There will be no Cristiano Ronaldo for Juventus in tonight’s game against the MLS All-Stars in Atlanta.
The Portuguese superstar recently returned from his post-World Cup holidays and has been training with his new team in Turin, along with the rest of club’s contingent that took part in the knockout stages of the World Cup. The late-comers to the squad did not travel to America to play in the MLS feature event of the summer.
To Major League Soccer’s discontent, LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will also be absent from the All-Star game. Shortly after he scored a hat trick in a 4-3 win against Orlando City on Sunday, it was announced that he would skip the All-Star Game for the opportunity to get some rest. Consequently, by league rule, this also means that he will have to sit out Saturday’s fixture against the Colorado Rapids.
MLS commissioner, Don Garber, stated, “I’m always disappointed when players decide not to come”. He continued by saying, “I understand the challenges on playing the game this time of year, but it is our mid-season break and it is a time when we’re able to get an international opponent. I’ve been in this business 35 years. All-Star Games have great value for fans and for leagues and for players and for partners. But there are always going to be challenges that you’ve got to work through and every league does”.
It will be interesting to see how both teams (as well as the game itself) cope without two of the biggest names in football today.
The MLS All-Stars vs Juventus will kick off tonight at 7:30PM ET and can be viewed on ESPN2.