Argentine international Lionel Messi has donated £2.37million to help fund a major new childhood cancer center in Barcelona.
The 31-year-old old released the staggering amount to help complete a £26.4million appeal raising funds to help combat the illness in Spain.
The Barcelona main man gave the funds through his Leo Messi Foundation to aid the building of the SJD Pediatric Cancer Center.
The five-time Ballon D’Or winner was present when the laying of the first stone of the project of the proposed hospital was laid.
The fundraising of the pediatric center started last year to reel in the biggest total public funding in Spain’s history for the building.
And with Messi’s £2.37million donation, the £26.4million target has been met making way for the construction of the project to begin.
And an estimated 400 children will be treated every year once it is completed and a major increase on the current numbers able to access the facility.
Messi said: “With this initiative, we continue to fight against the cruel disease that is cancer.
“Collaborating makes this easier. I am very happy to be able to make this dream come true.”
Manuel del Castillo, the manager of Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, added: “It has been a very emotional event, but this finale, with the announcement of the donation, was a great moment.
“We were happy to have reached £24m, but the final £2.3m donation has been amazing.
“We are very grateful for the contribution made by the Barça Foundation and the Leo Messi Foundation, as well as those of the other donors, but above all we are grateful for the visibility that they have given us.”
Meanwhile, We had earlier reported that Argentina legend Diego Maradona has urged Lionel Messi to stay away from international football.
The Barcelona superstar wasn’t able to help his country avoid crashing out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia at the second round stage after losing to eventual winners France.
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