by Chris, the Impaler - 12/12/2005
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The good news for FIFA World Cup Germany punters is that with the variety of offshore betting parlors you can lay your hard won cash on the 2006 Golden Boot Trophy, awarded to the top goal scorer in FIFA World Cup Germany play, the bad news is that it is one damn hard proposition to nail.
Despite the fact you have a better chance of losing than cashing a winning ticket, the Golden Boot is one of the most popular bets (and when you see the odds you'll know why) in FIFA World Cup Germany competition. For those who don't like eating chalk, a small wager can reap huge rewards and keep even those casual gamblers on FIFA World Cup Germany interested. Essentially if the guy you pick scores the most goals you win your wager. It is easy to explain but tough to win. There are some steps you can take, though, to help increase the odds of winning this wager.
Keep in mind if you decide to punt a fiver on the Golden Boot, there have been 15 World Cup competitions over 65 years yet only 20 players have achieved the distinction of highest goal scorer. In the last ten World Cup competitions the winner of the Golden boot has scored at least six goals. When handicapping this proposition direct your focus on striker. I wouldn't look at any other position when researching this proposition as it has been the only position to cash a ticket over the same time period.
One popular strategy has been to take the striker from the favored team to win the World Cup to win the Golden Boot. Not a bad strategy when you think about it; the deeper into the draws a country gets the more opportunities their strikers get to score goals. This year Brazil is the odds on favorite to win FIFA World Cup Germany. The 'Samba Kings' opened at 4.2/1 to win and have since dropped to 3/1. Brazilian striker and defending 2002 Golden Boot Trophy winner Ronaldo is currently listed at 9/1 to win the Golden Boot in 2006. Considering Brazil is favored to win and gets Australia, Japan and Croatia in their first round draw makes this a good short odds play.
However, this strategy does not always pay dividends; take for instance the co-winners of the 1994 Golden Boot award. Oleg Selenko of Russia and Hristo Stoikov of Bulgaria scored six goals each. The bet paid off at 80/1. No scorer has topped the amazing feat of 10 goals scored by the power lifter who built Bayern, Gerd "the bomber" Mueller, of West Germany. In 2002 Brazilian phenom Ronaldo managed to come close with 8 goals on his team's 7-game Championship run; but Brazil had China in their draw.
Another angle you'll want to look at is the host country trend. Six of seven teams who have won a World Championship did so at home. Surprisingly, the only country that lost on their home pitch was super power Brazil in 1950. Both England (1966) and France (1998) won their lone World Cup championships at home.
Germany is the host country in 2006 (and finished runner-up in 2002) so it makes sense to look at German marksman Lukas Podolski. At 25/1 odds, the striker is definitely worth consideration as a mid-range long shot.
By cross referencing host country trend against the probability of a certain striker's team making it deep into the tournament you can cut the field substantially. For instance, England has only produced one Golden Boot winner. Gary Lineker won the Golden Boot for the British at Mexico in 1986 with 6 goals. Armed with this information you can decide whether or not you want to back an English player. Michael Owen opened at 20/1 but those odds have since dropped to 12/1 with teammate Wayne Rooney set at 18/1.
Past performance in this milieu by a player is an important component handicapping this proposition. For this reason I look at the hot players during FIFA World Cup qualifiers. One of the top strikers in the 2006 qualifiers was Netherlands' Ruud van Nistelrooy who notched seven goals in the qualifiers (and has scored 11 goals for Manchester United this year). The Netherlands are in Group C and will have to face Argentina, but they also play Ivory Coast and Serbia and Montenegro.
Van Nistelrooy is listed quite rightly at 14/1 odds and will be a good play if you think the Netherlands can make it deeper into the draw. Historically, Europeans have dominated Golden Boot betting; of the last ten Golden Boot winners, eight have been Europeans. Conversely, looking at the United Kingdom's dismal goal scoring performance in the qualifiers getting by on 1-0 wins will Ericksson's team score enough goals to produce a serious challenger? Certainly David Beckham at 80/1 odds is not a realistic wager.
