Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Italy on board his private jet today from Portugal after testing positive for coronavirus on Tuesday and will now return to Piedmont to complete the period of self-isolation in his luxurious home in Turin.
The Juventus attacker is expected as early as Wednesday evening at Caselle airport and will be received by health officials. Upon arriving back in Italy he will be required to observe a period of isolation and so will not participate in upcoming matches against Crotone in Serie A and Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League.
The presence of Ronaldo for the blockbuster Champions League match on October 28 against Lionel Messi’s Barcelona is also under discussion.
It is reported he will need to produce a negative Covid-19 test by October 21 to be considered eligible to face his long-time Argentine rival.
Following his positive test result the 35-year-old immediately began self-isolating in the national team’s Oeiras base on the outskirts of Lisbon.
Ronaldo was seen smiling for the cameras and gestured with his thumbs up as he watched his team-mates train from the balcony of his room at the team complex.
Katia Aveiro, Ronaldo’s sister, took aim at Covid-19 on her Instagram page following the Juventus attacker’s positive result.
‘If Cristiano Ronaldo has to wake the world up, I have to say he really is a prophet from God. Thank you she wrote.
‘I believe that today thousands of people will stop believing as much in this pandemic, in the tests and in the measures taken like me … the biggest fraud I have ever seen since I was born. Open your eyes please.’
He tested positive two days before the team’s Nations League match against Sweden in Lisbon. He was dropped from the squad following another test on Tuesday confirmed the positive result. Ronaldo had played in the Nations League match against France on Sunday, and also against Spain in a friendly last week.
No one else in the Portuguese squad had tested positive ahead of Wednesday’s match against Sweden.
Earlier in the international break, Anthony Lopes and Jose Fonte had contracted the virus and were also immediately sent away from the group.
Mere minutes after the announcement was made, Ronaldo’s girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez posted a picture to Instagram which appeared to show the Portugal superstar in good spirits during a FaceTime call with her.
Alongside the snap, she wrote ‘You are my inspiration @Cristiano.’
Before the Monday test result was known, Ronaldo posted a photo on Twitter and Instagram 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.
Portugal manager Fernando Santos revealed Ronaldo remains desperate to play despite being ruled out
‘No team can be better without the best player in the world but this team has already demonstrated that collectively it has the capacity to tackle the situation,’ Santos said.
‘He is managing the situation very well. He is in the room, saying he wants to play, he talks to us from upstairs [from his balcony].
‘He is completely asymptomatic, he is OK, without any symptoms, he doesn’t even know what happened to him.’
Juventus had been in isolation following positive tests for two staff members, but Ronaldo and six other players were allowed to leave and join their national teams.
Other prominent footballers who have tested positive for Covid-19 recently include Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba, Paulo Dybala, Angel Di Maria, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Diego Costa.
The Portuguese government on Wednesday announced new restrictions to help contain a surge in coronavirus cases.