(Reuters) - Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is covering the catering costs for nurses at the Berlin hospital where he was born for the next three months as a way of thanking the city for the opportunities it gave him as a youth.
Chelsea said on its website that the centre back is making a “significant financial donation” to help Berlin Charité hospital, where he was born in 1993, during the outbreak of the new coronavirus.
The 27-year-old has said: “I contacted the Berlin Charite before Easter and asked where I can help the most.
“They told me that it’s very difficult to organise catering for the nursing staff during these days as the canteen is closed at the moment, as are all the restaurants around the hospital.
“I decided ... to overtake the catering costs for at least three months. I’m thankful for everything Berlin has given me during my youth. Now I have the possibility to give something back and hope the situation will get better very soon.”
Reported cases of the coronavirus have crossed 2.62 million globally and more than 183,700 people have died, according to a Reuters tally.
Germany has more than 148,000 cases with the death toll crossing 5,000.
Rudiger is one of several Premier League players who have committed to raise money for National Health Service charities in Britain under the #Playerstogether fund.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford