also worth noting is that the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball has gone to a player from the host country four out of the six times that the home team has been victorious – only the legendary Johan Cruyff and Ronaldo bucked that trend in 1974 and 1998 respectively.

Neymar is Brazil’s key player and it is difficult to see the Selecao winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil without him having a blinder. Assigned the iconic number 10 shirt for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil, Neymar dealt with the pressure magnificently, scoring four goals as the home side won the event for the fourth time. Neymar was one of seven Selecao stars named in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil Dream Team and he received the Golden Ball.

And it is not as if 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil bookmakers are trying to hide what they think of Neymar in comparison to his compatriots. Whereas Messi has Argentina teammate Sergio Aguero for company near the top of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Golden Ball market, Neymar is miles ahead of Oscar, who is trading at odds of 51.00 with Bwin.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil draw that means that Brazil is highly likely to encounter either the Netherlands or Spain in the round of 16 is one reason why punters may not want to back the Selecao at odds of 4.00. Backing Neymar at odds of 9.00 enables one to half one’s stake with a view to achieving the same outcome because, realistically, Neymar is an odds-on chance to collect the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Golden Ball if he is a member of the title-winning side.

Finally, some of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Golden Ball odds available about Cristiano Ronaldo are crazy. Ronaldo is as short as 10.00 with Bet365, while his Portugal team is as big as 34.00 with Youwin to win the tournament. One thinks that Ronaldo should be at least 21.00 to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Golden Ball given Portugal’s title odds.

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