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  • October 24, 2020

Ronaldo returns to Italy to finish Covid isolation

Cristiano Ronaldo was back in Italy after testing positive for the coronavirus in Portugal.

The Juventus striker traveled on a “medical flight” from Lisbon to Turin on Wednesday to finish his isolation period.

“Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Italy with a medical flight authorized by the competent health authorities at the request of the player and will continue his fiduciary isolation at his home,” Juventus said in a statement.

The Portuguese daily Record had earlier showed images of the small jet-engine plane it said was used by Ronaldo. The white, blue and red aircraft had the word “ambulance” painted on its engines.

The 35-year-old Ronaldo had been separated from the rest of the Portugal group after testing positive for COVID-19 on Monday. He was said to be asymptomatic and in good health condition.

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Ronaldo tested positive two days before the team’s Nations League match versus Sweden in Lisbon. He was dropped from the squad after another test on Tuesday confirmed the positive result. He had played in the Nations League match versus France on Sunday, and against Spain in a friendly last week.

No one else in the Portuguese squad had tested positive ahead of Wednesday’s match against Sweden, which it won 3-0 with a pair of goals by Ronaldo’s substitute Diogo Jota. Ronaldo posted a photo on his social media accounts with him wearing Portugal’s jersey in front of a television set with the game on.

“It’s as if I was there,” he wrote.

Ronaldo started his isolation at the team’s training center on Monday.

Images published by Portuguese media on Tuesday showed him on a balcony overlooking his teammates practicing at the training center. In one of the photos, he was shown giving the thumbs-up sign.

Before the Monday test result was known, Ronaldo posted a photo showing him and the rest of the Portugal squad having a meal together. The players were all close to each other at a table, with a smiling Ronaldo apparently taking the photo at the front end.

Ronaldo was likely to miss Juventus’ Serie A match at Crotone on Saturday and the team’s Champions League opener at Dynamo Kyiv on Tuesday. And depending on his condition and the results of future tests, he could also miss the much-anticipated match versus Barcelona on Oct. 28.

Juventus had been in isolation following positive tests for two staff members, but Ronaldo and six other players were permitted to leave and join their national teams.

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On Wednesday, midfielder Weston Mckennie tested positive for the virus and Juventus said its players and staff will go back into isolation in the club hotel in the evening.

Steve Carr

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