Footballing superstar backs bid to get millions pumped into charity

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Juan Mata is supporting Common Goal, which calls on players to hand 1% of their earnings to charity

7th August 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A superstar footballer is backing a campaign to get the beautiful game to pump millions into charity.

Manchester United and Spain midfielder Juan Mata has called on fellow footballers to join him in signing up to Common Goal.

The movement sees players pledge 1% of their salaries to a collective fund that benefits football related projects across the globe.

Common Goal is aiming to get people from across the footballing industry to sign up, which could result in $30 billion a year being donated to charity. Last week, Brazilian striker Neymar departed Barcelona for Paris Saint Germain in a transfer deal worth upwards of £200 million – meaning that his transfer along would contribute around £2.25 million to the fund.

“What we’re trying to do is define a shared social agenda for football,” explained Mata, who has moved for a combined transfer fee of more than £60 million in his career so far.

“Common Goal goes beyond individual brands and egos to deliver a greater impact. By making the pledge, we can form a lasting connection between football as a business and football as a tool for social change.”

Mata issued the challenge by sharing a short film from his recent trip to the slums of Mumbai, India.

“One of the first lessons I learned in football is that it takes a team to win a game”, he said. “We live by this mantra on the pitch, yet we rarely see it play out in the social impact space, which is dominated by individual initiatives. Through Common Goal we’re creating a collaborative way for football to give back to society. I urge my fellow players to get involved.”

Common Goal is the creation of streetfootballworld, an award-winning NGO that supports more than 120 football charities around the world. As Common Goal’s first member, Mata is now looking to assemble a "starting XI" of likeminded players who make the 1% pledge and lead the movement forward.

“Players are a great place to start because they’re the stars of the show,” explained streetfootballworld chief executive Jürgen Griesbeck. “But this is the first step of a giant global endeavour. Imagine the entire industry uniting in the name of social change.

"Together we can usher in a new era for football and forge a deeper sense of purpose at the heart of the game.”

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