Not since the early 2000’s has Juventus been regarded as one of the early favorites to win the competition, not even following the finals of 2015 and 2017. The club lost on both occasions, with their biggest signing of the summer, Cristiano Ronaldo, playing a huge part in their downfall in the second loss.
But with the 5-time Champions League winner, 5-time Ballon d’Or winner and the competition’s all-time leading goalscorer joining a club that has dominated the Italian league since 2012, things are looking up for the Bianconeri.
If you like looking at what bookies are writing down, Juventus are usually third among oddsmakers behind Manchester City and Barcelona. Real Madrid, not surprisingly, aren’t in the picture at the moment – they lost the head coach who led them to the last 3 titles and Ronaldo, perhaps the greatest Real Madrid player of all-time.
Massimiliano Allegri suggested that Ronaldo arriving might make things more difficult for Juventus, perhaps because of the raised expectations: There is too much euphoria around us, and it’s not good. This year will be more difficult than others. Opponents will be more aggressive because we have won many games and now we have an excellent player like him.
Hmmm, I don’t really buy it. Expectations in the Serie A for Juventus are always winning a championship, and every team tries its hardest against them regardless of the players wearing the jersey. It’s like that for the biggest club in Italy, always has been, even during less fortunate years. And in the Champions League? Hard to say teams went easy on Juventus before.
Ronaldo obviously attracts more attention in a competition that sadly revolves around very few clubs, but to suggest Juventus are going to have a more difficult time because of his presence? Sounds like a manager trying to lower expectations before the season begins, not an actual concern.