Cristiano Ronaldo is set to miss Juventus’ Champions League clash against Barcelona next week after testing positive for coronavirus for a second time.
The 35-year-old initially tested positive for Covid-19 on October 13 and was forced to withdraw from Portugal’s squad during the international break.
Ronaldo subsequently returned to Italy for his quarantine period and has been forced to miss Juventus’ last two matches against Crotone in Serie A and Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League.
But the forward is now expected to be absent for Juventus’ Champions League match against Barcelona in Turin next Wednesday after he tested positive for coronavirus once again.
According to Uefa’s protocols which were set out in August in light of the coronavirus pandemic, all players must produce a negative Covid-19 test a week before their next match in the Champions League.
According to Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha, Juventus are not giving up hope of having Ronaldo available and have requested that the forward is tested for a third time 48 hours before the game.
The report also claims that Ronaldo’s viral load from his second test is low and Juventus are hopeful that he could potentially produce a negative test next week.
Following the Champions League group-stage draw, one of the most anticipated storylines was the prospect of seeing Ronaldo face Messi for the first time since the Portuguese left La Liga in the summer of 2018.
Ronaldo and Messi shared many battles during their time together in Spain but the pair have not played against each other in the Champions League since the semi-final in 2012.
Ronaldo also denied claims from Italy’s sports minister, Vincenzo Spadafora, who suggested that the forward had broken coronavirus protocols by flying back to Italy from Portugal via a private air ambulance.
‘I’m always at home, now I’m sunbathing, also to let the days pass. I’m respecting the protocol, I did not break it, as has been said: It’s a lie,’ said Ronaldo. ‘I returned from Portugal because my team and I made sure to comply with all the procedures. ‘I returned to Italy by air ambulance and I have had no contact with anyone, even in Turin. ‘My family is on another floor of the house, we can’t be in contact.’