Juventus boss, Maurizio Sarri said Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury has improved but not enough for him to play on Tuesday Champions League match against Atletico Madrid.
Ronaldo also didn’t participate in Juve’s Serie A clash against Atalanta on Saturday which ended in 3-1 win with Gonzalo Higuain scoring twice for the club.
Sarri gave updates on Ronaldo’s recovery progress on Monday.
“Cristiano trained with his teammates yesterday (Sunday),” he said.
“It seems that his condition is improving but we still have to evaluate between today and tomorrow.
“The positive thing he was able to play throughout the training session with his teammates.”
34- year old Ronaldo was substituted in Juve’s two previous games and the striker was visibly angry about it.
“My relationship with Cristiano is good,” said Sarri, “if a player who has won so much is angry about being substituted, it means he still has a lot of motivation, and this is something positive.”
Ronaldo had gone ahead to score four goals for Portugal to qualify for Euro 2020 despite his injury.
Meanwhile, defender Matthijs de Ligt and forward Federico Bernardeschi also need to be evaluated for their injuries. De Ligt dislocated his shoulders while Bernardeschi bruised his chest.
Juventus have already qualified to the last 16 having finished top of Group D in the Champions League. Atletico is second placed and will need a win to secure a place in the last 16.
“Atletico are a difficult side to play against,” Sarri conceded. “we have to think we want to qualify being the leader of the group that is our target for tomorrow( Tuesday)”.
“We have three very strong strikers for just two roles, I think it is an ideal situation, nobody will be able to play 65 matches, including with the national team,” continued the Juventus coach.
“Playing Dybala, Higuain and Cristiano all together is difficult because of their characteristics, but all three know how to play really well and are comfortable with each other.”
Higuain who was with Sarri during the press conference praised the coach for his impact in his career which has seen him score five goals this season.
“Obviously I spent some of the best season’s of my career with Mr Sarri, I know exactly what he wants,” said the 31-year-old Argentine who joined the veteran coach at Chelsea last season after an unhappy five-month loan spell at AC Milan.
“Compared to last year I had to change something in my head and he (Sarri) helped me a lot.
“Mentally and physically I’m in great shape and the manager has been helping me a lot.”