Cristiano Ronaldo will not be part of Manchester United’s squad for tonight’s match against Liverpool, the club has confirmed.
The star striker made a tragic announcement on Monday evening that his newborn son with long-term girlfriend Georgina Rodríguez had died.
The pair had announced they were expecting twins last October. Their baby girl has arrived safely.
Man Utd has said that Ronaldo is ‘supporting his loved ones at this immensely difficult time’ and won’t be playing in the Premier League fixture this evening.
A statement from the club said: “Everybody at Manchester United and indeed the football world is sending love to Cristiano Ronaldo and his family, after the club legend made a heart-breaking announcement on Monday evening.
“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.”
A touching tribute to the baby and to Ronaldo is being discussed in some supporters’ pages ahead of tonight’s clash.
The paper said that fans have written: “If you are lucky enough to be attending the game tomorrow evening, then please show a mark of respect to Cristiano Ronaldo and his family by taking part in the round of applause which will be held on the seventh minute.”
Kevin Sinfield is the ex-rugby player turned coach, ultra-marathon-runner and mega-fundraiser from our very own Oldham who did something truly amazing earlier this month.
The 42-year-old former loose forward, who currently serves as a defensive coach for the Leicester Tigers in the rugby union, has gone from a Manc-born sporting role model to a national hero thanks to his extremely admirable charity work over the past couple of years.
This bloke is a machine.
Seven ultra-marathons in seven days
For anyone unaware of Sinfield’s latest exploits, the former Leeds Rhinos player and director undertook the immense ‘Ultra 7 in 7‘ challenge earlier this month, tasking himself with the ridiculous feat of running seven ultra-marathons in seven days.
To put that into context, a standard marathon measures just over 26 miles or 42 kilometres; ultra marathons regularly clock in at 50km or more. Sinfield is said to have covered more than 256 miles (approx. 417km), averaging more than 60km a day. Insane.
Finishing the series of ultra-marathons alongside his dedicated team of runners on November 19 at Old Trafford, just in time for the 2022 Rugby League World Cup final, he was met with rapturous applause from the crowd — and rightly so.
The ex-Rhinos and England international set himself the target of raising £777,777 for Motor Neuron Disease in honour of his former teammate and equally inspiring close friend, Rob Burrows. He went on to absolutely smash that goal, amassing an incredible £1.4 million in donations in just a week.
Moreover, just last year he put himself through similarly unimaginable levels of strain by running a 24-hour marathon for the first time, raising over £1m for MND in November 2021 alone.
Again, this man is utterly remarkable.
Covering more than double the distance he managed the last time around, raising a total of over £2.3m across his two 7 in 7 ultra runs, it cannot be understated how much he has done for more than five different motor neuron disease charities in just a few short years.
Even before his latest heroics, Sinfield’s contributions to motor neuron awareness and fundraising were recognised by the local ouncil alongside record-breaking rower and Oldham native, Frank Rothwell, who were both bestowed with the little-known ‘Freedom of the Borough’ award back in March.
As for this year’s ultra-marathon challenge, his route saw him trek all the way from Edinburgh, through various parts of Yorkshire and, finally, back down to his home county of Greater Manchester. Not even bathroom breaks could stop him.
Compelled to run and raise as much as possible to support the MND community and honour Burrows, who was diagnosed with the disease back in 2019, Sinfield has made it his mission to help raise awareness and fund research into the rare condition which affects the brain and nervous system.
Joined by peers like footballer Stephen Darby as well as late rugby union colleague and fellow MND suffer Doddie Weir, who sadly passed away just last week, these and many more who supported Sinfield’s campaign have done untold levels of good when it comes to highlighting the disease.
Since beginning his fundraising journey in 2019, Kevin Sinfield has now raised over £7 million for the Motor Neuron Disease Association (MNDA) and related charities through his ultra-marathons and other charitable efforts, a miraculous and potentially fortune-changing amount that could save countless lives.
This absolute hero has already helped raise in excess of £2.6m all told with this year’s Ultra 7 in 7 alone, but if you want to join the millions of people still donating then you can do so HERE.
Featured Image — Wikimedia Commons/Hull FC/Leicester Tigers
Rashford explains heartbreaking reason behind his celebration after wonder free-kick against Wales
On Tuesday night, Marcus Rashford lit up what had previously been an underwhelming final group game against Wales with what we can only describe as an absolute stunner of a free-kick.
Swapping out his usual knuckleball technique for a whipped but equally fast-paced finish into the top right corner, the 25-year-old wheeled away to celebrate with the travelling fans but not long after, he dropped to his news and pointed to the sky.
While not an entirely uncommon celebration in the world of football, it did seem like a somewhat muted reaction from the Man United forward, especially after such an incredible opening goal.
Speaking to media after the game, it turns out Rashford‘s celebration was dedicated to a close friend who passed away a couple of days prior.
As the Wythenshawe-born star went on to explain, choosing to point to the sky for the celebration was his way of paying tribute to a friend who sadly died following a long battle with cancer.
The joint-leading goalscorer this World Cup went on to say, “I’m pleased I managed to score for him, he’s always been a big supporter of mine. He’s just a great person to have come into my life”. Heartbreaking.
As confirmed by several outlets after the press conference, Rashford’s late friend was Garfield Hayward, a 35-year-old also from Manchester, who is said to have passed away last week.
Nicknamed ‘Garf’, his nephew wrote on social media: “My heart is hurting so much knowing I won’t see you again in this life… it won’t be the same without you being here… You didn’t have a bad bone in your body you would give anything and everything you could with even a single bit of hesitation.” So touching.
It was no wonder Rashford himself was so quick to go and celebrate with his loved ones after the fact.
Rashford made it three goals in as many games at Qatar 2022 following his wonderful free-kick and equally well-worked second goal, with fellow Manc Phil Foden scoring the second goal only seconds after the opener.
England now face Senegal in the Round of 16 and the way these two lads looked on the night, we expect Manchester to be putting on a show come the weekend.