Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo is finally eligible to rejoin his team, 19 days after testing positive for COVID-19. He officially tested negative, ensuring that he can leave quarantine. He can return to Juventus and help the club recover from a four-game stretch in which they only won once.
"Cristiano Ronaldo carried out a check with a diagnostic test [swab] for COVID-19," the club said in a statement. "The exam provided a negative result. The player has, therefore, recovered after 19 days and is no longer subjected to home isolation." Juventus' next match is at Spezia on Sunday.
Ronaldo originally tested positive for the coronavirus on Oct. 3 while on team duty in Portugal. He then flew back to Italy in order to go into self-isolation and spend his time focusing on recovery. However, Italy's sports minister, Vincenzo Spadafora, said that Ronaldo may have violated the rules by flying back to Italy. The soccer star took offense at the comments and responded with strong words in an Instagram video.
"A gentlemen here in Italy, whose name I won't mention, said I didn't obey the protocol — that's simply a lie," Ronaldo said while in quarantine, per ESPN. "I followed all the protocols and I will continue to follow them, my conscience is clear.... Everything I did was authorised.
"They said I broke Italian law and this and that... it's all lies, I did everything properly," Ronaldo continued. "We did everything the right way — leaving the [Portugal] team, in the air ambulance, arriving in Turin... I did not have contact with anyone."
Throughout his time in quarantine, Ronaldo provided updates on his health. He posted multiple photos and videos of him working out, enjoying the pool and tanning. He also said that he was "feeling good and healthy."0comments
One negative side effect of Ronaldo's diagnosis for many fans is that Ronaldo was unable to participate in a highly-anticipated bout with Barcelona. He couldn't face off with Lionel Messi, another generational superstar. The two high-profile players have not faced off against each other since the 2010-11 Champions League semifinals, but they could potentially do so on Dec. 8 when Barcelona hosts Juventus.
Ronaldo joined Juventus in 2018 after stints with Real Madrid and Manchester United. He has appeared in 854 club matches and has scored 641 goals. Ronaldo has three goals and one assist already in the 2020-21 season despite only playing in two matches. Now he will return to the club and attempt to help kickstart a winning streak.