The Portuguese Football Federation (PFF) has announced that soccer superstar and Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has tested positive for the coronavirus. Ronaldo, who also plays for the Italian club Juventus, played in a friendly match against Spain last week and in the Nations League match against Franceover the weekend. He is set to miss Portugal’s Nations League game against Sweden this week.
The federation said that the 35-year-old “is doing well, without symptoms, and in isolation” after he tested positive while with his country’s national team. Following Ronaldo’s test, the remaining players in the Portugal squad underwent new tests, which came back negative according to the statement. Both of Portugal’s friendlies and the Nations League match last week ended in a goalless draw.
“Following the positive case, the remaining players underwent new tests this Tuesday morning, all with a negative result, and are available to Fernando Santos for training this afternoon, in Cidade do Futebol,” the PFF confirmed in a statement. Earlier this week, Ronaldo posted a picture of himself with the Portugal squad alongside the message: “United on and off the field!”
Last month, Ronaldo became the first European player to reach 100 international goals after scoring twice in Portugal’s 2-0 win. Ronaldo could also miss Juventus’ Serie A match at Crotone this weekend and the team’s Champions League opener at Dynamo Kyiv next week. Ronaldo is the 76th Serie A player to have tested positive for COVID since the pandemic started.
“Unfortunately, we already had two players test positive. And today we have it again. It’s very abnormal,” Portugal manager Fernando Santos told a news conference. It is learnt that Portugal’s Jose Fonte and Anthony Lopes, tested positive last week. “Ronaldo is doing great. He is dealing very well with this. He is asymptomatic, he has no problems. He doesn’t even know how this happened to him.”
“This COVID-19 question, besides being sad from a human standpoint, [is] also [sad] because we have done everything that we’ve been told to do. For us, health is very important,” Santos added. “Since Monday, we have been completely confined here. The staff and players entered and no one else entered. No one from the outside has entered.”
Portugal president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa also told that the press he has confidence the team will be fine without Ronaldo.“I spoke to the Portuguese Football Federation, which has a testing system done every day. The players come from different countries. There is an immediate control of their situation. What I was told is that there are no other individuals that have tested positive,” De Sousa said.
The stalemate in Paris means Portugal and France are level on seven points, with Ronaldo’s side topping the group on goal difference. Meanwhile, Sweden are bottom of the group, having failed to pick up a single point from their first three matches. Portugal’s next round of matches after the match this week will be next month.