<
>

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale donating €1m to hospitals in Wales and Spain

play
Are Real Madrid and Barcelona on the brink of downfalls? (1:26)

Julien Laurens ponders whether Real Madrid and Barcelona are close to going the way of Man United and Milan. (1:26)

Gareth Bale is donating over €1 million to hospitals in Wales and Spain to help fight COVID-19.

The Real Madrid forward has given £500,000 to a charity connected to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, where he was born, to help patients and staff.

- Stream new episodes of ESPN FC Monday-Friday on ESPN+
- Stream every episode of 30 for 30: Soccer Stories on ESPN+

The 30-year-old will be gifting a similar amount to healthcare services in Madrid, sources close to the player have confirmed to ESPN, which will be announced when details are finalised.

Madrid has been one of the hardest-hit European cities by the coronavirus pandemic, with almost 60,000 confirmed cases and over 7,000 deaths.

Bale's total donation of over €1m is a similar figure to those gifted by Lionel Messi -- who contributed to hospitals in Barcelona and Argentina -- Cristiano Ronaldo and Pep Guardiola in recent weeks.

"The University Hospital of Wales holds a special place in my heart," Bale said in a video published on social media. "It's where I was born and it has provided great support to my friends, my family and the wider community, so me and my family would like to show our support. Keep up the good work, you're doing an amazing job."

The donation is via the Cardiff & Vale Health Charity, which helps provide staff and patients with additional support not covered by National Health Service funding.

"I'd like to say a big thank you to Gareth, Emma and their family for this fantastic donation," Len Richards, chief executive at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said. "It's so heartening to hear they have chosen to give something back to their local hospital to say thank you for the services both them, their family and friends have received and to recognise all the hard work the staff and all at our hospitals are doing at this very difficult time."

Earlier on Wednesday, Bale had stressed the need to be cautious in a return to football when the COVID-19 pandemic allows.

"I think the most important thing is that everybody does keep safe and we don't come back too early," he told BT Sport. "We need to make sure everything is done correctly and safely, so we can avoid a second wave of this virus."