ROME. — Engulfed in turmoil, Cristiano Ronaldo will look to pick up where he left off on the pitch as Juventus host Genoa in the Italian Serie A today before next week’s trip to his former club Manchester United in the Champions League soccer.
Ronaldo shrugged off explosive rape allegations to score for the champions in their last Serie A game against Udinese before the international break on October 6 to keep Juventus’s 100 percent record after eight games.
The allegations made by 34-year-old American Kathryn Mayorga, that Ronaldo raped her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009, threaten to engulf the Portuguese superstar in a lengthy legal battle.
Ronaldo (33) issued a statement to “firmly deny the accusations” but was left out of Portugal’s squad for this month’s 3-1 friendly win over Scotland, and 3-2 Nations League victory against Poland.
Juventus have stood behind their star signing and he will look to help the reigning champions maintain their six-point lead on second-placed Napoli, ahead of next week’s visit to Old Trafford where he became a star.
“Goals, pains, tears and the case in the USA – the first 100 days at Juventus,” wrote Gazzetta dello Sport. “With Juventus it’s a honeymoon,” the newspaper added of the former Real Madrid player’s three months in Turin, “but the Mayorga case…”
It was business as usual at training for Ronaldo who posted a photo of himself listening to coach Massimiliano Allegri’s instructions on social media on Thursday with the “thumb up” emoji.
Their rivals are Genoa, in 11th, but with Europe’s top scorer this season in Polish striker Krzysztof Piatek.
The 23-year-old Pole has scored nine goals in seven games for Genoa, who have a match in hand, compared to Ronaldo’s four.
The young player, who arrived from Cracovia for four million euros ($4.6 million) in the summer, was relishing coming up against the five-time Ballon d’Or winner. — AFP.