Cristiano Ronaldo has urged fans to “respect but not fear” the Covid-19 coronavirus in his first comments since testing positive on Tuesday.
The 35-year-old hit back at claims he had breached protocol by flying to Italy the following day, and insisted he had done everything by the book.
He also made comments that extolled the virtues of sunbathing during an Instagram Live feed, picked up by Portuguese media, as he addressed the importance of developing a strong immune system.
Studies have found that an overwhelming number of people who test positive for Covid-19 do not have enough vitamin D in their bodies, and the sickest of patients are often deficient. Vitamin D levels are often lower during winter months when the sun is not strong enough to help the body make the vitamin, and those with darker skin are at even higher risk.
The footballer said: “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 levels, with Selenium, Omega 3 ... eating 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 nine hours.
“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 past 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 that he believed Ronaldo may have broken Covid-19 protocols by jetting to Italy from Portugal in an air ambulance 24 hours after he tested positive.
The former Manchester United 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.” – MailOnline