2018-19 Champions League Odds Released After Cristiano Ronaldo's Transfer

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid with UEFA Champions League trophy, Coupe des clubs Champions Europeens during the UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool on May 26, 2018 at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv, Ukraine(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

Barcelona have been named favourites to win the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League amid news holders Real Madrid are selling star forward Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus.

Barca and Premier League champions Manchester City lead the way, while Real are joint-third with Bayern Munich, and Juve are sixth favourites, per Bovada (h/t OddsShark):

OddsShark @OddsShark

Updated odds to win UEFA Champions League (@BovadaOfficial): Barcelona +450 Manchester City +550 Real Madrid +700 Bayern +700 PSG +750 Juventus +800 Liverpool +1200 Atlético Madrid +1400 Manchester United +1400 Borussia +2500 Tottenham +2500 Napoli +3300

Ronaldo's move was confirmed by Real on Tuesday, with BBC Sport pricing the deal at £99.2 million (€112 million).

Juve confirmed on the club's official website that Ronaldo has signed a four-year contract.

Juventus' relatively lowly status with oddsmakers is surprising since the Serie A giants have added a player who has owned this competition in recent seasons.

Ronaldo has lifted the trophy five times, four with Real, including the last three seasons. The 33-year-old has made a habit of scoring in the tournament's biggest games and tallied three goals over both legs of a dramatic quarter-final win over Juve this past year.

The Bianconeri can feel emboldened about their chances of winning the Champions League for the first time since 1996 with Real's all-time leading goalscorer officially on the books.

No attacker can match Ronaldo's knack for finding the net at the highest level:

OptaPaolo @OptaPaolo

395 - Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more goals than any other player in the European top five leagues (395). Unstoppable. #CR7AllaJuventus

Juve will be glad the deal is done, not only because they have secured arguably the best player on the planet. They have also acquired the services of a forward who has routinely tormented the Serie A giants in Europe's premier club competition:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Cristiano Ronaldo: Has scored more Champions League goals vs Juventus (10) than against any other team in his career For more player stats -- https://t.co/xpX4AMeaya https://t.co/noevVMj0Ys

Among Ronaldo's goals against Juve last season was a spectacular overhead kick in the first leg that even drew cheers from the Bianconeri faithful.

Losing Ronaldo leaves a sizeable hole in Real's forward line, although some believe the club will have no trouble filling it:

Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning

Can’t imagine Real Madrid would let Cristiano Ronaldo, their golden boy, leave without either Neymar or Kylian Mbappé lined up ready to sign. Going to be a crazy few weeks. What a signing for Juventus - Ronaldo’s going to tear up Italy.

Yet until Los Merengues secure another Galactico to replace Ronaldo, there will naturally be doubts about the club's ability to win a fourth Champions League trophy in a row.

The sheer number of goals he accounted for at this level will surely be missed:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Cristiano Ronaldo scored 105 Champions League goals for Real Madrid; 19.6% of their total in the competition since it was introduced in 1992. He joined the club in 2009. 🤩 https://t.co/0Lhow5JdcC

By contrast, Barca promise a level of continuity, thanks to the ongoing presence and brilliance of strike partners Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.