Juventus have confirmed that forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been released from isolation after finally testing negative for COVID-19.
Ronaldo missed Juventus’ last four games after first testing positive during the international break, and he was forced to miss the Champions League clash with Barcelona after surprisingly testing positive after his period of isolation should have been over.
It may be later than planned, but Ronaldo is finally set to make his long-awaited return to action as Juventus confirmed on their official website that the Portugal international has tested negative and has been released from a 19-day isolation period.
Andrea Pirlo’s side have struggled in Ronaldo’s absence. They fell to 1-1 draws with both Crotone and Hellas Verona in Serie A and lost 2-0 to Barcelona – with their only victory without Ronaldo coming against Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League.
Juventus’ inconsistent form has already left Pirlo under pressure, so everybody involved will be desperate to see Ronaldo back in action as soon as possible.
Sunday’s trip to face Spezia Calcio will be the first game for which Ronaldo is eligible, although whether he would feature after just one day of training with the team is a different question entirely. The clash with Hungarian side Ferencváros in mid-week may well be a more realistic target.
Ronaldo netted three goals in his two appearances for Juventus before testing positive for the virus, leading his side to a 3-0 win over Sampdoria and a 2-2 draw with Roma, but a downturn in form in his absence has already prompted non-sensical rumours of an imminent exit for Pirlo.
The Daily Mail recently suggested that Pirlo still has the faith of the Juventus chiefs, but if the poor form continues into November, the boss could be given the boot and replaced by Massimiliano Allegri.
Rumours Pirlo could be sacked definitely seem a little hasty, but he will be relieved to see Ronaldo return to the fold nonetheless.
By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa