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Fit-again Ronaldo to start for Juventus in Ajax Champions League tie


Amsterdam (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo will start for Juventus in their Champions League quarter-final, first leg against Ajax in Amsterdam on Wednesday after recovering from a thigh injury, coach Massimiliano Allegri confirmed.

“Cristiano has trained with the team and is available. As long as nothing happens tonight or tomorrow morning, he will start,” Allegri said at Tuesday’s pre-game press conference at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

The 34-year-old has been sidelined since hurting himself playing for Portugal in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Serbia on March 25.

He has not played for Juve since netting a hat-trick in their 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid last month which took them through to the quarter-finals 3-2 on aggregate.

As a result, Ronaldo has missed his side’s last four games in Serie A, in which time Juventus have moved to within a point of an eighth successive Italian title.

“Cristiano looks the same as ever. He’s in good shape, a very important player for us, as everyone knows, and we are happy he’ll be with us tomorrow,” said defender Daniele Rugani, who is set to start in the absence of the veteran Giorgio Chiellini.

A calf injury rules out Chiellini, while Emre Can was also left behind in Turin due to an ankle problem.

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