Cristiano Ronaldo attends a training session on the eve of the UEFA Champions League football match. AFP
Cristiano Ronaldo returns for Juventus in Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg against Ajax in Amsterdam, a tie between two grand European names that is also an enticing repeat of the 1996 final.
Ronaldo suffered a thigh injury playing for Portugal late last month and has not featured for Juventus since netting a stunning hat-trick to dump out Atletico Madrid in the last 16 in early March, missing his club's last four Serie A matches.
"Cristiano has trained with the team and is available. As long as nothing happens tonight or tomorrow morning, he will start," Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said on Tuesday evening at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
The return of the competition's all-time top scorer is a big boost for Juve, who without him have moved to within a point of an eighth straight Serie A title.
"Cristiano looks the same as ever. He's in good shape, a very important player for us, as everyone knows, and we are happy he'll be with us," said defender Daniele Rugani, who is set to start in place of the injured Giorgio Chiellini.
Ronaldo has scored 24 goals for Juve this season and 124 in total in the Champions League, a tournament he has won five times, including in the last three seasons with Real.
His goals in the last 16 rescued Juventus after they lost 2-0 at Atletico in the first leg, and Allegri warned his team not to repeat that performance here. "We cannot think of leaving here without a goal," he said.
If Ronaldo's move to Juventus for 100 million euros ($117 million) heralded the end of an era in Madrid, the Spanish side's reign as kings of Europe was really finished when they were humbled by Ajax in the last round.
The Dutch club recorded a stunning 4-1 win away in the second leg to advance 5-3 on aggregate and reach their first Champions League quarter-final since 2003.
England and Portugal both scored five goals while France scored three as they overcame lowly-ranked Kosovo, Andorra and Lithuania in Euro 2020 qualifying on Tuesday.
Milan: Cristiano Ronaldo returns to Italian league action after his four-goal spree for Portugal as Juventus head for Fiorentina on Saturday also boosted by coach Maurizio Sarri’s highly-anticipated
Kalidou Koulibaly handed Juventus a dramatic win on Saturday with a last-gasp own goal that consigned Napoli to a painful 4-3 Serie A defeat after his side had battled back from three goals
A strong Sharjah Self-Defense Sports Club emerged the big winners, forcing Baniyas Jiu-Jitsu Club to settle for second and Al-Ain to take third.
Dubai Challenge Cup, the third tournament of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series, concluded with two exciting matches on the grounds of Al Habtoor Polo Club.
Mitchell Starc led an Australian fast-bowling demolition of India as the visitors won the second ODI by 10 wickets to level the three-match series on Sunday.