UDINE, Italy – Cristiano Ronaldo is playing again, a week after a Nevada woman filed a civil lawsuit accusing him of rape nine years ago.
Ronaldo was in the starting 11 for a Serie A match at Udinese on Saturday.
There was no significant reaction when Ronaldo’s name was read out for the team introductions before kickoff.
The Italian league game started at 6 p.m. local time (1600 GMT).
Kathryn Mayorga filed a lawsuit last week in Nevada saying she was raped by Ronaldo in Las Vegas in 2009. Police have also re-opened an investigation. Ronaldo has denied the accusation.
Upon Ronaldo’s arrival at Dacia Arena, he appeared intensely focused as fans cheered and yelled his name.
Earlier, Ronaldo’s mother, Maria Dolores Aveiro, sent her son a message on Instagram: “Good luck son and for your team because together we are stronger.”
Ronaldo missed Tuesday’s Champions League match against Young Boys because he was suspended after receiving a red card in an earlier match. However, he did play in the Italian league last weekend shortly after news broke about the allegation against him.
On Thursday, Juventus sent a statement of support and called him a “great champion.” But sponsors Nike and video game maker EA Sports have expressed concern about the allegation.
Since the allegation surfaced, Juventus’ share price has fallen by nearly 20 per cent.
Besides the game against Young Boys, Ronaldo has played every minute of Juventus’ other eight matches this season.