Football: Juventus say rape allegations 'do not change opinion' of Ronaldo

Ronaldo in the stands as Juventus play Young Boys on Oct 2, 2018, in the Champions League. PHOTO: REUTERS

MILAN (AFP) - Italian champions Juventus on Thursday (Oct 4) 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 on 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 (S$160 million) deal.

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