Back Ronaldo for World Cup Golden Boot after record-breaking brace
Cristiano Ronaldo is now 14/1 joint second-favourite with Coral to scoop the World Cup Golden Boot after scoring two and captaining Portugal in a 5-1 rout of fellow finalists Cameroon.
Real Madrid and former Manchester United favourite Ronaldo now has 49 international goals from 110 caps, and a dozen in his last 10.
Back him with Coral to carry this purple patch into the World Cup finals and be top-scorer on South American soil. Portugal are 33/1 shots to go all the way.
Not to be outdone by an El Clasico rival, Barcelona’s Neymar hit a hat-trick as hosts Brazil swept South Africa aside 5-0 in Johannesburg.
Also 14/1 for the World Cup Golden Boot, he has now racked up 30 international goals in 47 games at just 22 years of age.
Chelsea star Oscar and Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho, who scored the pick with a 30-yarder, were also on target for Phil Scolari’s Samba Boys.
An all-Premier League engine room, which also included Paulinho, paid dividends for Brazil, who are 3/1 favourites to win the tournament in their own backyard.
Diego Costa (25/1 to win the Golden Boot in the country of his berth) had a second international debut to forget for Spain against Italy.
Neymar’s fellow Barcelona forward Pedro netted the only goal instead in a rerun of the Euro 2012 final in Madrid.
Holders Spain are 7/1 to retain their global crown in Brazil after being beaten finalists to the hosts at last summer’s Confederations Cup.
Vicente del Bosque may yet recall tournament scoring specialists Fernando Torres (40/1 for the Golden Boot) or David Villa (50/1) before the World Cup.
Polish-born Miroslav Klose also had the chance to break a record as he started, but failed to score, in Germany’s 1-0 friendly victory over fellow World Cup finalists Chile.
Mario Gotze, who has been used by club Bayern Munich as a false number nine on occasion, netted the winner in Stuttgart.
Veteran striker Klose, who is level with Gerd Muller as all-time German international top-scorer, is 33/1 for the Golden Boot. Gotze is more of an outside shout at 50/1. Joachim Low’s lads are third-favourites to win the World Cup at 11/2.
Argentina, despite starting with 9/1 Golden Boot favourite Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain (25/1) and Sergio Aguero (16/1), drew a blank against Romania.
Even in the absence of captain Vlad Chiriches, the Eastern Europeans held Alejandro Sabella’s side to a goalless draw.
Mustering 14 shots, Argentina only managed to get four on target. If punters are undeterred by this stat, then back them to win the World Cup at 5/1.
Ronaldo is your best bet, however, as 14/1 to outscore his Golden Boot rivals, so take that tasty price now.