Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo has tested negative for coronavirus after nearly three weeks, the club confirmed yesterday. Ronaldo first tested positive for Covid-19 on October 13 while playing with Portugal. He had been in self-isolation since returning to Italy. “Ronaldo carried out a check with a diagnostic test (swab) for Covid-19. The exam provided a negative result,” the Italian champions said in a statement.
“The player has, therefore, recovered after 19 days and is no longer subjected to home isolation.”
Juventus next play at promoted Spezia tomorrow, with all matches now behind closed doors following a recent surge in Covid-19 cases, with a record number of over 31,000 people testing positive in a 24-hour period in Italy yesterday.
The 35-year-old had missed four games including Wednesday’s 2-0 Champions League defeat to Lionel Messi’s Barcelona, and Juventus’s 2-0 win at Dynamo Kiev in their Group G opener. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s return will be a boost for Andrea Pirlo’s faltering side who are fifth in Serie A, four points behind leaders AC Milan.
Ronaldo scored three goals in Juventus’s first two league games — a 3-0 win over Sampdoria and both goals in a 2-2 draw at Rome. But the nine-time reigning champions have been held to three consecutive league draws, Rome (2-2), Crotone (1-1) and Verona (1-1).They were awarded a 3-0 victory after Napoli refused to travel to Turin on October 4 because of coronavirus cases.
Ronaldo, the top scorer in Champions League history with 130 goals, was furious at missing this week’s game against Barcelona, after reportedly testing positive for an 18th time. They have not faced off since the five-time Ballon d’Or winner left Real Madrid for Juventus in 2018.
Hours before kick-off, Ronaldo posted a photo on Instagram, stating: “Feeling good and healthy! Forza Juve! #finoallafine.” Adding a comment for his 241mn Instagram followers he criticised PCR swab tests used to detect the virus
Meanwhile, Unbeaten AC Milan travel to Udinese after their 3-0 Europa League win against Sparta Prague at the San Siro, with coach Stefano Piolo saying his side this season were spoilt for choice. Second-placed Napoli, two points behind AC Milan, have won all the league games they played this season, and next take on Sassuolo, third but equal on points.
Gennaro Gattuso’s southerners won their Europa League game at Real Sociedad this week, but captain Lorenzo Insigne pulled up with a thigh injury.
Inter Milan, a further point adrift in fourth, warm up for next week’s trip to Real Madrid after their goalless draw against Shakhtar Donetsk, against 16th-placed Parma. Lukaku, who has scored seven goals this season for Inter, is being monitored daily. Atalanta travel to rock-bottom Crotone on Saturday, ahead of their Champions League home game against Liverpool. The Bergamo club were held 2-2 at home against Ajax after a 3-1 loss to Sampdoria as Gian Piero Gasperini conceded his attempt at “a bit of experimenting” in the squad backfired. Claudio Ranieri’s Sampdoria — equal on points with Juventus and Atalanta — take on city rivals Genoa, looking to push their winning streak to four games.
Fixtures (all times GMT)
Today: Crotone v Atalanta (1400), Inter Milan v Parma (1700), Bologna v Cagliari (1945)
Tomorrow: Udinese v AC Milan (1130), Spezia v Juventus, Torino v Lazio (both 1400), Napoli v Sassuolo, Roma v Fiorentina (both 1700), Sampdoria v Genoa (1945)
Monday: Hellas Verona v Benevento (1945)
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