Neymar has donated $1 million to fight the effect of the new coronavirus in his native Brazil, according to television network SBT.
The Paris Saint-Germain superstar, the world’s third-highest-paid footballer, donated part of the cash to the united Nations children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the rest to a charitable fund launched by his friend Luciano Huck, a Brazilian television presenter, the report said.
The striker’s press office declined to comment, saying: “We never talk about donations or amounts.”
Neymar, 28, followed the example of PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe, who last month made what was defined as the main donation — amount undisclosed — to a French charity helping fight the impact of COVID-19.
Huck, who has been touted as a possible candidate in Brazil’s 2022 presidential election, released his fund to help poor Rio de Janeiro neighborhoods especially vulnerable to coronavirus.
The donations come as high-paid footballers face pressure to forego some of their salaries amid the crisis, which has ground the sporting world to a halt and left a few clubs suffering to pay their staff.
Neymar is riding out the pandemic at his luxury villa in Mangaratiba, a hotel town outside Rio.
He faced criticism last week after he was photographed relaxing with a group of buddies on a beach volleyball court, even as half the world’s population — together with most of Brazil — is in confinement to slow the virus’ spread.
His press group said he was receiving no visitors and was in quarantine at a “completely isolated” house with people who made the journey from France with him.