Neven Subotić – More than just a footballer

The end of a footballing season marks the beginning of summer, and for most players it means a trip to luxurious places for some well deserved vacation. But for Borussia Dortmund’s Neven Subotić this summer pause meant a lot more than just sitting on the beach and enjoy the sunshine. At the wake of the DFB Cup final the Serbian center back was packing his bags to take part in his foundation’s work in Ethiopia. The Neven Subotić Stiftung, as it is called, is an organization that provides clean water and other facilities in rural areas, especially in Africa, who are exposed to health threats because of lack of necessary infrastructure.

After arriving in Ethiopia Subotić has been documenting his day-to-day activities and what work his foundation has done by posting on his Facebook page. He first arrived in the capital of Addis Ababa and then, along with members of his group, had to travel far distances both by car and on foot to reach Adigrat, found in the nation’s Tigray region, a state on the Northern part of the country, where the foundation’s work will take place.

The main task was drilling wells for clean water sources. People who were forced to drink contaminated water and who were also exposed to several infections as a result of that are now safe. With the help of the new water sources they not only have water that is safe for drink but also are relieved from the burden of having to travel to far distances in search of clean water. There were also the building of clean bathrooms in public places like schools.

But the trip was not entirely filled with tiring work. Subotić, as he mentioned in his posts, also had the chance to sit down and chat with the locals, meet new interesting people and enjoy some traditional plays and games with the children there.

This was a very exemplary deed from the part of the Dortmund defender. His willingness to sacrifice his free time and luxurious life style to work in this type of conditions is truly astonishing. He managed to put a smile on the face of these people with his good work. And this goes to show that Neven is not only a great footballer but also a great person and role model. And this definitely is an act worth praising.


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Brook lives in Ethiopia, and started following the Bundesliga from a very young age. His favourite players then were Thomas Rosicky - the reason he became a Dortmund fan! - and Marcelinho of Hertha Berlin. He likes to watch, read, write and talk about football with special interest in discussing emerging young talents. Follow @brookge