Zlatan Ibrahimovic has set up an online fundraiser targeting €1million to support hospitals at the heart of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy.
The 38-year-old is currently based in the country, playing in Serie A with AC Milan having previously spent time at both Juventus and Inter Milan.
Italy has been the worst affected European country since the global pandemic began, with over 2,500 deaths reported so far.
Ibrahimovic has himself donated €100,000 to kick-start the fundraising effort, vowing in typically brash fashion that: “If the virus don’t go to Zlatan, Zlatan goes to the virus”.
In a video launching the campaign Ibrahimovic said: “Italy has always given me so much and, in this dramatic moment, I want to give back even more to this country that I love.”
The former Sweden international added that he was counting “on the generosity of my colleagues, of all professional athletes and of those who want to make a small or large donation according to their possibilities, to kick this virus away.”
The site states that all the money raised will be “directly donated to Humanitas to help strengthen the intensive care and emergency units of Milano, Bergamo, Castellanza and Torino’s hospitals.”
© Evening Standard