Ronaldo’s return crucial for Juventus

- AFP, MILAN

Apr 10, 2019-

Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to fitness could be vital to Juventus’s bid to end their Champions League drought going back 23 years as they head to Ajax on Wednesday with uncertainty over whether their superstar will play or not.

Ronaldo hasn’t played for the Serie A leaders—who are just one point away from sealing an eighth Italian league title—since scoring the sensational hat-trick that saw Juve come back from a 2-0 first-leg deficit to knock out Atletico Madrid last month. He was rested in the subsequent 2-0 league defeat at Genoa and then picked up a thigh injury on international duty with Portugal two weeks ago.

But coach Massimiliano Allegri remains confident the 34-year-old will be ready for Wednesday’s game in Amsterdam. “He (Ronaldo) always feels ready. We are confident of having him at Ajax on Wednesday,” said Allegri after Saturday’s 2-1 league win over AC Milan. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner joined his teammates for training on Monday. Portuguese teammate Joao Cancelo, himself recovering from a calf strain, believes that Ronaldo will be present.

“Cristiano’s training, he’s a serious professional. He has committed himself to do everything possible to be there and help the team,” right-back Cancelo told Sky Sport Italia. “I really think he’ll be called up, after that we’ll see if he plays from the first minute or if he will come on later. The coach will decide.”

Ronaldo himself has given no updates on his injury, apart from a short video posted on his social media accounts, looking relaxed as he drove his car and singing along with his partner Georgina Rodriguez and son.

Fixtures

Man United vs Barca

Ajax vs Juventus

(Both matches at 0045 NST, Thursday)

Published: 10-04-2019 11:22

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