Ronaldo offers help in Madeira crisis

Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to help "in whatever possible way" following the storm on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

At least 42 people have been killed by floods and mudslides that devastated the holiday archipelago, where Real Madrid forward Ronaldo was born.

The 24-year-old, who moved to the Bernabeu from Manchester United in a world record £80million deal last summer, scored a brilliant free-kick opener in last night's 6-2 defeat of Villarreal, which he dedicated to the victims of the disaster.

"Nobody can be indifferent to such a tragedy, especially me," said Ronaldo on Real Madrid's official website,

"I was born and raised on the island. It's given me so much. This is why I want to make myself available to help in whatever possible way.

"I would like to help official bodies and organisations to minimise the effects of this great tragedy and to get over them as soon as possible."

Ronaldo has made himself available to play in a benefit match for the victims of the disaster between Portuguese champions Porto and a joint team from Madeira-based clubs Maritimo and Nacional.

Porto coach Jesualdo Ferreira said: "Porto want to express their condolences for all that has happened and, as a club, do everything necessary to help Madeira."

No date has yet been set for the match.