Cristiano Ronaldo, who has tested positive for Covid-19, left the Portuguese team camp near Lisbon on Wednesday to fly back to Northern Italy on his private jet, local media reported. The Juventus player’s jet took off in the afternoon from the Tires airfield, in the outskirts of Lisbon, according to images broadcast by CMTV.
The Portuguese Football Federation announced on Tuesday that Ronaldo tested positive for coronavirus on Monday, the day after Portugal drew 0-0 with France in Paris and would not be in the squad for Wednesday’s UEFA Nations League match against Sweden in Lisbon.
The 35-year-old five-time Ballon d’Or winner was “asymptomatic” and had been placed in isolation after the positive test at the national team’s training centre in Oeiras, a suburb of Lisbon.
Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini said on Tuesday that he had spoken to Ronaldo. “He’s fine and was sunbathing, he’ll be back when he’s ready,” Chiellini said.
The former Real Madrid and Manchester United forward will definitely be unavailable for Juve’s Serie A fixture against Crotone on October 17, while he’ll also miss the Champions League opener against Dynamo Kiev three days later.
Should he subsequently return a negative test, Ronaldo would be in a position to return to action in time for the Champions League showdown with Lionel Messi and Barcelona on October 28.
It will, however, depend on the period of time between testing and the meeting with Barca at the Allianz Stadium, with Ronaldo needing to be free of Covid-19 for at least one week prior to the fixture.
There may be a scenario that would see Ronaldo return to action earlier than expected, if it is established that a positive test was a ‘false positive’ – where a number of subsequent tests return a negative result.
Last week, before the trip to France, two other Portuguese players tested positive, Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes and Lille defender Jose Fonte.
Ronaldo is the latest star footballer to test positive for coronavirus following Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.