'The captain is well, very well': Cristiano Ronaldo 'very fit' despite Juventus saying he's nursing knee injury
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has issued an assurance regarding his health ahead of a crucial Euro 2020 qualifier amid reports that Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri has withdrawn him from recent games due to knee trouble.
Ronaldo was substituted during each of Juventus’ last two games, with the player appearing unable to disguise his displeasure with his coach’s decision during Sunday’s 1-0 win against Milan.
Reports suggest that such was Ronaldo’s unhappiness with the call that he disregarded convention and exited the stadium prior to the end of the game, a move which reportedly angered the club’s hierarchy.
Following Sunday’s game, Juve boss Sarri said that his sta number 7 was suffering from a nagging knee injury, thanking Ronaldo for his ‘sacrifice’.
“We must thank Ronaldo, because he made a sacrifice to be there at all tonight in a difficult situation,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“He did everything possible to play, but I saw he was not well and thought it best to take him off. It’s only natural a player is going to be irritated to leave the pitch, especially when he worked so hard to be there.
However, contrary to the word coming out of the Allianz Stadium in Turin, Portugal coach Fernando Santos insists that his star player has no injury concerns whatsoever – a sentiment which was echoed by Ronaldo himself when he spoke to the media.
“To open this news bulletin, we can give this news: the captain is well, very well,” Ronaldo said.
“Not only am I fine, but I can say that I am very fit too. The balance sheet is definitely positive. Now you can interview others!“
Ronaldo is expected to be involved in Thursday’s qualifying fixture with Lithuania at Estadio Algarve, where Portugal will aim for a win as they chase the second automatic qualification spot behind Ukraine in Group B. Ronaldo’s men are one point above Serbia as they bid to win the chance to defend the crown they lifted in France four years ago.