Milan: Cristiano Ronaldo conceded he is not ‘100 percent’ despite his goal spree for Portugal but always ready to play as injury-hit Juventus head to Atalanta on Saturday looking to extend their unbeaten run this season to stay top of Serie A.
Juventus visit fifth-placed Atalanta before hosting Atletico Madrid in the Champions League next week. Maurizio Sarri’s side are just one point ahead of Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan after 12 matches, with Lazio and Cagliari eight points adrift of the leaders in joint third. Atalanta have gone three league games without a win and will be eager to get back into the Champions League berths, as they sit two points off fourth place, before next week’s trip to Shakhtar Donetsk.
Atalanta’s fortunes have slipped following the thigh injury suffered to Colombian star Duvan Zapata, who scored six goals in six Serie A matches before being sidelined for their last five league games. As Atalanta sweat on Zapata’s return, Juventus will be without full-back Alex Sandro, who picked up a thigh problem playing for Brazil, with Blaise Matuidi recovering from a rib injury.
Ronaldo had said he was not be at his best physical form, with Sarri saying the Portuguese star has a “little knee problem”.
But the 34-year-old wants to make amends after storming off when he was substituted in Juventus’s last game against AC Milan. “In the last three weeks, I have played at a slightly reduced capacity,” Ronaldo conceded after his goal spree for Portugal. ‘I don’t like to be replaced, no one does,’ added Ronaldo. “I tried to help Juve even when injured.”