Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to play for Juventus against Udinese on Saturday, despite rape claims made against him, although his coach Massimiliano Allegri admits he may be tempted to rest the embattled star.
"I could go with a front three of Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo, or alternatively one of them could be rested. Ronaldo is doing well, he is ready to play. His professionalism and his composure on and off the pitch are not in question," said Allegri, the coach of the Italian champions.
Recently, the Portuguese forward had been put in bad light after reports of rape allegations emerging against him. According to German media outlet Der Speigel, an American woman named Kathryn Mayorga has accused the renowned footballer for raping her in a hotel room in Las Vegas back in 2009, and then paid $375,000 for her silence.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who is now a subject of a re-opened investigation by the Las Vegas police, made a public statement for the first time since the news broke out. In a twitter post, the Portuguese superstar denied the claims insisting his conscience was clear.
"Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in," he said.
However, there have been off-field consequences to the controversy. On Friday, shares in Juventus dropped to almost 10 percent of their value on the Milan stock exchange, closing down 9.92% at 1.19 euros. Just two weeks ago, shares in the Italian champions rose 180 percent to a record level of over 1.80 euros.
Nike, American sportswear giant, had a very cold response towards the situation of their esteemed client, with whom they have been associated with since 2003. Nike expressed their concern over the rape allegations leveled against the former Real Madrid forward, who reportedly recently signed a $1 billion lifetime endorsement deal with the sportswear brand.
When the Oregon sportswear giants were contacted for a statement, Nike said: "We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation."
However, Juventus' backing their 110 million record signing has receiving a barrage of criticism from fans world wide. The Italian champions posted a tweet lauding the 'great professionalism' he has shown in these tough times.
In the midst of all this controversy, the Portuguese superstar was left out of the national team's upcoming international matches. This means, Cristiano Ronaldo, who hasn't featured for the national team since the World Cup, will now extend his hiatus by missing the UEFA Nations League match against Poland on Oct. 11 and a friendly match against Scotland three days later.