Lionel Messi Gives €1M to Barcelona Hospital to Aid COVID-19 Pandemic Relief

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2020

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 07: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on during the Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad at Camp Nou on March 07, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona star Lionel Messi donated €1 million to the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona to help with the coronavirus pandemic including treatment and research, according to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo (via Goal's Sam France).  

The hospital thanked Messi on Twitter:

Messi's donation comes after his former manager, Pep Guardiola, made an equal pledge to the Medical College of Barcelona and the Angel Soler Daniel Foundation. Along with managing Barcelona and playing for the club, Guardiola is a native of Santpedor, Spain in Catalonia.

While not a native of Spain, Messi has spent his formative years in the country after joining Barcelona when he was 13.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner announced March 14 he planned to remain at home and self-quarantine during the pandemic.

According to CNN, doctors have confirmed at least 35,000 cases of COVID-19 in Spain, the fourth-most of any country.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Sunday he wants to extend the 15-day state of emergency in order to limit the spread of the disease.

Fernando Simon, director of the Spanish Coordinating Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies, thinks the situation may improve in the coming days but said it was important not to respond too hastily.

"We are approaching the period in which perhaps, if we are lucky, we will turn the curve, stabilize and it'll start to go down," Simon said, per CNN. "The models indicate that we are not very far away, but relaxing the measures prematurely would mean starting again and we have to be very careful." 

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