Cristiano Ronaldo has been able to dodge the multiple sexual assault allegations that have been lodged against him, but 2020 caught up with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner on Tuesday as he was diagnosed with coronavirus.
Tancredi Palmeri of beIN Sports broke the news of the highest-profile case of COVID-19 to date in the world of sports, a chilling reminder that even outside of the United States, where the pandemic has run amok due to failed leadership, it’s far from over elsewhere in the world. Cases have spiked in Italy, where Ronaldo plays for Juventus.
As fans have started returning to soccer matches across Europe, another wave of the virus puts that progress in danger. Juventus is scheduled to travel to Kiev next week to open Champions League play, then return home to face Barcelona on Oct. 28, which would coincide with the end of Ronaldo’s quarantine period, if he remains asymptomatic, as the Portuguese national team said he is, and shakes the virus. Juventus also has two Serie A games scheduled during that period.
Obviously, it remains to be seen whether the second wave of the pandemic in Europe forces another shutdown of sports there, but it remains worth noting that while Italy is scrambling to contain things with new diagnoses topping 5,000 a day again, there were 10,700 fans at Game 1 of the NLCS in Texas on Monday night, on a day when Texas, with half the population of Italy, reported 4,000 new coronavirus cases.
Ronaldo tested positive after Portugal’s UEFA Nations League match with France over the weekend. The Portuguese federation said in a statement that all remaining players on the team tested negative, and their game against Sweden on Wednesday will take place as scheduled.