Malta Independent

Ronaldo’s dramatic debut ends with goalkeeper in hospital


Daniella Matar Associated Press

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Serie A debut was marked not by a goal but by accidental­ly putting the opposing team’s goalkeeper in hospital.

With the score locked at 2-2 late on in Juventus’ match at Chievo Verona, Ronaldo collided with Stefano Sorrentino in a chaotic penalty area.

Sorrentino was knocked out cold briefly and there were an anxious few minutes as he received immediate treatment before being substitute­d.

The 39-year-old goalkeeper was immediatel­y taken to the hospital and released on Sunday morning with a fractured nose, bruising to his left shoulder and whiplash.

Sorrentino was able to joke about the incident, posting a photo on Twitter with the caption: “Thanks for your messages of support, affection and esteem. We are a fantastic group and yesterday we almost achieved the feat: while CR7 got me in full!”

He also later revealed on the social media site that Ronaldo had been in touch: “I received a message of support and wishing me a speedy recovery from Cristiano Ronaldo. Thanks legend!”

Sorrentino pulled off several fine saves to deny Ronaldo and his Juventus teammates - although Chievo went on to lose the match 3-2 following Federico Bernardesc­hi’s stoppage-time winner.

“Before coming onto the pitch I told myself I would have to try to stop him in every way possible,” Sorrentino said on Italian television. “I did that in the real sense of the word.”

During the commotion Juventus was awarded a goal using goal-line technology, then it was disallowed a few minutes later on video review.

Paulo Dybala and Giorgio Chiellini celebrated when the goal was given, causing widespread outrage as Sorrentino was still receiving urgent treatment.

“Paulo wrote to me, apologisin­g because he hadn’t realised the seriousnes­s of the situation and he was celebratin­g for a goal that I didn’t even know I had conceded,” Sorrentino said.


One of the potential stars of this season emerged on Sunday as Miha Zajc had a stellar performanc­e in Empoli’s 2-0 win over Cagliari.

Zajc was at the heart of every Empoli move and set up both goals for Rade Krunic and Ciccio Caputo.

The 24-year-old Zajc has already played in Serie A as he was signed from Olimpija Ljubljana in January 2017, in Empoli’s last season in the top flight.

Zajc made only five Serie A appearance­s but was instrument­al in last season’s promotion campaign which ended with Empoli going up as champion.

 ??  ?? Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino gets assistance during the Serie A soccer match between Chievo Verona and Juventus
Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino gets assistance during the Serie A soccer match between Chievo Verona and Juventus

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