Cristiano Ronaldo is set to play in his first match since denying a rape allegation – as the football star appeared in a full-page ad featuring his underwear line.
The advert was carried by Italy’s largest sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport and it promoted Ronaldo’s CR7 brand (seven is his jersey number) which is stocked by Yamamay.
The photo of him modelling the underwear was published after some of his sponsors, including Nike, expressed concern at the rape claim.
According to Sky News, they’ve tried to reach Yamamay for comment.
Ronaldo is expected to start as Juventus play against Udinese on Saturday afternoon.
Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri said Ronaldo was “doing well” despite the allegation against him.
“I’ve known him for three months, but I can say that in his 15 years of his career he has shown great professionalism and seriousness
both on and off the field,” Allegra said.
On Friday Juventus’s share price fell 10% the day after the team management tweeted its support for their star player.
Ronaldo is accused of raping American teacher Kathryn Mayorga, in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009.
Ms Mayorga, 34, has filed a lawsuit against the player, and police in Las Vegas have reopened their investigation.
The lawsuit claims she was coerced into signing a $375,000 (£332,000) out-of-court settlement with Ronaldo in 2010.
She wants the agreement to be declared void.
Ronaldo, 33, tweeted on Wednesday that he “firmly” denies the accusation – his first direct denial of the allegation. “Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in,” the former Real Madrid and Manchester United
player said. “Keen as I may be to clear my name, I refuse to feed the media spectacle created by people
seeking to promote themselves at my expense.
“My clear conscious (sic) will thereby allow me to await with tranquillity the results of any and all investigations.”
Nike, which has had a contract with Ronaldo since 2003, has said it is “deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations” facing the footballer.
In a statement, the company said it would “continue to closely monitor the situation”.
Another of Ronaldo’s sponsors, EA Sports, said: “We are closely monitoring the situation, as we expect cover athletes and ambassadors to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with EA’s values.”
Electronic Arts has featured Ronaldo on the cover of its EA Sports’ FIFA series for two years.
According to ESPN, the top of the FIFA 19 section of the EA website prominently showcased Ronaldo wearing the Juventus jersey until at least Sunday.
Now he is only on the cover of the game box with another player.