Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has greeted a Polish boy who he has been credited with helping recover from serious illness ahead of Los Blancos' Champions League Group F game at Legia Warsaw on Wednesday evening.
Ronaldo flew to Poland with the Madrid squad on Tuesday and trained that evening at the Stadion Wojska Polskiego, where the game will take place behind closed doors due to previous serious incidents involving Legia ultras.
The Portugal captain was also able to meet Madrid fan David Pawlaczyc, a youngster who according to reports in Poland woke up from a coma just as his hero Ronaldo scored a hat trick for his country in a World Cup 2014 qualifier playoff against Sweden in November 2013.
?ﾟﾇﾱ?ﾟﾘﾀ@Cristiano greets David Pawlaczyc.
- Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) November 2, 2016
A Madrid club statement said that Pawlaczyc and his family drove six hours to Warsaw where they met Ronaldo at the team hotel.
"Cristiano Ronaldo welcomed David Pawlaczyc to Real Madrid's team hotel in Warsaw, where the Whites' striker posed for photos with the Polish youngster, who was roused from his coma after listening to one of the Portuguese forward's goals three months after a car had knocked him off his bicycle in August 2013," the statement said.
"Back in March 2014, the Real Madrid striker invited Pawlaczyc to one of the VIP boxes at the Santiago Bernabeu to see the Champions League clash against Borussia Dortmund. On this occasion, the youngster embarked on a six-hour drive to Warsaw along with his family, as his dream of seeing his hero in his native Poland came true."
Fakt has reported that when Ronaldo heard of the initial reports about his role in Pawlaczyc's recovery he made contact and paid for the youngster and his family to make that March 2014 trip to the Bernabeu.
The Polish newspaper has called what happened a "miracle" and regularly campaigned on Pawlaczyc's behalf to help secure the funding necessary to pay his medical costs.