Cristiano Ronaldo was subbed off 31 minutes into Portugal’s UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier against Serbia on Monday night with an apparent leg injury.
Everyone remain calm. Breathe into the paper bag if you have to. There are also therapy dogs available first door on the left.
Ronaldo, who was already playing with a piece of gauze in his nostril after having his nose bloodied earlier in the match, was trying to chase down an errant pass from Rafa Silva when he pulled up near the touchline. He hopped to a stop and immediately signaled the bench for a substitution before coming to a sitting position on the ground. He was replaced a few minutes later by Pizzi. According to Sky Sport Italia, the issue is with his right thigh. This is obviously distressing news, given the fact that the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal against Ajax are just 16 days away.
There hasn’t been enough time to determine the extent of the injury, but depending on the severity his status for one or both legs could be in doubt. Marca has noted that this is the first time Ronaldo has suffered a muscular injury since the 2015-16 season.
Juve face three league games in the space of a week before traveling to Amsterdam for the first leg of the quarterfinal, hosting Empoli on Saturday before a trip to Cagliari midweek and then back home to face AC Milan. Ronaldo may well have rested for most of those games even when healthy, but now he’s almost certain to sit them out. The team will have to rely on the quartet of Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic, Federico Bernardeschi, and Moise Kean to keep their march to title No. 8 going—and maybe even against Ajax. Those who have complained from time to time that Juve are getting a little too reliant on Ronaldo in attack may now get the chance to see if they can find their footing again without him on the pitch.
Watch this space for updates on Ronaldo’s condition.