Cristiano Ronaldo donates to Afghanistan ahead of showdown with Manchester United

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AHEAD of tonight’s mouth-watering clash between the two giants of world football – Manchester United and Real Madrid – in the Champions League last 16 tie, Portuguese star, Cristiano Ronaldo is making a donation to war-torn Afghanistan.

The Real Madrid star forward Cristiano Ronaldo is donating 100,000 euros to the physical rehabilitation programme of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Afghanistan.
Ronaldo was recently awarded the sum from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) for having featured seven times – more than any other player – on the uefa.com user’s Team of the Year.

“The ICRC is delighted to receive, for the fifth consecutive year, this support for its physical rehabilitation activities in Afghanistan,” said Caroline Welch-Ballentine, the ICRC’s director of human resources, who will be accepting the donation on behalf of the humanitarian organization.

“That these activities – and more importantly, the need to help people who have lost their limbs – are viewed as a priority by UEFA and stars like Ronaldo continue to be greatly appreciated.”

In recognition of the fact that no player has been voted onto more UEFA.com users’ Teams of the Year than he has – seven in total – this year’s cheque will be presented by Real Madrid CF forward Cristiano Ronaldo before the start of tonight’s UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg against Manchester United FC at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu.
“The people who go to the stadium, they really love football and therefore it’s with great pride and with a lot of joy that we receive that prize, with it having been voted on by the fans,” said Portuguese international Ronaldo. ”

For me, it’s an honour to participate in social acts to help those who need it the most. To be able to help others makes me extremely happy.”

Ronaldo in 2008

Ronaldo in 2008

UEFA’s partnership with the ICRC dates back to 1997, when European football’s governing body pledged its support for the ICRC’s anti-landmine campaign.

This will be the fifth time that the ICRC will benefit from the cheque offered by UEFA in connection with the selection of the uefa.com users’ Team of the Year.

Over the past few years, Barcelona stars Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernández and Carles Puyol have also donated their awards to the ICRC’s physical rehabilitation programme in Afghanistan.
Since 1988, the ICRC’s limb-fitting and rehabilitation programme in the country has helped more than 90,000 mine victims and other disabled people.

Apart from supporting their physical rehabilitation, the ICRC also helps disabled people play a vital role in the community by financing education, vocational training, employment and small-business activities.

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