Lionel Messi has made a reported donation of €1 million (£920,000/$1.08 million) to Hospital Clinic, a public hospital in Barcelona, to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.
The hospital confirmed Messi had made a donation on their official Twitter page, with Mundo Deportivo reporting the €1m figure.
Such a donation would match that of Messi’s former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, who has given €1m towards the purchase and production of medical supplies and equipment with another Barcelona-based campaign.
Cristiano Ronaldo and agent Jorge Mendes have also donated €1m to fund intensive care units in hospitals in Lisbon and Porto.
A general statement from Hospital Clinic reads: “The Covid-19 pandemic is a health challenge that is being worked on with maximum coordination and effective healthcare, but it is also necessary to face the disease from the scientific perspective.
“The Clinic teams are committed to this fight and we appreciate all the donations that come our way.
“We will dedicate it to the multidisciplinary approach to infection with the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, both in terms of research, and in the care of patients and their families.
“The exceptional nature of the situation means that the institution will allocate the funds received to meet the identified needs and priorities.
“As always, in order to be transparent, the clinic will communicate to its donors in due course specifically where their donations have been allocated, how they have been used, and what the results have been.
“Each and every one of the contributions are important and add up.
“On behalf of all the Clinic workers, thank you!”
Spain has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, with Barcelona no exception.
Messi’s team-mate Ivan Rakitic has said he knew the situation was going to get worse after Barca travelled to Italy to face Napoli in the Champions League.
“It hasn’t been a surprise,” he told Barca TV.
“We went to Naples. People were talking about it a lot in Italy and I said to Xavi (the team doctor) that this would get worse.
“Now it’s the best thing we can do [to stay at home].
“I would like to go out on the street and walk about, but it’s not necessary. We have to be indoors. I don’t like it, but it’s necessary and important