Cristiano Ronaldo announced on Monday that his newborn son had died.
The Manchester United star and his partner, Georgina Rodriguez, issued a statement via social media to confirm the tragedy. The couple had been expecting twins.
They said: “It is with our deepest sadness we have to announce that our baby boy has passed away. It is the greatest pain that any parents can feel. Only the birth of our baby girl gives us the strength to live this moment with some hope and happiness.”
He went on to add: “We would like to thank the doctors and nurses for all their expert care and support. We are all devastated at this loss and we kindly ask for privacy at this very difficult time. Our baby boy, you are our angel. We will always love you.”
Will Ronaldo play against Liverpool?
Following the news, Manchester United confirmed Ronaldo will not feature against Liverpool in Tuesday’s match at Anfield, and went on to underline the importance of respecting the family’s privacy during a difficult time. No details have been shared on when Ronaldo might return.
The club also offered details of a supporter-led tribute to the player and his family.
United said: “Family is more important than everything and Ronaldo is supporting his loved ones at this immensely difficult time. 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.
“Cristiano, we are all thinking of you and sending strength to the family.”
Football’s messages of support for Cristiano Ronaldo
After sharing the news, Ronaldo quickly received messages of support from far and wide. Teammates Marcus Rashford and David de Gea were among the first to offer their condolences, as was United coach Mike Phelan.
Anfield to hold minute’s applause for Ronaldo
The historic animosity between Liverpool and Manchester United has been reframed in light of Ronaldo’s news.
Even though the player will not be present at the match on Tuesday, a plan quickly formed among Liverpool fans on social media to hold a minute’s applause to show support for the Portugal star and his family.
United later confirmed the applause will take place during the seventh minute of the game, matching Ronaldo’s shirt number, and Liverpool fans online have been encouraging all who are attending to take part. The players will also wear black armbands.
“While United and Liverpool share English football’s greatest rivalry, there is a deep-rooted respect held between the two clubs and that will be highlighted by the minute’s applause, which was initially suggested by fans of the Merseyside team,” United said.