Manchester United star Juan Mata has pledged 1% of his salary to a new fund which supports football charities around the world – and called on his fellow professionals to follow suit.
The Spain midfielder has become the first player to support the new ‘Common Goal’ fund, which has been created by streetfootballworld, the international NGO which supports more than 120 football charities across the globe.
He is now looking to assemble a ‘starting XI’ of like-minded players who make the 1% pledge and lead the movement forward.
Although Common Goal is launching with a focus on players, its long-term vision is to unlock 1% of the entire football industry’s revenues — conservatively estimated at $30 billion per year — for grassroots football charities which use the game to strengthen their communities.
Mata explained: “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.”
Mata issued the challenge after 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 added.
“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.”
The streetfootballworld CEO, Jürgen Griesbeck, added: “Players are a great place to start because they’re the stars of the show.
“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.”
Established in 2002, streetfootballworld supports a network of more than 120 football charities in 80 countries that reach 2.3million disadvantaged young people on a daily basis.