'We are not going to be a hospital': Cristiano Ronaldo's Lisbon hotel denies reports it will become temporary coronavirus ward
A report in Spanish newspaper MARCA stated that the Juventus star would use his CR7-branded hotels in Lisbon and Madeira to help the country with much-needed additional bed space during the crisis.
According to the report, the hotels would be adapted, with beds made available, free of charge, to people suffering from the coronavirus.
However, that story has since been refuted by Ronaldo's Lisbon hotel, with a spokesperson for the establishment telling Dutch outlet RTL Nieuws, "We are a hotel. We are not going to be a hospital. It is a day like everyone else, we are and will remain a hotel. We are being phoned by the press. I wish you a nice day."
Ronaldo is currently in quarantine in Madeira after his Juventus teammate Daniele Rugani tested positive for the virus earlier this week.
The virus has killed almost 1,500 people in Italy, which has become one of the hardest-hit nations in Europe by the illness. Ronaldo is in Portugal to be close to his mother, who is currently recovering from a stroke.
Travel restrictions mean Ronaldo currently cannot return to Italy, but he remains in contact with the club, which has all of its players and staff in isolation.
In an Instagram post, he said: "The world is going through a difficult time which demands the utmost care and attention from all of us.
"I speak to you today not as a football player, but as a son, father, a human being concerned with the latest developments that is affecting the whole world.
"It is important that we follow the advice of the WHO (World Health Organization) and the governing bodies on how we handle this current situation.
"Protecting human lives must come above any other interests. I would like to send my thoughts to everyone who has lost someone close to them, my solidarity to those who are fighting the virus, like my teammate Daniele Rugani, and my continued support to the amazing health professionals putting their own lives at risk to help save others."
Portugal has 169 confirmed cases of COVID-19, but as of Saturday no deaths have been reported. The government has also imposed a two-week quarantine on all visitors to the islands of Madeira and the Azores.
Meanwhile, all professional football in Portugal and Italy remains postponed as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Headline and story amended after the initial reports were refuted by the hotel in question.