Juan Mata has pledged to donate a portion of his salary to charity and has urged his fellow professional footballers to do likewise.
The Manchester United forward will donate 1% of his wages to the Common Goal campaign, which has been set up to support grassroots football projects around the world.
— Juan Mata García (@juanmata8) August 4, 2017
This is a man who has often railed against the creeping greed of the modern day game, a man who has often urged his fellow pros to look beyond their comfortable little bubble from time to time and assess the real world that lies beyond.
Outlining his proposal in The Players’ Tribune, Mata explained his Common Goal drive thus:
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.
So starting today, I am pledging 1% of my salary to Common Goal, a collective fund — run by the award-winning NGO streetfootballworld — that supports football charities around the globe. It’s a small gesture that if shared can change the world.
I’m asking my fellow professionals to join me in forming a Common Goal Starting XI. Together we can create a movement based on shared values that can become integral to the whole football industry — forever.
I am leading this effort, but I don’t want to be alone.
The 29-year-old continued:
One of the first lessons I learned in football is that it takes a team to win a game.
“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. 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.
We’ve said this before about Mata, but what a jolly good egg he is.
Incidentally, that one percent might not sound like a lot, but that actually equates to around £100,000 of his salary that Mata is readily giving up to help those with greater need of it.
Incredible stuff. Fantastic bloke is our Juan.