Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus side take on Bayern Munich in a high-profile International Champions Cup exhibition match later, but the Portuguese superstar will have to wait a few more weeks for his Old Lady debut.
The reigning Serie A champions take on the Bundesliga titlists at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the early hours of Thursday, the first of four stateside pre-season friendlies for Juventus.
However, due to Ronaldo featuring for his country in the World Cup, he, along with his fellow internationals, have been granted an extended summer break, with the 33-year-old not due to report for preseason training until next week.
Consequently, the Evening Standard reports, CR7 may make his Bianconeri bow when Juventus take on their own B side at Villar Perosa on August 12. It was a date the former Real Madrid star had previously earmarked as when his ‘season starts’.
Juve are the slim 43/20 underdogs with Novibet Sports for their Bayern clash, while some oddsmakers have them 8/13 odds-on favourites to once again top Serie A in 2018/19; highlighting the potential impact of Ronaldo’s involvement in the side.
The Old Lady formally kick off their title defence on August 19, with the Serie A fixture list still to be finalised. The hope is that Ronaldo, despite being in the twilight years of his storied career, will justify his £99.2 million price tag and lead Juventus to glory both domestically and in Europe. With his club medical showing his fitness to be comparable to that of a 20-year-old, it’d take a brave man to bet against Cristiano doing just that.