The football world has united in paying tribute to the victims of Thursday’s Barcelona attacks which killed 14 people and injured at least 100.
Lionel Messi, who plays for Barcelona football club and is one of the world’s most revered players, sent his condolences to the families and friends of the victims, saying he totally rejected “any act of violence,” while Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and other world stars also offered their sympathy.
Barcelona and Real Madrid, Spain’s biggest football clubs, both held a minute’s silence before training on Friday.
The attack on Las Ramblas, a predominantly pedestrian zone in the heart of the Catalan capital, was the worst on Spanish soil since the 2004 Madrid bombings, which killed 191 people and injured more than 1,800.
A white van with blue markings accelerated into scores of people enjoying a late afternoon stroll and hours later in Cambrils, south of Barcelona, police shot dead five suspected terrorists.
Messi posted on Instagram: “I want to send my condolences and all my support to the families and friends of the victims of the terrible attack in our beloved Barcelona, as well as rejecting totally any act of violence.
“We are not going to give up. We are many more who want to live in a peaceful world, without hate and where respect and tolerance form the base of coexistence.”
Ronaldo, who plays for Barca’s great rivals, said on Twitter that he was “dismayed by the news.”
The 32-year-old added: “Full support and solidarity with the family and friends of the victims.”