'Said he was going because of his mother': Cristiano Ronaldo photos spark controversy

Cristiano Ronaldo and partner Georgina Rodriguez, pictured here in Portugal during the coronavirus crisis.
Cristiano Ronaldo and partner Georgina Rodriguez in Portugal. Image: Getty

Cristiano Ronaldo has been criticised by former Juventus president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli over his actions in the coronavirus pandemic, with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner considered to have ‘complicated’ matters.

The Portuguese star was allowed to head back to his native Madeira before public life in Italy shut down, with the Juve squad placed in quarantine once it was revealed that Daniele Rugani had tested positive for Covid-19.

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Ronaldo had been freed by then to return to his homeland after seeing his mother suffer a stroke - Maria Dolores has since been released from hospital - and is continuing her recovery in a private medical facility, with her son allowed to turn his attention elsewhere.

But Gigli claims the 35-year-old is now more concerned with “taking pictures by the pool” and has set an unfortunate precedent that is making it difficult for other sports stars to be contained.

Cristiano Ronaldo, pictured here in action for Juventus.
Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Juventus. (Photo by Claudio Villa - Inter/Inter via Getty Images)

The likes of Gonzalo Huguain, Miralem Pjanic and Douglas Costa have been released from the Juve camp to join their respective families around the world.

“Things at Juventus got complicated when Cristiano Ronaldo left,” Gigli told Radio Punto Nuovo.

“He said he was going to Portugal because of his mother, but now he only appears to be taking pictures by the pool.

“When the exception was made for him, things fell apart and others wanted to leave but it shouldn't have been like this.

“They all should have been quarantined.”

Juventus in difficult spot due to virus

Gigli admits that Juventus have been forced into a corner when it comes to letting senior stars flee Italy.

He feels that the reigning Serie A champions will now find it difficult to get back up to speed once a return to competitive action is given a green light.

Those outside of Turin have been given individual training regimes, but they will be short of sharpness when returning to the Allianz Stadium and have to prove that they are not carriers of the coronavirus.

Gigli added: “Criticising now is easy, but from the outside I don’t know why players wanted to leave Italy.

“When they return it'll be more difficult to get back in shape because they'll have to stay in quarantine for 14 days.”

While Ronaldo’s actions have been questioned by Gigli, the iconic Portuguese has been doing his bit to tackle a global health crisis by donating €1 million ($1.8 million) to help three intensive care units alongside his agent, Jorge Mendes.