HUGE LOSS FOR JUVENTUS AS RONALDO TESTS POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS
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Portugal and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has tested positive for coronavirus. Portuguese football federation announced this on Tuesday. Ronaldo “is asymptomatic” and “will not play against Sweden” in Wednesday’s UEFA Nations League match. The federation has made this clear on its website. Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or five times and played in Portugal’s Goalless Nations League Draw against France in Paris on Sunday.
The federation also added that the rest of the Portugal squad were “all negative” after tests on Tuesday morning. As was the France squad, as per the French Football Federation.
Ronaldo has scored 101 goals for Portugal and will be a big absence for his team against Sweden. They aim to hold on to a top spot in their group.
His contracting the disease is also a big blow for Juventus. This is because the health protocol in force for Serie A says that Ronaldo must self-isolate for 10 days. Then after that record a negative test before he can resume playing.
This means Ronaldo will miss Juve’s Serie A match at Crotone on Saturday. And also the Italian champions’ opening Champion’s League group stage game in a week’s time.
He is also a doubt for Juventus’ following the Champions League clash with Barcelona on October 28. It was set to pit Ronaldo against his old rival Lionel Messi.
THE NEW CONTROVERSY
The test result re-opens the controversy over his departure from Turin for the Portugal training camp. Which, according to local health authorities in Italy’s Piedmont region, was a violation of the virus protocol.
Ronaldo and other Juventus stars left to join up with their national teams despite the team being in isolation.
Roberto Testi, a director of the regional health authority, said that local prosecutors had been informed of the unauthorized departure.
Ronaldo, who has also starred for Manchester United and Real Madrid, is the highest-profile footballer to test positive for COVID-19. The virus has killed over a million people since the start of the pandemic earlier this year.
Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have also tested positive for the virus in recent weeks. Premier League champions Liverpool placed Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara in isolation after they tested positive.
Last week two of Ronaldo’s Portuguese teammates, Anthony Lopes and Jose Fonte also returned positive tests. This forced them out of the Nations League fixtures.
Meanwhile, Ukraine had to draft in 45-year-old assistant coach Oleksandr Shovkovsky for last week’s friendly with France. The virus spread through the squad.
Ukraine also lost to Germany on Saturday in the Nations League with 14 players missing. This may be due to injury or positive tests.
Coronavirus has killed over one million people and infected 37 million people. Many nations that suppressed their first outbreaks are now battling a second wave.