Coronavirus pandemic

Both Messi, Pep chip in $1.6m for virus battle

MADRID • Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola have each donated €1 million (S$1.57 million) towards the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

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 Spanish daily 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 €1 million 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 healthcare 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."

Before Guardiola made his donation, the campaign had raised €33,000 in three days.

Spain is the country worst affected by the disease in Europe after Italy, with nearly 3,000 deaths and more than 42,000 cases.

The region of Catalonia, where Guardiola is from and where Messi has lived since joining Barca aged 13, is one of the worst-affected parts of the country.

Messi's long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus, will together with his agent Jorge Mendes, donate three intensive care units with a "capacity of 10 beds each" to Portuguese hospitals to help them cope with the pandemic, local health officials said on Tuesday.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 26, 2020, with the headline 'Both Messi, Pep chip in $1.6m for virus battle'. Subscribe