TURIN: Cristiano Ronaldo shrugged off rape allegations to score for Juventus as the Serie A champions beat Udinese 2-0 under the rain in northeastern Italy on Saturday to stretch their lead at the top of Serie A.
The Portuguese striker lashed in the second goal after 37 minutes from the left following a cross from Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic, four minutes after Rodrigo Bentancur’s opener.
It was Ronaldo’s fourth goal this season for Juventus, with the 33-year-old celebrating wildly with his teammates, as the Italian champions claimed their tenth consecutive win in all competitions.
Ronaldo remained tight-lipped after the game, giving a thumbs up as he left the dressing room where he was greeted by fans shouting “Cristiano! Cristiano!”
The alleged rapist showed no sign of the pressure he is under amid damaging accusations which might dent his multi-million-euro sporting empire.
US police on Monday re-opened an investigation into claims by former American model Kathryn Mayorga that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner raped her in a Las Vegas hotel in June 2009.
“I don’t know how things are for him at home, I don’t live with him,” said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.
Juventus — with a maximum 24 points from eight Serie A games — open up a nine-point lead on second-placed Napoli who host Sassuolo on Sunday.
Ronaldo has hired David Chesnoff, known as the lawyer of the stars, to defend him.
The Las Vegas-based criminal lawyer has already worked with well-known athletes like Shaquille O’Neal, Mike Tyson and Andre Agassi which makes his fans hopeful of him coming clear out of the controversy.