According to the Sun via the Associated Press, Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is the driving force behind an initiative that will donate money to struggling lower league players in his native Portugal.
As per the Associated Press, Inter Milan star Joao Mario has admitted that Ronaldo is behind the plans for Portugal stars to hand over part of their Euro 2020 qualification bonus to players in need.
This means that footballers in Portugal who are struggling as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, as they aren’t being paid because they don’t have professional contracts, will now be provided with financial aid.
The associated press that funds are also being donated to healthcare workers.
Here’s what Mario, on loan at Lokomotiv Moscow, had to say on the charitable gesture:
“It’s a bad situation for everyone, but in these kinds of situations, it’s worse. They really need our help so I’m trying to give them my support.”
“Cristiano presented us an initiative for us all to help especially those players that are struggling, that do not have professional contracts.”
“He is always trying to give the example, not just with us, but also by himself.”
“We can see how much he is doing now with this situation for Portugal. So, for us as teammates, it is great to see what he is trying to do.”
Here’s the Portugal FA’s statement on the plans, as per the Sun:
“In the spirit of the camaraderie between professional and non-professional football, we have decided, as a team, to give up part of our Euro 2020 qualification prize money.”
“We have also decided, because we have not forgotten about our own paths and all those who have generously helped us to make progress in our careers, that these amounts will be added to the support fund already created by the FPF aimed mainly at players from non-professional competition clubs.”
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo has shown his class with this wonderful gesture, it’s clear that the ace – who is one of the biggest sports stars in the world, never forgets where he came from.
Hopefully Ronaldo’s and the Portugal squad’s decision will convince some of the world’s other top national teams to make similar gestures.