Cristiano Ronaldo has issued a message of support of English striker Danny Hodsgon, who is fighting for his life in Australia.
The 26-year-old plays for ECU Joondalup in the National Premier Leagues Western Australia.
But on September 5 he was the subject of an alleged unprovoked attack and was admitted to Royal Perth Hospital.
Hodgson underwent emergency surgery before being placed in an induced coma, and is now staying in ICU in a stable but critical condition.
He turned 26 on Sunday and to mark the special day Ronaldo sent him a video message.
“Hi Danny, I just hear about your history, I hope you get well soon,” said the five-time Ballon d’Or winner. “I invite you to come to one of [our] games in Manchester, so get well soon my friend. Take care.”
Ronaldo’s United colleague Dean Henderson played with Hodgson earlier in his career at Carlisle.
He also issued a message to his former team-mate, saying: “Stay strong, stay in there, you’ll get through this, I promise. I know how hard you are and you’ll be fine.
“I can’t wait to get you over to a [ Manchester United ] game and meet the boys. I’ve told them all about you and we’re all in your corner … we just wish you all the very best.”
Manchester City are one of several clubs to also wish the striker well.
Danny’s parents, Nicola and Peter Hodgson, are currently quarantining after flying from the UK to Australia to be with their son.
They released a joint statement on his birthday.
It read: “Today our beautiful son Danny Hodgson turns 26. While we can’t visit him in ICU for his birthday, we continue to send him unconditional love from our Pan Pacific Hotel quarantine room.
“While we are immensely proud of Danny’s many football achievements, we are even prouder of his off-the-field achievements. He is hard-working, kind-hearted, funny, and quite simply a lovely young man.
“Danny is a wonderful son, a great brother to Joe and Abby, and a loyal and trusted friend. He is a devoted boyfriend to his gorgeous and compassionate Jess whom we also love dearly.”
They were granted a bed side visit on compassionate grounds recently amid tight Covid restrictions and said they were “eternally grateful” to those who had made the visit possible.
A fundraising page for the footballer has raised more than A$121,000 (£64,000).