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):

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:

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:

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:

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:

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

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