Cittadella goalkeeper Alberto Paleari has said that footballers are “not all like Cristiano Ronaldo” as clubs around the world ask their players to defer their wages amid financial instability during the coronavirus pandemic.
In Europe, Italy has been hit the hardest by the Covid-19 outbreak, with over 57,000 confirmed cases to date and the death toll passing the 7,500 mark on Wednesday.
Government protocols have been put in place in an attempt to curb the spread of the deadly illness, with all sport in the country having been suspended indefinitely and citizens under strict quarantine rules amid the global emergency.
As such, all tiers of Italian football will see clubs lose huge amounts of revenue and face major financial difficulties when it comes to ensuring all debts are honoured during lockdown.
Several high-profile stars have offered to waive their salaries in the short term in order to help their sides stay afloat, while Ronaldo himself has donated €1 million of his own money to aid in the battle against coronavirus.
Paleari, however, has urged people to grasp that not all footballers are in the same situation when it comes to personal wealth and individuals should be judged on a case-by-case basis as a result.
“If it was a question of delaying wages for a month and receiving a double payment at a later date, I would say yes without any hesitation,” Paleari told Telechiara programme Strictly Cittadella. “But if it were a question of spreading my wages out for longer then in all honesty I would have to say no.
“We are not like Ronaldo. If they take away two months of his wages then he would certainly not go into financial difficulty. If they take the same away from us, our landlord will come and knock on our doors looking for the rent.
“You can't judge everyone with the same view, it's two different situations.”
Elsewhere in Italy, Roma players and staff gave up a day's salary to aid in the fight against Covid-19, the Serie A side donating the proceeds to hospitals to provide beds and ventilators for those affected by the virus.
In Germany, Bundesliga new boys Union Berlin have waived their wages entirely to help ensure the club's future, while fellow top-tier side Borussia Monchengladbach have offered to do the same.