Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola have each donated one million euros to help kick coronavirus into touch.
Argentina international Messi’s donation will be split between Hospital Clinic in Barcelona and another medical centre in his home country, according to a report in Marca.
“Leo Messi made a donation to the clinic to fight the coronavirus,” Hospital Clinic wrote on Twitter. “Thank you very much, Leo, for your commitment and your support.”
Former Barcelona player and manager Guardiola made his contribution to a campaign launched by the Angel Soler Daniel Foundation and Medical College of Barcelona.
“Pep Guardiola has made a donation of one million euros to the Angel Soler Daniel Foundation for the acquisition and supply of health equipment to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said a statement from the College.
“The donation campaign promoted by the Medical College of Barcelona and managed through the Angel Soler Daniel Foundation aims to collect medical materials and financial contributions from collegiate doctors and the general population, for the purchase of medical equipment and equipment that is currently lacking in health centres in Catalonia.
“It will also help finance the alternative production, through 3D printing and other methods, of respirators and personal protection equipment for healthcare staff.”
Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes are meanwhile funding three intensive care units for coronavirus patients at hospitals in Portugal.
A hospital in Porto said the contribution from the Juventus forward and his agent will pay for 15 intensive care beds fully equipped with ventilators and other necessary equipment. Another two units with 10 beds each will be set up in Lisbon.
Media reports said Ronaldo and Mendes are contributing more than 1 million euros for the three units.
Before Guardiola made his contribution, the campaign in Catalonia – one of the worst-affected parts of the country – had raised 33,000 euros in three days.
The donations come as sporting figures step up their efforts to combat the virus.
The World Health Organization teamed with FIFA to produce a video featuring Messi, Jose Mourinho, Carli Lloyd, Alisson, Xavi and other stars of the world game with tips on what can be done to tackle #COVIDー19.
This video collaboration between @FIFA and the @WHO featuring the likes of Lionel Messi, Mourinho, Carli Lloyd, Alisson, Xavi and a host of other names from the game with tips on what every individual can do to tackle #COVIDー19
Please watch & sharepic.twitter.com/3036wY0JZg
— AS English (@English_AS) March 23, 2020
Spain is the country worst affected by the disease in Europe outside of Italy, with 2,696 deaths and almost 40,000 positive cases.
In France, Ligue 1 champions Paris St Germain made an initial donation of 100,000 euros to French charity Secours Populaire.
In England, Everton captain Seamus Coleman sent a video message to the people of Ireland after donating 20,000 euros to the Feed The Heroes campaign for health workers in his home country.