Football stars from around the world continue to unite in the fight against the coronavirus, with Portugal’s national team the latest to give up a portion of its earnings.
The players have given up half of their bonuses for qualifying for Euro 2020 and will reportedly put the money towards helping non-professional teams across the country avoid going bust during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Speaking to B/R Football on Instagram live, midfielder Bernardo Silva revealed that it was Cristiano Ronaldo who urged the rest of the squad via the team WhatsApp group to make the donation.
“He was the one two or three days ago that gave us the idea to donate our bonus,” Silva told B/R Football.
“We qualified to the 2020 Euros, which now is in 2021, and he gave us the idea: ‘Guys, let’s donate part of our bonus,’ so our national team players donated 50% of our qualifying bonus.”
Ronaldo has reportedly already given €1 million ($1.1 million) to help fight coronavirus in his home country, dividing the money between two hospitals in Lisbon and Porto.
The money will fund two intensive care units for Lisbon’s Hospital de Santa Maria, which can cater for up to 20 patients at one time and will be named after Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes.
In Porto, the Santo Antonio hospital will have one ward with 15 intensive care beds, fully equipped with fans, monitors and other equipment.
Portugal has more than 17,400 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and has recorded 567 deaths.
Ronaldo and his Juventus teammates, along with first team coach Maurizio Sarri, agreed last month to give up four months’ wages to help the club manage the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Juventus said the agreement — equal to the monthly payments for March, April, May and June — will save the club a total of €90 million ($100.5 million).