Portuguese football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has stepped in to help 80 dogs housed in a shelter facing financial difficulties, according to reports in his home country of Portugal.

Ronaldo offered to help when he heard that the shelter in the Guarda district of Portugal was in financial difficulties.

The renowned dog lover donated a signed Real Madrid jersey for the shelter to auction in their quest to raise some much-needed cash.

Shelter owner Liliana Santos is delighted with the Madrid forward’s generosity, telling Correrio de Mahna that she appreciates what Ronaldo has done to keep the shelter in business.

“I want to thank Ronaldo from the bottom of my heart,” said the 34-year-old. “It’s a simple gesture but very important.”

The donation is just the latest philanthropic action undertaken by Ronaldo, who previously sold his golden boot award for €1.5 million which he donated to fund schools in Gaza.

He is also the Global Artist Ambassador for Save the Children, helping to fight against childhood obesity and starvation.

The Real Madrid forward, who turned 32 last week, has often been praised for his charity work, topping a list of the world’s most generous athletes in 2015.