Tuesday October 13 2020
Chiellini: 'Victory is completing season'

Giorgio Chiellini insists Cristiano Ronaldo is fine after his COVID-19 diagnosis, as Juventus, Italy and everyone ‘must keep going. The real victory will be completing the season.’

The Nations League match between Italy and the Netherlands kicks off on Wednesday at the Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

The game has been overshadowed already by the growing number of COVID-19 cases in football, including Italy winger Stephan El Shaarawy and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.

“The escalation over the last few weeks is not surprising, all we can do is keep pushing on and take every necessary precaution, but we can’t just stop,” said Chiellini in his press conference.

“The first reason is economic, because football is an important and vast industry. There’s also a social need to keep going, because there will be more and more closures in the next few weeks. We are ready to play our part, taking some risks.

“I spoke to Cristiano, he’s fine and was sunbathing, he’ll be back when he’s ready. We’re not worried, but it is a distracting issue and we all know the next few months are going to be very difficult. We are equally convinced that we must keep going for the good of football.

“The real victory this season will simply be completing the season and the result will be secondary,” continued the Bianconeri and Italy captain.

Sassuolo coach Roberto De Zerbi suggested an NBA-style bubble for players and staff.

“It’s difficult because the structures are not ready. There is already a semi-bubble for when a swab comes back positive. We have to get used to this and living with the virus, while trying to minimise the risks as much as possible.”

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