Cristiano Ronaldo has urged fans to ‘respect but not fear’ coronavirus in his first comments since testing positive on Tuesday.
The 35-year-old also extolled the virtues of sunbathing as he hit back at claims he had breached protocol by flying to Italy on Wednesday to insist he had done everything by the book.
He said during an Instagram Live, in comments carried by Portuguese media as he addressed the importance of developing a strong immune system: ‘The sun helps a lot.
‘People don’t have that perception, but it does a lot of good.
‘When I get the chance, I do some sunbathing. In Turin it is more difficult, but I always try to get 20 or 30 minutes of sunshine.
‘I love being on my terrace soaking up the sun, it’s very important.
‘Having high vitamin C and D, with high levels, Selenium, Omega 3 … eating well and properly, doing sport.
‘A lot of people don’t like it but just walking is important . And sleeping well, having a good night’s sleep is the best medicine.
‘With everything off, no lights on. Thank God I sleep well every night, always eight or 9 hours a day.
‘Invest in it, it is essential.
‘Eat well, lots of vegetables, lots of greens and don’t abuse sweets to have a strong immune system.
He added: ‘In my next Instagram Live I will give my opinion and my point of view on what I have been studying in the last years.
‘I wish you all health and urge you not to be afraid of the virus and face the reality, but respect it’
He also hit back at Italian sports minister Vincenzo Spadaforo who had claimed earlier in the week he believed Ronaldo may have broken coronavirus protocol by jetting to Italy from Portugal in an air ambulance 24 hours after he tested positive.
The former Man U star said: ‘I did not break any protocol.
‘They’re saying that I broke Italian laws but it’s all a lie.
‘I spoke with my team and we have the responsibility to do things right.
‘Everything was done with authorisation. Principally for the Italian man whose name I’m not going to say, it’s a lie, I abided by all the protocols.’
Earlier in the day Cristiano’s mum Dolores Aveiro had revealed the Juventus striker was ‘doing well.’
Speaking before Cristiano showed off his ripped body by his pool in a social media photo, she told Portuguese daily Correio da Manha: ‘He’s doing well, thanks God.
‘Unfortunately I can’t be with him but I’m supporting him from a distance.’
Revealing he was making sure he kept to a different part of his mansion in Turin, said to be formed by two adjoining villas with separate entrances boasting at least six bedrooms and as many bathrooms, she added: ‘He’s in the same house with Georgina and the kids, but in separate spaces and taking great care.
‘Georgina and the children were tested recently and they showed they didn’t have coronavirus but they’re going to test again.’
Dolores, who is back to full health after suffering a life-threatening stroke in March, also shared a screen grab of a video call between her and her daughter Katia and Cristiano.
The message she wrote alongside the screen grab said: ‘Family..my life’ alongside a heart emoticon and added: ‘Far from my eyes but near to my heart.’
Katia, who is on a brief visit to Portugal from Brazil where she now lives, had made headlines on Wednesday after appearing to rubbish Cristiano’s coronavirus positive in a bizarre rant shared by Dolores.
She vented her rage after it emerged the 35-year-old Juventus forward had asked another lab to test him for Covid after two positives at the laboratory the Portuguese FA use.
Another non-lab test after his first positive is said to have come back inconclusive.
She struck a calmer note today as he insisted on social media she respected coronavirus but insisted there were other illnesses and health problems that should be respected in the same way.
She said: ‘I really respect this virus and I would never say the opposite.
‘But I don’t agree with bringing the world to a halt.
‘There are people who have stopped working, there are people with psychological problems, and people who are feeling suicidal.
‘This also has to be respected. I want everything to return to normal and God to protect us from human evil.’