Bavarian Football Works

Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo has called for peace after Russian president Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine.

With the death toll already in three figures, Putin’s actions have been met with widespread condemnation.

And Ronaldo added his voice to those calling for fighting and air-strikes to end on Friday.

Ronaldo wrote on his Instagram story: “We need to create a better world for our children. Praying for peace in our world”.

Former Real Madrid and Juventus star Ronaldo has over 406m followers on Instagram, more than any other user on the platform.

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo pictured at the 2018 World Cup in Russia – IMAGO/Contrast

Ronaldo’s message came shortly after the daughter of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich shared a post insisting that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was not supported by the majority of Russians.

Sofia Abramovich posted a message to her 41,000 Instagram followers which read: “The biggest and most successful lie of the Kremlin’s propaganda is that most Russians stand with Putin”.

Earlier in the week, Players from Barcelona and Napoli united in support of an anti-war message ahead of their Europa League game in Italy on Thursday.

All 22 starters from the match posed for a pre-match photograph as they stood behind a large banner which read: “STOP WAR”.

The next day UEFA reacted to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by stripping the nation of its right to host the 2021/22 Champions League final.

St Petersburg’s Krestovsky Stadium had originally been selected as the venue for the event on May 28, but it will now take place at the Stade de France in Paris

The 2022 Champions League final has been moved from Russia to the Stade de France in Paris – IMAGO/David Klein

UEFA statement read: “The UEFA Executive Committee today held an extraordinary meeting following the grave escalation of the security situation in Europe.

“The UEFA Executive Committee decided to relocate the final of the 2021-22 UEFA men’s Champions League from Saint Petersburg to Stade de France in Saint-Denis. The game will be played as initially scheduled on Saturday 28 May at 9pm CET.

“UEFA wishes to express its thanks and appreciation to French Republic President Emmanuel Macron for his personal support and commitment to have European club football’s most prestigious game moved to France at a time of unparalleled crisis.

“Together with the French government, UEFA will fully support multi-stakeholder efforts to ensure the provision of rescue for football players and their families in Ukraine who face dire human suffering, destruction and displacement.”

UEFA also stated that Russian and Ukrainian teams must play any European and international home games at neutral venues until further notice.

Therefore, Spartak Moscow will have to find an alternative venue for their Europa League last 16 home game against RB Leipzig on March 17.