Cristiano Ronaldo (centre) warms up with teammates in the empty stadium at the Juventus stadium in Turin on Sunday. AFP
Gulf Today Report
Portuguese icon Cristiano Ronaldo once said, “I never tried to hide the fact that my only goal is to be the best.”
The wonder footy wizard, who has over 700 career goals in his kitty, is considered the best player in the world.
No wonder he has a zillion fans who go crazy over him – and are totally bowled over by his skills on the field.
His reputation remains in fact despite the fact that he may be in the news for the wrong reasons – plagued by injuries or even facing, as happened in one instance, a rape charge from which he was cleared.
As the coach of his club Juventus Maurizio Sarri said, “Sometimes, Ronaldo creates a small problem because you know you have a champion in the team and it has to be set up around him but at the same time it solves 100 of them.”
Even in adversity, he has learnt to smile. Perhaps Ronaldo has the rare flair of adding a light-hearted touch to grim situations, in this case the atmosphere over the alarming spread of the coronavirus.
The footballer had helped Juventus to a 2-0 win over Inter Milan in Seria A on Sunday, with one striking difference: the stands were virtually empty. The Derby d'Italia, one of the season's biggest matches, had to be played with only a limited number of people because of the virus outbreak in Italy.
When Ronaldo got off the team bus inside the stadium, he pretended to high-five imaginary mascots – something he normally does with the actual mascots – before smiling at the cameras.
European football's governing body said Ronaldo was facing charges of "improper conduct" after he mimicked Diego Simeone's crotch-grabbing 'cojones' gesture in last Tuesday's 3-0 win that sent Juventus through 3-2 on aggregate.
Juventus clinched their eighth consecutive Serie A title on Saturday with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Fiorentina.
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