Cristiano Ronaldo further cemented his status as one of, if not the, greatest football player of all time with another pile of individual and team awards, milestones reached, and records broken last season.
Juve’s Coppa Italia win over Atalanta made Cristiano the first player to win all domestic titles in England, Spain, and Italy. He also became the fastest Juventus player of all time to reach 100 goals for the club (in just 131 appearances), won the Serie A Capocannoniere award for highest goalscorer with 29 goals, became the first player in history to score 20 or more goals in 12 consecutive seasons in Europe’s top five leagues, and closed his 2020/2021 season with a Euro 2020 Golden Boot. Not bad.
So how do the bookies rate the possibility that CR7 will continue to add to his massive collection of domestic and international accolades in the coming season? Once again, Cristiano will be fighting on numerous fronts for both Juventus and Portugal.
In terms of individual recognition, the next big title up for grabs is the 2021 Ballon d’Or. It is a testament to the incredibly high levels that Cristiano has reached and maintained throughout his career that, despite the host of awards that he scooped and records that he broke last season, he is not even in the top five favourites to take the Ballon d’Or.
Given that he finally broke his international title hoodoo by leading Argentina to Copa America glory, it’s no surprise to see Lionel Messi as odds-on favourite with all the best online bookmakers in the UK this year. Robert Lewandowski’s record-breaking season for Bayern Munich sees him deservedly recognised as 6/1 second favourite, and there aren’t many who would argue against midfield master N’golo Kanté’s inclusion in the running at 8/1.
Jorginho’s price has shortened dramatically to around 14/1 thanks to his imperious Euro 2020 performances, and Kevin de Bruyne rounds out the bookie’s top five. Ronaldo currently sits as sixth-favourite at 16/1 – he probably won’t be adding to his current tally of five Ballons d’Or when the winner is announced in December.
As mentioned above, Cristiano’s 29-goal haul in last season’s Serie A campaign earned him his first Capocannoniere award in what was his third season at Juve. He bested Inter’s Romelu Lukaku and Luis Muriel of Atalanta last time round, and although he’s currently 4/1 to retain his title, he’ll face stiff competition again. Inter goal machine Lukaku sits at 4/1 joint-favourite to net the most Serie A goals in 2021/2022 while his teammate Lautaro Martinez is currently at 7/1. Also at 7/1 is Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata and Ronaldo’s Juve teammate Álvaro Morata is a long shot at 9/1.
In terms of team awards, ante post markets open for betting at the moment include Serie A winner, Champions League winner, and Qatar World Cup 2022 winner. Juventus saw their run of nine straight Serie A titles halted by Inter last season, with the Nerazzurri winning their first Scudetto since 2010. However, The Old Lady is favourite to get back to winning ways in 2022 and is as low as evens at some bookies. Holders Inter are out at 5/2.
The Champions League has remained elusive for Juventus since their 1996 triumph on penalties against Ajax, and they’re far from fancied for this year’s competition at around 20/1. Premier League heavyweights Man City are firm favourites at 7/2 followed by Bayern Munich and PSG (both at 11/2).
2022 will end with the World Cup in Qatar. For all his club success, one of the defining moments of Cristiano Ronaldo’s career to date was inspiring his country to victory at Euro 2016. Portugal weren’t quite at the races in Euro 2020 despite CR7’s golden boot win, and they’re not favourites to win the 2022 World Cup. France have been backed in to 6/1 despite their Euros implosion and Brazil are fancied at 11/2. Portugal are a long way down the pecking order at 16/1.