Leo Messi donates to coronavirus relief
Leo Messi is one of many sport legends to donate towards coronavirus relief. Alejandro García/Shutterstock.

Barcelona phenomenon Lionel Messi and his former boss, Pep Guardiola, have each donated €1 million ($1.1 million) to the fight against the coronavirus, while Conor McGregor is also pledging personal funds to tackle the illness.

Health systems all over the world have been affected by the influx of new patients responding to an unfamiliar disease, encouraging professional athletes to do their part to help ease the burden.

ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens reported Messi paid a total of €1 million between the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona and another centre in his hometown of Rosario in Argentina. Guardiola donated a similar amount towards Barcelona Medical College and the Angel Soler Daniel foundation.

Spain recently overtook China in deaths related to COVID-19 to become the second-worst affected nation. There have been more than 3,400 deaths from around 47,000 confirmed cases in the country, per the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

UFC superstar McGregor issued a call to arms urging his followers to respect lockdown laws in their respective countries, telling Irish authorities to follow suit in the process:

The time is now 🇮🇪🙏🌍 Closing of Airports as well as all non essential business, along with stricter adherence to social distancing, must be put in place now! God speed! We can do this ❤️

Geplaatst door Conor McGregor op Dinsdag 24 maart 2020

The lightweight combatant then told Ireland’s Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, he was to purchase €1 million in personal protective equipment to help medical staff fight the coronavirus in his province of Leinster:

They are the latest athletes to donate substantial funds towards the cause. Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski recently put up his own €1 million donation, while team-mates Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka contributed the same amount to a fund that’s since risen to more than €2.5 million.