Neymar donates $1M to fight coronavirus

Neymar (pictured February 2020) donated part of the money to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the rest to a charitable fund launched by his friend Luciano Huck

Neymar has donated $1 million to fight the impact of the new coronavirus in his native Brazil, according to TV network SBT.

The Paris Saint-Germain star, the world's third-highest-paid footballer, donated part of the money to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the rest to a charitable fund launched by his friend Luciano Huck, a Brazilian TV presenter, the report said.

The striker's press office declined to comment, saying: "We never talk about donations or amounts."

Neymar, 28, followed the example of PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe, who last month made what was described as a major donation -- amount undisclosed -- to a French charity helping fight the impact of COVID-19.

Huck, who has been touted as a possible candidate in Brazil's 2022 presidential election, launched his fund to help poor Rio de Janeiro neighborhoods particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.

The donations come as high-paid footballers face pressure to forego some of their salaries amid the crisis, which has ground the sporting world to a halt and left some clubs struggling to pay their staff.

Neymar is riding out the pandemic at his luxury villa in Mangaratiba, a resort town outside Rio.

He faced criticism last week after he was photographed relaxing with a group of friends on a beach volleyball court, even as half the world's population -- including most of Brazil -- is in confinement to slow the virus' spread.

His press team said he was receiving no visitors and was in quarantine at a "completely isolated" residence with people who made the trip from France with him.

Neymar (pictured February 2020) donated part of the money to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the rest to a charitable fund launched by his friend Luciano Huck