The team captain's armband, which Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo tore off during last week's match with Serbia's national team in Belgrade, was sold for 64,000 Euro on an auction to help pay for the treatment of a sick child.
The money will be donated to treat six-month-old Gavrilo Djurdjevic, suffering from SMA Type 1, a rare and potentially terminal ailment that can only be cured with medication costing some 2.5 million Euro.
A firefighter found the armband on the grass of the Red Star stadium where the game ended in a 2-2 draw and immediately said it would be auctioned for the sick toddler.
„When I took the armband, we all agreed to give it for a humanitarian cause. No one wanted to keep it for themselves. We did it and we’re all proud,“ Djordje Vukicevic, a firefighter, told N1.
The higher bidder was Mozzart Bookmakers.
Ronaldo, one of the world’s best soccer players, was furious about his regular goal being denied in the last seconds of Portugal’s World Cup second-round qualifying match against Serbia. He protested with the referee, was given a yellow card, threw his captain’s armband and left the pitch before the final whistleblow.
Djurdjevic picked it up after the game was over and offered it for the auction.
„I’m happy about the collected money. I want to thank everyone who took part in the auction and would plea with people to keep sending SMS 973 on 3030,“ he said.
In the last year alone, Serbia’s people donated millions of Euro for treating five children with SMA type 1. Gavrilo should be the sixth toddler who would receive the most expensive single life-saving treatment.
Donations for the expensive treatment of sick children in Serbia go on for years.
„On the other hand, the authorities, particularly President Aleksandar Vucic, daily speaks about Serbia as an economic giant and announces megalomanic projects like the national stadium, gondola, masts,“ the independent Danas daily wrote last November.
It added that „the Deputy Mayor Goran Vesic decorates the capital, announces skating rinks and more fountains, while some children’s days are numbered.“