Juan Mata has pledged to donate one per cent of his earnings to charity and is calling on his fellow footballers to match him.
The Manchester United midfielder is the first member of Common Goal, an initiative created by streetfootballworld, which supports more than 120 football charities around the world.
Mata said: “What we’re trying to do is define a shared social agenda for football. 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.”
To accompany his announcement Mata, who recently visited one of the charities in Mumbai, India, wrote an article for The Players’ Tribune website where he explained, in-depth, his decision.
He wrote: “I thought about everything football had given me. And I thought about what I wanted my legacy to be. I knew how lucky I was to have the opportunities I’d had — and that not everyone has a family like mine. And even though I’ve been engaged with charities before, I knew that I wanted to do something more. I want to make sure that other kids get the chances I had.
“One of the first lessons I learned in football is that it takes a team to accomplish your dreams. We live by this mantra on the pitch, yet we don’t see it enough in the social space. Common Goal is creating a collaborative way for football to give back to society. It’s the most effective and sustainable way that football can deliver long-term social impact on a global scale. Football has the power to do this, but we need to act together.
“So now I would like to call upon my fellow footballers to help. We have so many opportunities simply because we play a children’s game. We are so lucky to live a dream. Let’s come together and help kids everywhere experience that same light and joy. By doing so we can show the wider football industry that Common Goal needs to happen and that it will happen, because it’s right.”
The first target is to assemble a ‘starting XI’ of committed players, with the long-term goal of unlocking one per cent of the entire revenue from the football industry for grassroots football charities.