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“Cristiano Ronaldo is ‘fired up’ and ready to go” – Andrea Pirlo

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thetimes.co.uk

Cristiano Ronaldo is “fired up” and ready to go, according to Andrea Pirlo, ahead of Juventus’ crucial Champions League match against Porto.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was given a well-deserved rest by the Bianconeri on Saturday, as they defeated Lazio 3-1 in Serie A, with Alvaro Morata scoring a brace and allowing an illustrious colleague to play only 21 minutes off the bench.

The cameo appearance has kept Ronaldo ticking over, with the all-time great preparing for another outing on the kind of stage where he normally dazzles – with Juve in desperate need of inspiration as they try to overcome a 2-1 first-leg deficit.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is good, these are his matches,” Pirlo told reporters ahead of Tuesday’s last-16 match in Turin. He’s pumped, he’s had some rest, and he can’t wait.”

The Serie A champions have been nursing several minor injuries in recent weeks, but they will have valuable experience against Porto.

When asked about his health, Pirlo responded, “[Giorgio] Chiellini practiced with the team today, and he seems to be in good shape. I believe he will be available for tomorrow’s game.

Matthijs De Ligt just did a warm-up with the squad today, then he did an individual training session.”

Juve needs a decent result in midweek to hold their European hopes alive for 2020-21.

They are in a tough place after a shock loss in their first match against Porto, but they have an away goal and one more effort will be enough to get them into the quarter-finals.

“We know very well that the pressure is on us, but we don’t hide,” Pirlo said of his team’s mission.

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