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Soccer: Real and Atletico join forces to aid city's most vulnerable

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MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have joined forces to launch a fundraiser to help the most vulnerable families in the Spanish capital hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Madrid has once again led the way in unity, sacrifice and resolve. We are facing one of the most difficult situations in our recent history but we’ll get through it together,” said Real president Florentino Perez in a video released by both clubs.

“Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid together are launching MadridxMadrid (Madrid for Madrid), an initiative ... for the benefit of the ... most vulnerable people in our society.”

Atletico president Enrique Cerezo added: “All of Madrid can unite behind this initiative to help those who are going through a rough time.”

Spain is one of the worst affected countries in Europe by the coronavirus, with over 27,000 deaths, including 8,000 in Madrid.

The country’s strict lockdown to halt the spread of the virus has paralysed its economy. Last month, a record 5.2 million people registered for unemployment benefits.

Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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