Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival at Juventus has already had a major impact on his new club. Their share price has skyrocketed on the Italian stock exchange, the various social media accounts operated by the Bianconeri have seen a huge uplift in follower numbers, while the Portuguese star’s own Instagram post announcing his move away from Real Madrid quickly became the fifth-most liked image in the platform's history.
He is of course expected to have a similar impact on the field when the 2018/19 season gets underway, with an away trip to Chievo confirmed as Juve’s first competitive outing where Ronaldo could be on the team sheet. That is quickly followed by an encounter with Lazio that could see the 33-year-old make his home debut at Juventus Stadium, a game that is sure to become a major talking point in the weeks to come.
Even though the Old Lady has won seven consecutive Serie A titles – also claiming a domestic league and cup double in each of the last four years – acquiring Ronaldo has understandably shifted the odds of an eighth in their favour even more. The best price available on another Juve Scudetto triumph is currently 8/13 with Ladbrokes, while the best offer on them retaining the Coppa Italia for a fifth successive season is 10/11.
However, while those markets offer very little value, there are still some interesting options to be found centred on CR7, and the most intriguing ones – which we believe are well worth your consideration – are discussed below.
Twice in the last four seasons, Juventus have reached the Champions League final, only to find their path blocked by a global megastar. Lionel Messi and Barcelona defeated the Bianconeri back in 2015, while Real Madrid triumphed in 2017 as Ronaldo scored twice to end their dreams of European glory.
He repeated the feat last term, a last-gasp penalty in the second leg crushing a stirring comeback, a 3-1 win at the Bernabeu not enough to see the Old Lady progress from the quarterfinals.
Real Madrid’s encounter at Juventus Stadium of course brings CR7’s sensational overhead kick goal in the first leg at Juventus Stadium to mind, and Paddy Power are offering 23/10 on him netting via a bicycle kick during the forthcoming Serie A campaign. Now with CR7 in those famous black and white stripes, the Turin giants will be hoping for a different outcome, with BetVictor offering a generous 7/1 on Juve to win the Champions League in 2018/19.
Perhaps even more interesting is that Ronaldo remains odds-on favourite to finish as top scorer in UEFA’s elite competition once again, 888sport offering just 4/9 on him once again being the leading marksman.
As usual, Paddy Power offer a slightly different slant, giving odds of 4/1 on Ronaldo to score against Real Madrid in the Champions League, or 11/1 on him claiming the 2018 Ballon d’Or while also helping Juve to win the Champions League in 2018/19.
Choosing sides between Lionel Messi and Ronaldo has long been a talking point for fans, pundits and everyone else, a conversation that divides people across the globe. The defensive prowess of the Italian league is well known, but there is even a market for those who believe the new Juventus man is the best in the world to back their idol.
Indeed, Paddy Power are offering odds of 6/5 that Ronaldo scores more league goals than Messi in 2018/19, which is certainly worth considering if he can stay healthy given Juve’s sheer dominance of their domestic rivals.
The sheer brilliance of the former Manchester United man is also reflected in the Serie A leading scorer market, where he has instantly been installed as an 8/13 favourite with Bet 365. However, given Juve boss Max Allegri’s love of rotation and the club’s Champions League obsession and the fact it may take Ronaldo a little time to settle into life in Italy, perhaps this makes other players a better option.
Last year’s joint winners were Mauro Icardi of Inter and Lazio’s Ciro Immobile, who are now available at 6/1 and 12/1 respectively with Bet365, while reliable scorer Dries Mertens of Napoli is a 25/1 option.
However, the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti at the club has seen Arkadiusz Milik installed as the focal point of the attack, and the same bookmaker offers the Poland international as 50/1 to be Serie A’s top scorer. That is tempting outright, but certainly as an each way bet given the landscape altering presence of Ronaldo at Juventus.