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Cristiano Ronaldo Snaps Family Photo To Bring Attention To Syrian War

Ronaldo shared a photo of a soccer-loving Syrian boy who was so traumatized by the war he allegedly stopped speaking.

03/13/2016 05:35 pm ET

Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo is using his mega-fame to make sure the world doesn't forget about the plight of Syria's children -- with a little help from his son, Cristiano Jr.

The 31-year-old Real Madrid star on Sunday shared a photo with his son in which he holds up a picture of a Syrian boy who, like Cristiano Jr., is 5 years old and loves soccer. 

"#SaveSyriasChildren like 5 years old Ayman* who loves playing football as much as Cristiano Junior," he wrote. 

As a Save the Children global artist ambassador, Ronaldo wanted to make sure attention remained on the Syrian civil war, which is entering its fifth year

“Cristiano Ronaldo understands how vulnerable children are at that age,” Save the Children President and CEO Carolyn Miles said in a statement.

“With Ronaldo’s help, we can keep the focus on the children of the Syrian war, many of whom have known nothing but war their entire life."

The organization said Ayman (whose name was changed to protect his safety) was born before the civil war began and was affected so much by the conflict that he never spoke. 

"He saw and heard things that no child should see, from armed men breaking down doors, to dead bodies lying in the street to sirens going off at all hours," Save the Children said. 

Now living in a refugee camp on the Jordan border, Ayman was eventually able to enroll in Little Hands, a Save the Children-supported kindergarten.

"There, he began to speak -- through the help of a caring teacher, his supportive parents and a love of soccer that blossomed," the organization said. 

Ronaldo, who has been a global ambassador since 2012, has been using his star power to keep attention on Syrian children. 

After a Hungarian camerawoman was seen on video last September kicking and tripping up fleeing Syrian migrants as they fled a Hungarian holding camp, Ronaldo invited the father and son who had been tripped to a Real Madrid match.

Francisco Seco/Associated Press
A young Syrian boy, Zaid, left, looks at Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of a Spanish La Liga soccer match. Zaid and his father, Osama Abdul Mohsen, are refugees who were tripped at a border hotspot by a Hungarian journalist in an incident captured on video.

Before the match, Ronaldo's fellow Real Madrid teammates wore T-shirts reading "professional football for the refugees."

"After five years of this conflict, we don’t want the world to forget the children," Miles said after Ronaldo's photo. "They shouldn’t have to pay the price for the world’s inaction."

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