Cristiano Ronaldo has insisted he didn't violate coronavirus protocols by flying back to Italy following his positive test while away on duty with the Portugal national team.
The 35-year-old received his positive result in the wake of Portugal's stalemate with France last Sunday, meaning he missed the 3-0 triumph over Sweden on Wednesday night.
He left the Portuguese camp in the build-up to their midweek clash, departing to his house in Italy via 'air ambulance'.
It was a move which was criticised by Italy's sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora, who, when asked whether he believed the football icon had breached coronavirus rules, replied: "Yes, I think so, if there were no specific authorisations from the health authority."
Juventus, though, have come to the backing of their superstar forward following his return to Italy, stating that his flight was authorised by health authorities.
"Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Italy with a medical flight authorised by the competent health authorities at the request of the player and will continue his isolation at his home," the Bianconeri said in a statement (via the Daily Mail).
Ronaldo himself also hit back in an Instagram live video on his official account: 'I'm always at home, now I'm sunbathing, also to let the days pass. I'm respecting the protocol, I did not break it, as has been said: It's a lie.
"I returned from Portugal because my team and I made sure to comply with all the procedures. I returned to Italy by air ambulance and I have had no contact with anyone, even in Turin.
"My family is on another floor of the house, we can't be in contact," he added.
However, after receiving his positive test last Tuesday, the mandatory ten-day self-isolation period Ronaldo has to endure means he'll miss Juventus' Serie A clash with Crotone on Saturday as well as their opening Champions League encounter of the campaign at Dynamo Kyiv on Tuesday evening.
There is optimism, however, that as long as he recovers well, Ronaldo will be available to face Barcelona on 28 October.