LISBON (REUTERS, AFP) - Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo will not play against Liverpool in the English Premier League later on Tuesday (April 19) following the death of his newborn son a day earlier, the club said.
Ronaldo and his partner Georgina Rodriguez, who announced in October last year they were expecting twins, said on Monday that one of the two babies had died.
“Family is more important than everything and Ronaldo is supporting his loved ones at this immensely difficult time,” United said in a statement on the club website.
“As such, we can confirm that he will not feature in the match against Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday evening and we underline the family’s request for privacy.”
Earlier, the couple released a joint statement on social media which said: "It is with deep sadness we have to announce that our baby boy passed away. It is the greatest pain that any parent can feel.
"Only the birth of our baby girl gives us the strength to live this moment with some hope and happiness."
Asking for privacy during this difficult time, the couple thanked the doctors and nurses for their expert care and support.
The 37-year old Ronaldo, five-time world Player of the Year, rejoined Manchester United last year after winning multiple trophies with Real Madrid and Juventus.
The couple, who met during Ronaldo’s time at Real Madrid, have a four-year old daughter together, while Ronaldo has three other children.
“Your pain is our pain, Cristiano,” United tweeted.
“Sending love and strength to you and the family at this time.”
Real Madrid also responded saying on their web page that the club, “its President and its Board of Directors deeply regret the death of one of the children that our beloved Cristiano Ronaldo and his partner, Georgina Rodriguez, were expecting. Real Madrid joins the grief of the whole family and wants to show them all our love and affection.”