The 43-year-old praised fans for keeping each other safe by staying at home, and compared the challenge of overcoming the coronavirus crisis to his own struggles overcoming serious injuries during his playing career.
In an open letter on the club’s website, Ronaldo wrote: “For weeks I have been thinking about how to contact you in these delicate moments of confinement and bad news.
“Finally, I have decided to send you this letter, and I hope you can feel the affection and consideration with which I have written it.
“We are separated by physical distance, but I am convinced that we have never been so close. Empathy is what unites us now. The collective spirit, responsibility, humanity.
“We are inside our houses for ourselves, for those we love, for all whom we do not even know and for those who can no longer be with us. We help each other by enhancing this solidarity in multiple ways.
“I am writing to thank you for being there, even more now, transforming your house into a home. For turning every moment into something memorable for your family.
“For patience, caution and your optimism, despite all the difficulties, challenges and losses that we are facing in these difficult times.
“Soccer has taught me many things. The biggest was how to overcome things.
“When I suffered my first and most serious knee injury, there were people who said that I would never play again, and that I could never even walk again.
“I felt like my own life was being taken from me. It was in those moments that my limits were tested, and I fought to change those opinions and show everyone that I could do what I wanted most.
“They were three very hard years of rehabilitation, motivated by the desire to feel all that I could only feel on the field, with the ball at my feet.
“In the end, the moment came, perhaps the most iconic of my entire career: in 2002, in Japan, playing a World Cup final with Brazil. Scoring two goals against Germany. For my country, the title of five-time champion; for me, the consecration of my return.
“I am sure that you too, when you look back, you will remember how many times you got up, of all your battles, and how many times you managed to overcome, throughout your life, to make the impossible possible and get to where you are being who you are.