Chievo Verona's Stefano Sorrentino leaves the pitch on a stretcher after sustaining a head injury. Photo: Alberto Lingria/Reuters

MILAN – Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino called Cristiano Ronaldo a “legend” and thanked the Juventus star for wishing him a speedy recovery after being knocked out by the Portuguese player in the season opener between the two teams at the weekend.

Sorrentino, 39, suffered a broken nose, whiplash and a shoulder injury following a tackle with the five-time Ballon d'Or winner who was making his Italian league debut in the champions' 3-2 win in Verona.

“I received a message of solidarity and speedy recovery from Cristiano Ronaldo. Thank you legend!” Sorrentino wrote on Twitter. 

Sorrentino's head collided with Ronaldo's thigh and he collapsed motionless on the pitch at the Bentegodi Stadium before being stretchered off and taken to hospital.

The former Torino and Palermo player later posted a photo of himself on Twitter wearing a neck brace with his nose heavily bandaged.

Agence France-Presse (AFP)