By Mutlu Demirtastan
A heart-warming message from a world-famous footballer to devastated children in war-torn Syria went viral through social media.
Real Madrid Portuguese star striker Cristiano Ronaldo on Friday shared a video statement expressing his support for the Syrian children affected by the six-year civil war.
His message “You are the true heroes” has attracted millions of social media users around the world and gotten huge positive reactions.
In less than three days, around 15 million people have watched the video and more than 2 million “liked” it.
The message of hope for Syrian children was viewed 10.5 million times through Facebook alone. It grabbed 750,000 “likes,” while 150,000 users shared the video on their walls. Some 30,000 users of the popular social media network also commented on the positive message.
In Ronaldo’s official account on Instagram, another popular social media network, the message was watched by 4.1 million users. Around 1.4 million people liked the video, and 50,000 expressed their views on it.
Ronaldo, a Global Artist Ambassador for Save the Children NGO, also shared the video via his Twitter account, where 60,000 users liked it and 50,000 retweeted it.
In the video, the Real Madrid superstar says, “This is for the children of Syria. We know that you have been suffering a lot. I am a very famous player, but you are the true heroes.”
He added, “Don't lose your hope. The world is with you. We care about you. I am with you.”
Ronaldo also announced that he will donate food, clothes, and medical supplies to Syrian families.
Nick Finney, director of the global children's charity, said Ronaldo's help would be "life-changing" for Syrian civilians.
Since 2011, more than a quarter of a million people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced across the war-battered country, according to the UN.
However, the Syrian Center for Policy Research, a Beirut-based nongovernmental organization, has put the total death toll from the five-year conflict at more than 470,000.