Lionel Messi World Cup Odds: How To Bet On The Argentina Icon at Qatar 2022
After a poor start, Argentina have rallied impressively at World Cup 2022 and betting sites are crunching the numbers on their semi-final meeting with the Croatia on Tuesday evening.
Having lost to Saudi Arabia in their opening contest, Lionel Scaloni’s side needed a Lionel Messi-inspired masterclass to beat Mexico in their Group C game.
The Paris Saint-Germain man came up trumps against Mexico when his team needed him most with a superb goal from outside the box.
That was followed up by a pressure-packed encounter with Poland in their final group game, where Argentina knew a loss would send them home.
However, goals from Premier League stars Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez helped them top the group and move on to a favourable Last 16 tie with Australia.
It was here that their talisman delivered the goods again as Messi broke the deadlock and Australian hearts by netting the opener as Argentina held on to win 2-1 - advancing to the World Cup's final eight as a result.
They then went on to beat the Netherlands on penalties in an incident packed game, where Messi found the net again with a second half spot kick.
Argentina would've been delighted to see their South American rivals Brazil get knocked out just hours before them, which makes their semi-final clash significantly easier.
With all that in mind, we've taken a look at what UK bookmakers make of Messi’s chances of achieving several different feats at this tournament.
Lionel Messi Golden Boot Betting
Messi scored from the penalty spot in the defeat by Saudi Arabia, that was before his fantastic touch-and-strike against Mexico, he added to his tally with a cool finish in the Australia match and bagged another penalty against the Netherlands.
At the time of writing only Kylian Mbappe - with five goals - has outscored Argentina’s captain, who is sitting on four goals along with Olivier Giroud.
Unsurprisingly, Mbappe is the 1/2 favourite to win the Golden Boot market. The France forward is in brilliant form and the reigning champions look in good shape ahead of their semi-final game with Morocco.
Conversely, Argentina have to take on a Croatia outfit who have plenty of major tournament experience.
But if you are confident that Argentina will progress, this could be a good time to back Messi to win the Golden Boot at 11/4 with World Cup betting sites.
Those odds will fall if they make it to the final, especially if the No 10 finds the net against Modric's men.
What’s more, Mbappe could exit the tournament if France go down to Morocco and that may give Messi the opportunity to equalise or even overtake the 23-year-old’s tally.
Messi Golden Ball Odds
Messi again trails Kylian Mbappe in this market: the Frenchman is priced at 11/10, while bookies give Messi a 5/4 shot.
It is worth remembering that there is still a lot of football to be played in this tournament in Qatar though. Luka Modric won this award four years ago; can anyone really remember how he fared in Croatia’s first few matches?
That means a surprise name may yet emerge from the chasing pack.
Those who fancy Modric may be eyeing up the 20/1 with football betting sites about him to land the award again.
One factor potentially in Messi’s favour is his age. Older players often benefit from a ‘lifetime achievement’ bias when it comes to individual awards.
That could be particularly strong given that this will probably be the last opportunity to recognise Messi’s incredible career with another major gong.
However, it is hard to see the 35-year-old scooping the prize unless Argentina reach the final.
Golden Boot/Tournament Winner Odds
If you fancy Messi and Argentina to go all the way (and the two surely go hand in hand), consider a Golden Boot-Tournament winner double, currently available at 3/1 with William Hill.
If Argentina do go on to lift the trophy, it is hard to conceive of a scenario in which Messi - provided he is fully fit - does not win the Golden Ball.
For this bet, we have to consider Argentina’s chances of glory this winter.
Top Assists Betting
Messi provided his first assist of the World Cup against Mexico, passing the ball to Enzo Fernandez before the Benfica man bent a wonderful shot into the far corner.
He grabbed his second assist against the Netherlands when he produced some Messi magic to set up Molina which led to Argentina taking the lead.
Playing in a slightly withdrawn role when his team have possession, Messi will no doubt lay on several more chances for Argentina at this World Cup.
Messi could be good value at 9/2 with Unibet to finish as the tournament’s foremost assister.
He is only one behind the leaders Griezmann, Kane and Fernandes, but the latter two have exited the tournament so this could develop into a straight shootout between Messi and Griezmann.
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