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October 29, 2020

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Virus-hit Ronaldo enraged at missing Juve-Barca UCL clash

Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo has been left out of Juventus’ team for yesterday’s UEFA Champions League clash against Barcelona in Turin, two weeks after testing positive for coronavirus.

The 35-year-old, the top scorer in the history of the competition with 130 goals, needed to test negative 24 hours before the game against his great rival Lionel Messi’s Spanish team.

A furious Ronaldo posted a photo on Instagram, with the comment: “Feeling good and healthy! Forza Juve! #finoallafine.”

He added a comment on the swab tests used to detect the virus: “PCR IS BULLSHIT”.

Ronaldo, who has more than 241 million Instagram followers, removed the comment after an hour and a half.

Ronaldo first tested positive for Covid-19 on October 13 while playing with Portugal, and has been in self-isolation since returning to Italy.

According to Portuguese TV1, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has tested positive 18 times.

Legends Ronaldo and Messi will now, all being well, meet in the reverse Group G fixture in Barcelona on December 8. They have not faced off since Ronaldo left Real Madrid for Juventus in 2018.

Barcelona and Juventus both won their UCL openers — the Spaniards 5-1 at home against Hungary’s Ferencvaros and the Italians 2-0 at Dynamo Kiev.

Meanwhile, Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp said it was vital not to rush players back from injury too soon despite the hectic schedule as he juggles with a lengthening injury list.

Brazilian midfielder Fabinho, filling in for the absent Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip in central defense, limped off in the first half of Tuesday’s 2-0 UCL win over Midtjylland with a muscle issue.

Liverpool faces a nervous wait to find out the extent of the injury, with Van Dijk already set to miss months of action after suffering a serious knee injury.

Klopp has also been without Kostas Tsimikas, Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita for varying lengths of time.

Teenager Rhys Williams, who came on for Fabinho, could make his English Premier League debut against West Ham United on Saturday, with Klopp unsure whether Matip will be available.

“If it would be only one game we play, if it was the last game of the season, then I think we could make probably one or the other fit for one game,” he said. “But then we play three days later again (at Atalanta) and we need again players.

“The players who are now injured, we cannot use them on the first day of being fit again, or not injured any more. They need then a proper build-up for the rest of the season, and that’s what we try.”


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