ROME, Italy, Jan 29 – Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said Friday it had nothing to do with him if star player Cristiano Ronaldo broke coronavirus rules with a visit to a mountain resort.
“Ronaldo had the day off, he can do what he wants in his private life,” Pirlo said, after Italian media reported the striker defied travel restrictions earlier this week.
He added of all the footballers in the Serie A club: “Off the pitch they are free citizens and each one takes his own responsibility.”
Ronaldo reportedly travelled to the resort of Courmayeur, 150 kilometres north-west of Juventus’ Turin headquarters, for the birthday of his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez.
The Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper said the couple spent Tuesday night in a hotel and took a ride on a snowmobile the next morning, before returning to Turin.
Under current Italian coronavirus rules, the couple should not have left the city of Turin. The multimillionaire player and his partner now risk a fine of up to 400 euros ($485) each.
Several Italian media outlets reported that local Carabinieri police were looking into the claims about Ronaldo but AFP was unable to confirm this.
The 35-year-old footballer has been embroiled in coronavirus-related controversy before.
He was criticised in October for travelling to Portugal while Juventus were in isolation after two virus cases.
Ronaldo then tested positive himself, and returned to Italy to spend a couple of weeks in isolation at home.
At the time, Italian Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora accused the star of “violating” coronavirus restrictions.