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Cristiano Ronaldo is perhaps the highest-profile athlete yet to contract the coronavirus. The Portuguese Football Federation announced on Tuesday that the Juventus superstar had tested positive for COVID-19 while playing for his national team.
Ronaldo played all 90 minutes for Portugal in Sunday’s scoreless UEFA Nations League match against France. He will miss his country’s next Nations League game, on Wednesday against Sweden. As of this writing, that contest is expected to proceed as scheduled.
It wasn’t immediately clear where or when Ronaldo was infected, but he joined up with the Portuguese squad shortly after two Juve staffers returned confirmed positive tests. According to the Italian club, Ronaldo tested negative before he left Turin to join up with his international teammates. Before facing reigning World Cup champion France, the forward also started for Portugal in last week’s friendly tuneup against Spain.
In addition to being ruled out of Wednesday’s match, the 35-year-old won’t be available for Juve’s Serie A tilt on Saturday against Crotone. Based on public health protocols, he’d also be expected to sit out Juve’s Champions League group stage opener next week against Dynamo Kiev.
Ronaldo joins Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe on the list of global soccer stars who have revealed a positive test. Top athletes in other sports, such as New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant and Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo, have also each made their diagnosis public. Yahoo Sports is withholding the names of those reported to have COVID-19 unless the person (or his or her team) confirms the news.
“Cristiano Ronaldo was released from the national team after a positive test for COVID-19,” the Portuguese federation said in the press release revealing the news. It added that Ronaldo is symptom-free and in isolation. “Following the positive case, the remaining players underwent new tests on Tuesday morning. All returned a negative result.”
Following the France game, Ronaldo traded shirts with Les Bleus’ 17-year-old prodigy Eduardo Camavinga. “I won’t wash it,” Camavinga wrote on Snapchat.
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