Observer on Saturday - - Sport - AFP

MI­LAN - Ital­ian cham­pi­ons Ju­ven­tus on Thurs­day broke their si­lence over rape al­le­ga­tions against su­per­star player Cris­tiano Ron­aldo, say­ing the claims made by an Amer­i­can woman do not change their opin­ion of the Por­tuguese striker.

"Cris­tiano Ron­aldo has shown in re­cent months his great pro­fes­sion­al­ism and ded­i­ca­tion, which is ap­pre­ci­ated by ev­ery­one at Ju­ven­tus," the reign­ing seven-time Ital­ian cham­pi­ons said on Twit­ter. "The events al­legedly dat­ing back to al­most 10 years ago do not change this opin­ion, which is shared by any­one who has come into con­tact with this great cham­pion." The case has threat­ened the rep­u­ta­tion of the Por­tuguese su­per­star, ar­guably the world's best foot­baller, with Las Ve­gas po­lice this week say­ing they would re­open their file on the mat­ter. Ron­aldo on Wed­nes­day de­nied ac­cu­sa­tions by a for­mer Amer­i­can model that he raped her in a Las Ve­gas ho­tel in 2009 and said his con­science is clear.

Ron­aldo's de­nial came as lawyers for his ac­cuser said they had ob­tained damn­ing cor­re­spon­dence be­tween the foot­baller and his le­gal team.


The 33-year-old has been left out of Por­tu­gal's next four in­ter­na­tion­als, the na­tional coach Fer­nando San­tos said ear­lier Thurs­day, days af­ter the rape al­le­ga­tions resur­faced.

The five-time Bal­lon d'Or win­ner missed the two in­ter­na­tion­als Por­tu­gal played in Septem­ber. At the time, San­tos sug­gested that his ab­sence was tem­po­rary and in­tended to help the star adapt af­ter his move from Real Madrid to Ju­ven­tus. Ron­aldo moved to Ju­ven­tus in the sum­mer in a 100 mil­lion euro ($115 mil­lion) deal.

AC­CUSED: Cris­tiano Ron­aldo

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