No. 2 ranked Czech Republic will feature Milan Baros. However, the Czechs only scored 33 goals in the qualifiers and their style of play is not suited toward Baros winning. I think he has an outside shot at winning the Golden Boot in 2006. Baros is listed at 40/1 odds. In UEFA Euro 2004 Baros won the golden boot with five goals in the competition. Baros is consistently dangerous and was only out-highlighted by Britain's Wayne Rooney with his stellar performance and four goals.
My money, however, is on the player with the best nickname, to his legions of fans he is known as El Zorro del Desierto, the Desert Fox. You'll find him listed as Jared Borgetti. Mexico's No.9 was installed at 50/1 on this proposition bet. Despite the longish odds, Borgetti scored 14 goals and bested Brazil's Ronaldo who scored ten goals. Furthermore, Mexico scored the most goals of any team in the FIFA 2006 World Cup Germany qualifiers with 67 goals.
With head coach Ricardo Lavolpe's attacking style and the supporting cast of players in strikers Jaime Lozano and Francisco Fonseca makes the Desert Fox my play to win the Golden Boot. I am going to buffer the One Unit 50/1 play on El Zorro del Desierto with 5.5 unit 9/1 play on Brazilian Renaldo to win the 2006 FIFA Golden Boot Trophy. Listed below are current odds for the Golden Boot Trophy.
Current Golden Boot Betting Odds
|Ronaldo 9/1||Defoe, J 66/1||Tevez 33/1|
|Baptista 50/1||Rebrov 100/1||Riquelme 66/1|
|Zurawski, M 100/1||Streller 125/1||Vonlathen 150/1|
|Adriano 10/1||Kuranyi 25/1||Baros 40/1|
|Del Piero 50/1||Villa 66/1||Juninho Pernambucano 66/1|
|Frankowski, T 100/1||Santa Cruz 125/1||Solari 150/1|
|Owen 12/1||Lampard 28/1||Van Der Vaart, R 40/1|
|Morientes 50/1||Drogba 66/1||Van Persie 66/1|
|Cole, J 100/1||Joaquin 125/1||Aloisi 150/1|
|Van Nistelrooy 14/1||Torres, F 33/1||Raul 40/1|
|Gerrard 50/1||Reyes 66/1||Deco 66/1|
|Anelka 100/1||Vieri 33/1||Kewell 150/1|
|Henry 14/1||Stankovic 125/1||Kaka 40/1|
|Cassano 50/1||Pauleta 33/1||Kezman 66/1|
|Govu 100/1||Vennegoor 66/1||Yorke 200/1|
|Crespo 16/1||Ahn Jung Hwan 125/1||Robinho 40/1|
|Cruz 50/1||Ballack 33/1||Figueroa 80/1|
|Pires 100/1||Inzaghi 66/1||Jones, K 200/1|
|Trezeguet 16/1||Carlos, R 150/1||Zidane 40/1|
|Webo 50/1||Iaquinta 33/1||Koller 80/1|
|Miccoli 100/1||Essien, M 150/1||Cuevas 200/1|
|Ronaldinho 16/1||Podloski 33/1||Ibrahimovic 40/1|
|Klasnic 50/1||Luis Garcia 66/1||Aruna 80/1|
|D'Alessandro 100/1||Viduka 150/1||Ljuboja 200/1|
|Rooney 18/1||Kuyt 33/1||C Ronaldo 40/1|
|Olic 100/1||Olisadebe 66/1||Postiga 80/1|
|Shevchenko 20/1||Robben 150/1||Gygax 200/1|
|Borgetti 50/1||Makaay 33/1||Nedved, P 50/1|
|Giuly 100/1||Elmander 66/1||Balaban 80/1|
|Toni L 25/1||Frei 150/1||McBride 200/1|
|Totti 66/1||Defoe, J 66/1||Messi, L 50/1|
|Ezquerro 100/1||Rebrov 100/1||Beckham 80/1|
|Ronaldo 9/1||Streller 125/1||Asamoah 250/1|
|Baptista 50/1||Kuranyi 25/1||Larsson 50/1|
|Zurawski, M 100/1||Villa 66/1||Wiltord 80/1|
|Heinz 66/1||Gomes N 50/1||Cisse 66/1|
|Prso 66/1||Gilardino 25/1||Klose 25/1|