After much speculation about Cristiano Ronaldo’s future this summer, the global soccer star will be starting his fourth Serie A season with Juventus on Sunday, Aug. 22, when the team opens its season at Udinese.
The 36-year-old Ronaldo is the reigning Serie A top scorer (29 goals last year) and although there is still over a week remaining before the European transfer window closes, it’s looking increasingly likely that he’ll be staying in Turin. With just one year left on his contract, it would likely be his final season in Italy.
If he does stay, there’s still much to accomplish. In addition to defending his Serie A scoring crown and winning his third Italian league title, Ronaldo will be hoping to lead Juventus to the elusive trophy the team acquired him to win: the UEFA Champions League. Juve hasn’t won the European club crown since 1996.
Will Ronaldo play for Juventus vs. Udinese?
The Juventus season kicks off Sunday with a Serie A opener against Udinese. It’s unclear whether Ronaldo will start after he missed a midweek tuneup match against Juve’s Under-23 team. The club made it known that he sat out to do individual training along with teammate Juan Cuadrado.
Italian sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport projects Ronaldo to be in the starting lineup against Udinese and reporter Fabiana Della Valle says “there don’t seem to be any particular problems for him to be on the field at Udine.” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegro is expected to address Ronaldo’s presence at the pregame press conference Saturday.
The Juventus schedule through the end of September is below:
|Date||Competition||Match||Time (ET)||TV channels||Stream|
|Sun, Aug. 22||Serie A – Matchday 1||Udinese vs. Juventus||12:30 p.m.||CBS Sports Network||Paramount+|
|Sat, Aug. 28||Serie A – Matchday 2||Juventus vs. Empoli||2:45 p.m.||Paramount+|
|Sat, Sept. 11||Serie A – Matchday 3||Napoli vs. Juventus||TBD||Paramount+|
|Tue/Wed, Sept. 14/15||Champions League – Matchday 1||TBD||TBD||Paramount+|
|Sat, Sept. 18||Serie A – Matchday 4||Juventus vs. AC Milan||TBD||Paramount+|
|Tue, Sept. 21||Serie A – Matchday 5||Spezia vs. Juventus||TBD||Paramount+|
|Sat, Sept. 25||Serie A – Matchday 6||Juventus vs. Sampdoria||TBD||Paramount+|
|Tue/Wed, Sept. 28/29||Champions League – Matchday 2||TBD||TBD||Paramount+|
Serie A top scorer favorites
Major sportsbooks in the USA list Cristiano Ronaldo as the favorite to retain the title of Serie A top scorer. His main preseason challengers are Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata and Lazio’s Ciro Immobile.
Ronaldo has not scored fewer than 21 goals in his three previous seasons in Italy’s Serie A, netting a total of 81 league goals during that span and 133 across all competitions for the Bianconeri.
|Tammy Abraham||AS Roma||+1400||+2000||+1400|
|Lautaro Martinez||Inter Milan||+1400||+700||+700|
|Edin Dzeko||Inter Milan||+1800||+1800||+1800|
|Zlatan Ibrahimovic||AC Milan||+2000||+2000||+2000|
|Olivier Giroud||AC Milan||+2000||+1500||+1400|
|Ante Rebic||AC Milan||+6500||+2500||+2500|
|Henrikh Mkhitaryan||AS Roma||+10000||N/A||N/A|
|Rafael Leao||AC Milan||+10000||+10000||+10000|
|Lorenzo Pellegrini||AS Roma||+20000||N/A||N/A|
|Nicolo Zaniolo||AS Roma||+20000||+6600||+6600|