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Barcelona Use Ronaldo Poster To Remind Players About Covid-19 Protocols

You'd be forgiven for assuming that
Cristiano Ronaldo is persona non grata at
Barcelona given his legendary status with
bitter rivals Real Madrid, where he became
their all-time top goal scorer before joining
Juventus in 2018.
Ronaldo scored 20 goals in 34 appearances
against the Catalans during his nine-year
stint at the Bernabeu, with two league titles
and four Champions Leagues among the 15
trophies he helped them win in that time.

However, Barcelona still use the Portugal
superstar as motivation of sorts for their
players three years after he ended his year
in, year out rivalry with Barca and Lionel
Messi by swapping Spain for Italy.
Posted up on a wall at Barca's Joan Gamper
training ground is a cutting of a headline
about Ronaldo taken from the Spanish daily
sports paper AS, which reads: "Cristiano
positive again for COVID-19 and will miss
Barcelona game."
The headline dates from last October, when
Ronaldo was forced to miss last season's
Champions League group-stage clash
between Juventus and Barca in Turin after
returning a positive COVID-19 test and
needing to self-isolate.
The Ronaldo headline has been put on
display to serve as a reminder to Barca's
players about the importance of following all
of the guidance and protocols to avoid
contracting COVID-19 and the implications
of not taking them seriously enough.
According to AS, underneath the cutting a
statement also reminds players and staff
that "the competition is at stake" and, in red
letters, "the rules are to be met."
Much was made of the potential reunion of
Ronaldo and Messi when the sides were
pitted against each other for the first time in
two years. Unfortunately, having just
returned from international duty with
Portugal, Ronaldo tested positive for the
coronavirus in the weeks leading up to the
aforementioned Champions League tie, and
he did not return a negative test in time to
feature in the European game.
With Juve depleted of their star man, Barca
won the game 2-0 thanks to goals from
Ousmane Dembele and Messi, who wrapped
things up with a stoppage-time penalty.
To underline how much of a loss Ronaldo
was in that game, by the time of the return
fixture at Camp Nou last December, he was
available again and scored two goals in a
3-0 win for Juve that sealed their place as
Group G winners.

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