It was always going to be a race against time to get Cristiano Ronaldo cleared to play against Barcelona. And, as we’ve come to find out so many times over the course of this pandemic, it is the virus that dictates things more than anything.
In this case, getting a negative test is quite hard to come by.
Ronaldo, who has been positive for COVID-19 since the middle of the last international break, will miss Juventus’ Champions League showdown against Barcelona due to the inability to test negative 24 hours prior to kickoff Wednesday night. Per UEFA protocol, Ronaldo would have had to test negative during Juve’s latest round of testing and then undergo a physical to determine how much of an impact being infected with the disease over the last two weeks has had. But, because his latest test came back positive,
Juventus have not made a statement regarding Ronaldo’s status, with the only comment on Ronaldo potentially playing against Barcelona coming during Andrea Pirlo’s pre-match press conference Tuesday afternoon. All Pirlo said was that they were still waiting on results from the latest round of testing.
Ronaldo was one of two Juventus players to test positive for coronavirus over the international break, with midfielder Weston McKennie being the other. The major difference is that McKennie was not on international duty, while Ronaldo was with his Portuguese teammates taking part in the UEFA Nations League. McKennie has since tested negative and was part of the match day squad for last Sunday’s game against Hellas Verona.
As this virus has shown, just because you are not suffering from symptoms two weeks out doesn’t mean you’re not still infected. It took Paulo Dybala nearly two months to finally test negative after being initially diagnosed with COVID-19. Just because it took McKennie less than two weeks to test negative, it doesn’t mean that will be the case for Ronaldo.
It is essentially a waiting game at this point. But, for right now, we know one half of the Ronaldo-Lionel Messi duel won’t actually be at Allianz Stadium on Wednesday night.