Ronaldo Returns For Juventus First-Leg With Ajax

Cristiano Ronaldo is set to start Juventus’ Champions League quarter-final with Ajax after recovering from injury, manager Massimiliano Allegri says.

Ronaldo, who has been nursing a thigh strain, has not played for Juve since he scored a hat-trick against Atletico Madrid in the last round on 12 March.

Allegri says Ronaldo will start at the Johan Cruyff Arena “as long as nothing happens tonight or tomorrow morning”.

“Cristiano has trained with the team and is available,” said the Juve boss.

Defender Daniele Rugani, who is set to start in the absence of the veteran Chiellini said, “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.”

Ronaldo has scored 24 goals for Juve this season and 124 in total in the Champions League, a tournament he has won five times, including in the last three seasons with Real.

His goals in the last 16 rescued Juventus after they lost 2-0 at Atletico in the first leg, and Allegri warned his team not to repeat that performance here. “We cannot think of leaving here without a goal,” he said.

Giorgio Chiellini misses out with a calf strain, while Emre Can also stays behind with an ankle issue.

Ajax recorded a stunning 4-1 win away in the second leg to advance 5-3 on aggregate and reach their first Champions League quarterfinal since 2003.

They have no fresh injury concerns before the first leg in Amsterdam.

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