To say that Cristiano Ronaldo has had an illustrious career is something of an understatement, with the Portuguese legend having accumulated a catalogue of trophies and awards at club and international level, in addition to numerous personal accolades.
Renowned though he is for his physique and fitness levels, Ronaldo will be 35 in February. The reality is that there are now only limited opportunities to add to his vast medal haul.
To date Ronaldo has been on the winning team in five Champions’ League finals (one at Manchester United and four at Real Madrid). To claim a sixth medal with a third different club has to be his priority in terms of club football prior to retirement.
La Vecchia Signora has had a near permanent hold on the Scudetto of late so, from the club’s perspective, the main football objective of his move to Juventus last year was to try and secure a first Champions’ League trophy since the 1995/96 season.
Juve certainly have a squad capable of challenging for the trophy, particularly given their substantial summer expenditure on new recruits (both with regards to transfer fees and salaries).
Their main rivals for European glory are expected to be from the Premier League and La Liga (with a nod towards Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich too).
Ahead of the Champions League group stage, Manchester City head the betting at 7/2 with Betway, Barcelona are 5/1 at bet365, followed by defending champions Liverpool at 7/1 with William Hill, Real Madrid at 10/1 with 888Sport, Paris Saint-Germain at 11/1 with 888Sport and then Juventus at 12/1 with BetFred.
The Champions League Top Goalscorer (Golden Boot) betting features two familiar names at the head of the market, with Lionel Messi at 5/1 with 888Sport and Ronaldo at 6/1 with the same bookmaker. For those looking to back any Champions’ League football, it’s always worth remembering that there are good opportunities to do so with free online bets in the UK.
The group draw wasn’t especially kind to Juventus, who are in Group D alongside Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen and Lokomotiv Moscow. They are favourites to win the group at 8/11, with Coral, with Atleti at 7/4 with BetVictor regarded as their main rivals. The Germans are 14/1 with Sportingbet, with Lokomotiv at 66/1 with bet365 for those who fancy a speculative punt.