Cristiano Ronaldo was a notable absentee on Tuesday evening following the heartbreaking news of his newborn baby son’s death – with Liverpool and Manchester United fans uniting for an emotional seventh-minute tribute.
The Portuguese superstar announced the tragic news in a joint statement with his partner Georgina Rodriguez on Monday evening. The devastating news has provoked an avalanche of supportive messages from across the globe.
As such, it was no surprise to see Ronaldo playing no part in Tuesday’s huge Premier League tussle with Liverpool at Anfield.
Confirming Ronaldo’s absence, a statement on the club’s website read: “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.”
And, in the seventh-minute of the game at Anfield, both sets of supporters joined in with a minute’s applause in support of Ronaldo.
It was a real moment of unity and showed once again the power of football.
Ronaldo announced last October that he and Rodriguez were expecting twins. Their newborn daughter, as yet unnamed, survived.
The couple said on Monday: “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.
“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.”
Support floods in over tragic Ronaldo baby news
A message on United’s Twitter account on Monday evening read: “Your pain is our pain, Cristiano. Sending love and strength to you and the family at this time.”
Manchester United teammate Marcus Rashford tweeted: “Thoughts are with you and Georgina brother. I’m so sorry.”
Ronaldo’s former club Real Madrid said in a statement: “Real Madrid, its president and board of directors are deeply saddened by the passing of one of the children that our dear Cristiano Ronaldo and his partner, Georgina Rodriguez, were expecting.
“Real Madrid shares in the family’s pain and wishes to send them all of our warmth.”
Manchester City, Liverpool, Leeds and the Premier League were among many others sending the couple messages of condolence on Twitter.
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