Cristiano Ronaldo’s family have taken to social media to defend him against rape allegations, launching a campaign to encourage people to show their support.

The Juventus forward’s mother Dolores and sister Katia both posted pictures of Ronaldo in a Superman cape and urged others to adopt the image as their profile picture for a week as a show of solidarity.

“I want to see who has the courage to put this photo on their profile for a week and make a chain for him..for Portugal, for him, for us and for the union of our people, for justice. He deserves it,” read the accompanying caption.

The post also had two hashtags in Portuguese. One translated as “Ronaldo, we are with you to the end.” The other read “Justice for CR7.”

The message received 15,000 likes in the first hour.

Ronaldo was accused of rape by Kathryn Mayorga, who claimed he assaulted her at a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.

Mayorga has also alleged that Ronaldo paid her a settlement fee of $375k at the time.

The 33-year-old Portugal international has denied the allegation twice on social media, branding it as “fake news”.

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