Ronaldo joins Juventus' Cup quest as Italian football returns after chaos
Milan: Cristiano Ronaldo prepares to make his Coppa Italia debut as Juventus open their quest for a fifth consecutive trophy on Saturday with a last 16 clash against Bologna as Italian football returns to the pitch after a chaotic start to the year.
Ronaldo will be looking to pick up where he left off after scoring twice against Sampdoria before the winter break, to lead the Serie A scoring chart with 14 goals. He has also scored once for the Turin giants in the Champions League.
The 33-year-old will now chase his first Italian Cup goal just days after Las Vegas police asked the star to submit a DNA sample as part of their investigation into rape allegations made against him by an American woman which he vehemently denies.
Ronaldo's strike partner Mario Mandzukic — who has scored nine goals this season — has been sidelined with a thigh problem that could also rule the Croatian World Cup runner-up out of next week's Italian Super Cup. The Italian league is still on its winter break but Juventus and AC Milan are warming up for the Super Cup final in Saudi Arabia.
Juventus midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur warned it was important to set the tone for Wednesday's game in Jeddah where they want to lift their first trophy of the season.
"We're focused on Bologna but then straight after that we'll need to think about the match against AC Milan and the Super Cup, which is the first target we need to reach," said the Uruguayan.
Authorities in Las Vegas have issued a warrant to obtain the DNA of football superstar Ronaldo to see if it matches that found on the dress of a woman who has accused him of rape, according to a law enforcement official.