Sunday, August 14, 2022

‘Ronaldo is a free citizen’ – Juventus coach Pirlo responds to police investigation into coronavirus rule violation

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Andrea Pirlo says Cristiano Ronaldo is responsible for his own actions in his spare time, with Juventus star under investigation by Italian police for allegedly breaching coronavirus restrictions.

Ronaldo is in the spotlight after his girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez, posted images of the couple on snowmobiles on social media at an Italian hill station as part of their 27th birthday celebrations.

It is reported that the couple traveled from the Piedmont region to the Aosta Valley. These two regions are currently designated as “orange zones”, movement between these zones being prohibited under current government rules.

If found guilty, Ronaldo is likely to be fined. More than 87,000 people are believed to have died from the coronavirus pandemic in Italy.

Pirlo was asked about the incident during his pre-match press conference ahead of Juventus’ away game at Sampdoria on Saturday.

“Cristiano Ronaldo has had a day off and on your days off you are free to do whatever you want,” Pirlo said. “When they are here they are under my control, but outside of here they are free citizens and can take their own measures.”

Ronaldo has already faced similar charges during the pandemic. After tested positive for Covid-19 itself during the October international break, he was criticized by the Italian Minister of Sports Vincenzo Spadafora, who suggested that Ronaldo may have broken the rules by returning to Turin without authorization.

Ronaldo vehemently denied this claim and, when he was excluded from a Champions League group stage game with Barcelona after returning another positive test, denounced the test as ‘BULLSH * T’ on social media. He then deleted the comment.

Despite the investigation, Ronaldo may return to Juve’s squad for Saturday’s game after being rested for Coppa Italia’s win over SPAL on Wednesday.

“Sampdoria are a good team, they are having a good time,” said Pirlo. “They have players with great qualities and a deep team too.

“It will be a tough game, as always when you face [Claudio] Ranieri’s teams. I respect him so much.

“Today everyone should train with the group except [Paulo] Dybala who is still recovering. We will be evaluating him day after day, he still has knee pain sometimes, but I hope we are on the right track.


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