The football world was caught by surprise on the evening of October 13th, when it was revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Almost instantly, there was one question in everyone’s mind – how long would the Portuguese be out of action? The reason why everyone was anxious for him to return to action soon is simple as well as exciting.
Cristiano Ronaldo is scheduled to face Lionel Messi for the first time in the UEFA Champions League group stage when Juventus take on Barcelona on October 28th. The thought of the Portuguese failing to take to the field due to COVID-19 is unimaginable for football fans around the globe.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the latest in a group of high profile footballers to contract the virus, with names such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Alcantara and Sadio Mane also testing positive.
The Portuguese tested positive while on duty with his national team and will have to follow a ten-day mandatory self-quarantine as per regulatory protocols. Cristiano Ronaldo will be ruled out of action for these ten days, but there seems to be a doubt regarding the length of his actual absence from the pitch.
Portugal national team manager Fernando Santos has revealed that his star player is asymptomatic and restless to get back to playing football. Juventus will also be hoping to get their man up and running as soon as possible, but will have to field a playing XI sans Cristiano Ronaldo for the next couple of games.
Cristiano Ronaldo must stay COVID-19 free for a week to be in contention against Barcelona
Cristiano Ronaldo’s ten-day self-isolation will end on October 23rd, during which he will undergo regular tests to check the status of his health.
The Portuguese has already missed out on his team’s UEFA Nations League game against Sweden on Wednesday, which Portugal won 3-0.
He will also be unavailable for the Bianconeri’s Serie A tie away to Crotone on the 17th of this month, as well as the trip to Dynamo Kiev in the UEFA Champions League three days later.
Cristiano Ronaldo will have to be COVID-19 free for at least a week before the Barcelona game to stand a chance to feature in it. However, he will also have to avoid any other injuries during that time to be available for selection.
There’s also every chance that the Portuguese will miss Juventus’ home game against Verona in Serie A on the 25th of this month unless he can prove that he is completely free from the virus for the specified time period.
An earlier return to action might be possible if it can be demonstrated that the initial result was a ‘false positive’. For that, several subsequent tests will have to yield negative results. The final decision, in such a scenario, will be taken by UEFA and Italian authorities.
As of now, Juventus will be praying that Cristiano Ronaldo can take the field at the end of this month. Football fans around the world might be joining in the prayers, hoping that they can relish the Messi vs Ronaldo battle once again.Published 15 Oct 2020, 19:22 IST