Rafael Nadal has urged Spain’s athletes to come together and raise €11m to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Spain is one of the worst affected countries in the world with over 56,000 confirmed cases and lockdown measures were extended until at least 12 April after the death toll surpassed 4,000 on Thursday.
Nadal revealed that after speaking to NBA star Pau Gasol about what the pair could do to support those affected by the virus, they had come up with an initiative to support the Red Cross with protective equipment and necessary infrastructure.
“I think that we’re the athletes that we are in large part because of your support and now is that time that your athletes don’t fail you,” Nadal said in a video.
“We reached the conclusion that now is the time to launch an initiative which we hope that all Spanish sports come together in a show of solidarity and a good example of unity to align ourselves with the Red Cross Responde.
“The objective is clear, it’s to raise 11 million euros to help 1.35 million people. We trust that all of Spanish sport comes on board… Pau and I have already made our donations and we trust in you to make sure that this is our best victory.”
Nadal is the latest high-profile athlete to lend his support, with Roger Federer announcing on Wednesday that he would donate one million Swiss Francs to vulnerable families in Switzerland.
Both Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola donated €1m to help support medics and clinics in Barcelona while Cristiano Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes equipped three hospital wards in Portugal.