CR7's top five golden boot contenders

It has been confirmed that Ronaldo, 33, will make his Serie A debut against Chievo Verona on Saturday, with the game kicking off at 18:00 on SuperSport 9.

It marks a new era not only for Real Madrid’s all-time record goalscorer, but also for the Italian top flight as his influence within LaLiga to rival Lionel Messi over the past nine years brought compelling global viewing.

Nine seasons brought 292 league appearances with Los Blancos and a staggering 311 goals, warranting his record €100m (R1,7bn) move to the Bianconeri.

His presence with the Italian giants, who’ve now won seven consecutive league titles, will not only demand more from his teammates, but the league as a whole – the prolific marksmen in the country will be relishing the challenge against the four-time European Golden Shoe winner.

1. Ciro Immobile

A two-time winner of the Serie A Golden Boot, the Lazio striker netted an incredible 29 league goals in 33 games last season to share the prestigious honour with Mauro Icardi.

2. Mauro Icardi

The Inter Milan captain hasn't even reached his peak yet at the age of 25, but has already amassed an incredible 111 league goals in 192 games for the Italian giants and Sampdoria.

3. Paulo Dybala

Ronaldo’s new teammate at Juventus has often been compared to his compatriot Lionel Messi due to their diminutive stature, cultured left foot and incredible ability in front of goal.

While Dybala will likely hold a more creative role in the Juve XI this season, Ronaldo's presence could allow him more freedom in front of goal – in the same manner Luis Suarez often profited from Lionel Messi’s attention from LaLiga defenders.

The 24-year-old Argentine scored 22 goals in 33 games last season.

4. Edin Dzeko

Dzeko netted 29 goals in the 2016/17 season with AS Roma to win the Golden Boot, and with his side significantly strengthening their playing roster in this window, the former Manchester City striker could be their attacking talisman to launch an assault for a title challenge.

5. Gonzalo Higuain

Ronaldo's arrival sparked the exit of Higuain, who was the Bianconeri's and the league's record signing before the Portuguese’s shock switch to Italy.

The 30-year-old Argentine still holds the Serie A record for the most goals in a single season, when he scored a staggering 36 times in 35 games for Napoli in the 2015/16 campaign.

He will surely be motivated to prove himself at Milan after being deemed surplus to requirements in Turin.

  • The Serie A starts on Saturday, 18 August, and you can watch Ronaldo and Juventus, as well as the best Italian top-flight teams on SuperSport across Sub-Saharan Africa this season.

DStv customers can stream SuperSport wherever they are by downloading the DStv Now App here.

However, it is not only Serie A that returns to South African screens this weekend. LaLiga – the league that has produced the past five UEFA Champions League winners – will also return this weekend.

FC Barcelona will kick off their 2018/19 season against Deportivo Alaves on Saturday, 18 August, at 22:15 (SS7), while Real Madrid will return to action against Getafe on Sunday, 19 August, at 22:15 (SS7).

In arguably the biggest clash of LaLiga’s opening weekend, UEFA Europa League champions Atletico Madrid will take on Valencia on Monday, 20 August, at 20:00 (SS7).

La Liga kicks off on Friday, 17 August, and all 380 matches will be available on SuperSport, the official home of Spanish top-flight football on SuperSport.

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