Cristiano Ronaldo is back training with Italian giants Juventus after an absence of over two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The 35-year-old was photographed driving into the club’s training facilities in Turin.
According to reports, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was to undergo medical and physical tests before joining up with his teammates in training.
Juventus resumed training exactly two weeks ago, the day Ronaldo returned from his homeland, Portugal. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward spent two weeks in quarantine as per Italy’s measures aimed at combatting the spread of the virus.
Ronaldo played in Juventus’s last Serie A game before the season was suspended, a 2-0 win over Inter Milan behind closed doors at the Allianz Stadium on March 8.
Italy has been one of the countries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic with more than 32,000 deaths. Juventus are leading Lazio by one point as they target a ninth consecutive Scudetto.
Ronaldo is the first Juventus foreign player, among those who left Italy during the lockdown, to return to the team’s Continassa training centre.
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) announced on Monday that all its competitions, including Serie A, will remain suspended until June 14.
Serie A had hoped to return on June 13 but the FIGC has pushed back the date in line with a government decree that all sports competitions be suspended until next month.
The FIGC said the choice was made “pending any further… decision by the authorities”, suggesting the possibility of a restart on June 13 might still exist.
But Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Saturday he needed “more guarantees” before the green light could finally be given for football to resume.
A meeting is planned soon between Conte and Italian football bosses.
The government’s technical and scientific committee will decide in the coming days if it accepts the new health protocols proposed for a return to group training and competition.
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By Mthokozisi Dube