In the seventh minute of the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United, both sets of fans observed a minute's applause as a tribute to the recent death of the child of United striker Cristiano Ronaldo. On Monday, he and his partner Georgina Rodriguez had made the sad announcement about their newborn son, a twin.
The seventh minute was chosen because it was the iconic number worn by Ronaldo throughout his remarkable career.
Ronaldo was unsurprisingly absent from the game itself, but the thoughts of both sets of supporters were with him, his partner and their family during the gesture.
It was an overdue moment of compassion in football, given recent interruptions of similar tributes during games by rival fans.
👏👏👏A classy gesture from both Liverpool and Man United fans who briefly unite to pay tribute to Cristiano Ronaldo and his family. #beINPL #LIVMUN
Watch Now 👉 https://t.co/NRYe31nXnO pic.twitter.com/DzHiR7gfhM
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) April 19, 2022
Legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly once said, "Football isn't a matter of life and death, it's much more important than that". And while it's a funny little saying, moments like these prove why it's more comedy than reality.
Liverpool's current manager Jurgen Klopp clearly agreed and was moved by his supporters singing the club's anthem "You'll Never Walk Alone" during the minute tribute.
"All rivalry aside in this moment, there's only one thing [that is] important," Klopp said.
"Of course, all our thoughts from the moment we heard about it (the death) are with Cristiano and his family. I cannot even imagine how it must be, and we really feel for him."
Liverpool went on to win the match 4-0, to put themselves top of the Premier League table.