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Punters favour Ronaldo for Serie A top goalscorer but doubt Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo
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Entering his third season at Juventus, Ronaldo is thus far the favourite among odds-setters for this season’s Serie A top goalscorer.

Punters appear to have faith in Ronaldo’s drive to overtake Ciro Immobile, last season’s top scorer for Lazio totalling at 36 goals compared to Ronaldo’s 31. The odds break down to Ronaldo @2.75, Inter Milan’s Romelo Lukaku @4.00, and Immobile @5.00.

Ronaldo vs Juventus

Though Cristiano Ronaldo was denied this superlative last season, he did help bring Juve to its ninth consecutive league title. Despite this, commentators have noted that the veteran squad looked exhausted at season’s end, lacking the inspiration that started their league dominance almost a decade ago. Transfer market decisions on Federico Bernardeschi and Aaron Ramsey have been criticized as poor moves, and there is disquiet within the club following the brief reign of now sacked manager Mauricio Sarri.

This is why onlookers suggest Juventus may be in the twilight of their winning-streak. The appointment of Andrea Pirlo appears to be intended to pacify Ronaldo, as well as older club members who resisted Sarri’s overbearing style. But without energy and cohesion, and with players prioritizing their voices over the success of the club, Juve could fall from a number one position to less than four. Pirlo, former midfielder, will be a pivotal influence which either invigorates the squad and rejuvenates Ronaldo or mans the helm for the club’s decline.

Pirlo
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Competition and Distraction

While Ronaldo himself remains at a seemingly unending peak at age thirty-five, he has up-and-comers at his heels. Last season Ronaldo claimed 37 goals across all competitions, a record for the club. This record was cut short by Juventus’s Champions League defeat against Lyon, immediately after which Sarri was sacked.

Lukaku enters his prime years at twenty-seven, and poses a real threat to Ronaldo’s position on the scoring table. A hot foot this season backed by a supporting locker room environment could quickly rattle Ronaldo’s current hold on the odds.

Controversy continues to stir over this comparison, but it’s been shown that Mo Salah has had a better season at Manchester United than Ronaldo did, by seven goals and eight assists. However, United won the Premier League title in all of Ronaldo’s three-season tenure in England. This is all to point out that the legend of Ronaldo may not be without its successors.

Another distraction for Ronaldo’s Serie A goalscorer record is the unending rivalry between him and Messi. Keen to add another Ballon d’Or title to his record to catch up to Messi’s six, hopefully, his mind does not drift too far from the situation in Turin. All the same, with Barcelona in disarray following Messi’s attempted departure this may not be beyond imagination.

The upswing is that Juventus’ summer re-building following Sarri’s departure has brought Arthur Melo from Barcelona. The Brazilian playmaker is expected to open up more scoring opportunities for the Portuguese, and with it a greater confidence in laying another brick in Ronaldo’s legacy.

Arthur Melo
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