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Is Ronaldo why Juventus are one of the Champions League favourites?

CONTRIBUTOR
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1.57K   //    28 Nov 2018, 01:41 IST

Ronaldo celebrates his excellent finish against former side United during their Group H clash last month
Ronaldo celebrates his excellent finish against former side United during their Group H clash last month

With Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid departure this past summer, it's clear that Juventus are one of the favourites to win the Champions League this season. 

Ronaldo has multiple records in Europe's elite club competition and importantly, has also won it on a whopping five separate occasions during his illustrious career to date. He's the all-time top goalscorer (120) and also boasts the record for most Champions League goals in a single season with an eyewatering 17. 

Last season, he single-handledly knocked out future employers Juventus in the competition's quarter-final stage and naturally, it's easy to see how they have improved with his presence in the final third. 

How good has he been in Turin so far?

Despite a slow start, he has settled quickly with his new teammates and among different surroundings in Italy. He's predominantly played out on the left-wing or in the centre-forward role, either alongside Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic or by himself in a 4-2-3-1 formation. 

Ronaldo has developed a good understanding with Argentine forward Paulo Dybala in the final third
Ronaldo has developed a good understanding with Argentine forward Paulo Dybala in the final third

In 16 appearances (Serie A and Champions League) to date, he has scored ten goals and created six assists. Juventus lead Group H and despite scoring during their surprise 2-1 home defeat by Manchester United on matchday four, they're finely poised to qualify for the knockout stages - where the real competition starts. 

It's clear Real are struggling without their talisman in attack. Their 3-0 away defeat by Eibar last weekend was their sixth across all competitions, already this term. Worrying to say the least. 

Both Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema are struggling for goalscoring form without Cristiano alongside them
Both Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema are struggling for goalscoring form without Cristiano alongside them

However in Turin, there is quiet confidence that Juve can finally get their hands on the title. After defeats in two Finals against Barcelona (2014/15) and Real (2016/17), they are eager to secure their first Champions League triumph since 1996.

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