European football stands united against COVID-19 crisis: Portugal

  • National players share experiences of life in isolation to help raise funds for hospital equipment
  • Footballers as frontline health workers

Cristiano Ronaldo announced a €1m project that will fund three intensive care units to treat COVID-19 patients at two hospitals
Cristiano Ronaldo announced a €1m project that will fund three intensive care units to treat COVID-19 patients at two hospitals ©FPF

The Portuguese Football Federation has launched a joint fundraising campaign with a leading broadcaster to help pay for equipment for the country’s hospitals and charitable institutions. By 15 April, the initiative had raised almost €600,000, thanks in part to national team players sharing their experiences of living in isolation. Watch this clip of Bruno Fernandes explaining how he helps his young daughter to fall asleep.

Among numerous club and player initiatives:

Cristiano Ronaldo has announced a €1 million project that will fund three intensive care units to treat COVID-19 patients at Lisbon's Santa Maria Hospital and Porto's Santo António Hospital. Ronaldo has also helped provide five ventilators to hospitals in his native Madeira.

SC Braga has purchased 10 ventilators, 15,500 masks and 500 protective suits, worth approximately €270,000, for Braga Hospital, while SL Benfica has given €1 million to the national health service to help procure urgently needed medical equipment. FC Porto offered its pavilion, Dragão Arena, for use as either a field hospital or a rest area for hospital staff.

Sporting CP is delivering 120,000 surgical masks and 80,000 pairs of gloves to institutions helping people with disabilities and mental health disorders. As a qualified doctor, the club’s president, Frederico Varandas, has also announced that he is returning to his former profession to help reinforce Portugal’s health service.

A futsal player from the national league is working in the emergency room of the Portimão Hospital, while a goalkeeper playing for a Portuguese women’s league club is working as a nurse in a mobile tracking unit helping to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

Atlético de Madrid and Portugal forward João Félix has donated clothing and personal protective equipment to the hospital in his hometown of Viseu.