Portugal national team manager Fernando Santos revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo is desperate to get back on the pitch after being diagnosed with coronavirus. The Portugal skipper tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday and has since been sent to mandatory self-quarantine for 10 days.
That means that Cristiano Ronaldo will miss out Portugal’s next game in the UEFA Nations League, as his side prepare to take on Sweden.
The Juventus man will also have to sit out the Old Lady’s game against Crotone in the Serie A in the weekend as well as the opening game of the UEFA Champions League away to Dynamo Kyiv. To make matters worse, Cristiano Ronaldo will also have to be completely COVID-free before he can be considered for Juventus’ game against Verona in the Serie A.
There’s also the minor affair of a group league game against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League at the end of October, where his participation would once again be in doubt.
It would be the first-ever meeting between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the group stages of the tournament and the Portuguese has every right to be frustrated if he misses out on that game as well. However, his national team manager has revealed that even though Cristiano Ronaldo is frustrated, he is dealing with the situation like a champion.
Cristiano Ronaldo asymptomatic so far
Speaking to the press ahead of Portugal’s game against Sweden, Fernando Santos provided an update on his skipper. He admitted that his team would be weakened in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo but revealed that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is healthy and stable at the moment.
"No team can be better without the best player in the world but this team has already demonstrated that collectively it has the capacity to tackle the situation. He is managing the situation very well. He is in the room, saying he wants to play, he talks to us from upstairs [from his balcony]."
The Portugal manager informed the press that Cristiano Ronaldo did not have any symptoms of the disease.
"He is completely asymptomatic, he is okay, without any symptoms, he doesn’t even know what happened to him."
Santos went on to admit that Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence would be a big loss for the team. However, he added that he's confident that his team would get a favourable result against Sweden despite the absence of his talisman.
"Any player who is absent due to Covid-19 is a big loss, and Ronaldo’s absence is probably even greater [than anyone else’s]. But I have absolute confidence in those players who are going to play. The plan is the same. But the dynamics are different."
"Cristiano has his own characteristics. No team is better without the best player in the world. But this team have already shown that they have the ability to respond as a collective. I have full confidence in my players."
The 35-year-old is expected to recover in the coming weeks but it remains to be seen if he is available to take part in the crucial UEFA Champions League encounter against Barcelona.
Published 14 Oct 2020, 23:39 IST