There is only one place to start when talking about the top goalscorer and that is with the world’s best player. Lionel Messi is in the process of re-writing the history books for club side Barcelona, is now mentioned in the same breath as the Pele, Maradona and George Best and is still just 24-years-old.
But, while he is rightly compared to the world’s greats there is still one important issue that could yet hinder his status in the history books: he has yet to produce his very best for his country.
Some say that Argentina’s style of play is not conducive to getting the best out of the player and that they should adopt a similar approach to Barcelona if they want to see Messi at the peak of his powers in the Argentine colours. If that is the case then maybe things are about to change.
Batista’s preferred system is more like Barca’s than any of his recent predecessors. Messi will be given a free role down the centre of Argentina’s front line, and is likely to be flanked by Ezequiel Lavezzi and Angel di Maria.
Messi will need to do it at a World Cup (not just a Copa America) to be given the same national icon status as Maradona and Pele, but this year’s Copa could be a big step towards that. However, it is with his strike partner where the value in the top goalscorer betting lies.
Lavezzi is thought to be the target of many Premier League clubs this summer and if he does get a starting roll in the side then he will be a major threat to opposition defences. Boylesports are paying out at 1/4 odds on places 1,2,3 & 4 in the top goalscorer betting and with Lavezzi at 16/1 he looks the standout value bet.
With its new home in the football calendar the Copa America 2011 is likely to be more popular than ever, on both sides of the Atlantic. It could also be the tournament when Lionel Messi takes the first steps of his final journey to becoming known as the greatest player ever to live. Don’t miss it.