CRISTIANO RONALDO has been supporting one of his best friends Jose Semedo following the sudden death of his wife.
Former Charlton and Sheffield Wednesday star Semedo’s wife Soraia passed away on Thursday morning after health complications caused by an infection.
She was pronounced dead in the early hours at Curry Cabral Hospital in Lisbon.
Ronaldo struck up a friendship with Semedo at Sporting Lisbon’s youth academy and the pair have holidayed together in the Med.
He is thought to have phoned his footballer pal to comfort him and offer his support.
It's not clear if the Manchester United striker would try to attend Soraia’s funeral.
Semedo, a defensive midfielder currently playing for Portuguese side Vitoria FC, has been receiving support from fans on social media.
One wrote alongside a photo Jose cuddling his wife: “I am thinking of you and sending you lots of hugs.”
Another added: “Be strong Jose. I hope your friends and family can help you at this difficult moment in your life.”
Ronaldo and Semedo, who spent most of his career playing in England, are understood to have forged their close bond after the Man United star protected his pal when the Sporting Lisbon youth academy director tried to expel him.
The dad-of-four reportedly used his influence as the academy’s best player to stop it.
Semedo has been quoted as saying: "I owe Ronaldo everything. If it wasn’t for him I would have been expelled from the academy and returned to the neighbourhood when I grew up. Many of my childhood friends are in jail or have got hooked on drugs.
“Nothing makes me think I wouldn’t have followed the same path. I would have ended up stealing cars like the others. I owe my sporting career, my children and my wonderful life to Cristiano.”
The footballer’s last post on Instagram shows him embracing Cristiano after a game, thought to be the match at the start of September where he broke the all-time international goal-scoring record by netting two goals against Ireland.
He said in a message alongside the post: “King, one of the words I most use when I talk to you is thank you but it's a thank you that will never become banal.
“It’s a heartfelt thank you, a thank you for giving joy to all us Portuguese because with you it's possible to live experiences that not even in our best dreams we could imagine.”
The Wednesday family are with you at this terrible time, Jose
Sheffield Wednesday, where he spent six years and was voted Player of the Year in his first season in 2011, said in a statement: “Everyone at Sheffield Wednesday sends our heartfelt condolences to Jose Semedo following the tragic passing of his wife, Soraia.
"The Wednesday family are with you at this terrible time, Jose."
Vitoria de Setubal said in a statement: “To our Captain, to all his family and friends, Vitoria extends its most heartfelt condolences. We share their pain, and we extend all our solidarity to them at this particularly difficult time.”
Jose was crowned Player of the Year in May 2011 after his last season for Charlton before moving to Sheffield Wednesday, picking up 43 per cent of the votes.
He had joined the team on a free transfer in 2007.
He was released by Sheffield Wednesday in May 2017 and returned to his home city of Setubal to continue his career.
Semedo had been with his wife for more than 15 years. They married in 2012 and had two children.
Local reports blamed her death on 'several health complications', saying what had been diagnosed as a 'simple infection' ended up being something 'far more serious.'
She had been due to undergo an emergency operation in the hospital where she died.
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