Portuguese soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo may have sat out Juventus’s annual intra-squad practice match on Wednesday in Villar Perosa, a small commune in Turin, due to “slight fatigue in his left abductor,” but he still managed to make headlines.
. @Cristiano Ronaldo will be present today at #VillarPerosa, but will not participate in the practice match due to a slight fatigue to the left adductor. In the coming days differentiated activities will take place.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) August 14, 2019
Ronaldo, who transferred from Real Madrid to Juventus in 2018, was overrun by fans in the first 20 minutes of his practice match last year, which led to him abandoning the pitch. This year, the game was completed with the senior team winning 3-1, with Paulo Dybala scoring twice and showing promise for the season ahead.
Storming onto the pitch has become a tradition of sorts for locals eager to meet their favorites and get an autograph. Ronaldo was seen feeling uncomfortable as fans streamed into the field at the end. Surrounded by security, the star was escorted away from the crowd clamoring for selfies.
With Ronaldo getting on in years, fans have started debating who will replace him in the future. However, his fitness has been monitored closely throughout pre-season, and he is said to train on his own until he recovers from his injury.
Ronaldo currently tops Instagram’s sports celebrity list and has a major fan following, which has earned him influencer status. The soccer star is collaborating with several brands, one of his biggest partnerships being the $1 billion lifetime deal with Nike. More recently, Ronaldo signed up with South Asian e-commerce platform Shopee, becoming its regional brand ambassador.
Even if Ronaldo quits the game, he seems all set to proceed with his brand endorsements and influencer marketing, which should continue to bring him serious money for decades to come.