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Ronaldo ready to play for Juve amid rape allegation

Updated October 06, 2018

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Cristiano Ronaldo. — File Photo
Cristiano Ronaldo. — File Photo

TURIN: Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to play for Juventus against Udinese on Saturday despite the rape claims made against him in the United States, coach Massimiliano Allegri said on Friday as the Italian champions try to maintain their perfect start to the Serie A season.

“Cristiano’s doing well. I’ve known him for three months, but I can say that in his 15 years of his career he has shown great professionalism and seriousness both on and off the field,” Allegri said Friday. “In regard to tomorrow, he is ready to return to action.”

US police said on Monday they had re-opened an investigation into accusations by former American model Kathryn Mayorga that the Portuguese player raped her in a Las Vegas hotel in June 2009. Ronaldo has strenuously denied the accusations.

“It’s a delicate moment but he has large shoulders,” said Allegri, who did not definitively say Ronaldo would start on Saturday. “I see him calm in training. Ronaldo’s professionalism on and off the field is indisputable.”

Ronaldo missed Tuesday’s Champions League match against Young Boys because he had previously been suspended after getting a red card in an earlier match. However, he did play in the Serie A last weekend shortly after news broke about the allegation against him.

On Thursday, Juve sent a statement of support and called him a “great champion”. But sponsors Nike and video game maker EA Sports have expressed concern about his conduct. Since the allegation surfaced, Juve’s share price has fallen by nearly 20 percent.

Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2018