They’re highly talented, highly admired and highly paid, and a growing number of Bundesliga stars are giving something back by joining Juan Mata’s Common Goal initiative.
The Manchester United and Spain midfielder is the face of a Berlin-based charity organisation ‘streetfootballworld’ which aims to “unlock 1% of the entire football industry’s revenues for grassroots football charities that strengthen their communities through sport”.
At the start of the season, Mata was the first professional to pledge 1% of his salary to the charity and since then a number of leading figures in the Bundesliga have followed his example. One of the first was Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels, who said “As soon as I heard of Common Goal I knew this was a chance for football to improve our world and I wanted to be part of it
“I feel we could be doing more to connect the increasing revenues in football to some kind of deeper purpose. This is what struck me about Common Goal. Through the one percent pledge, we are building a bridge between football and social impact around the world.”
With Hummels reportedly earning around €150,000 per week, he stands to donate €78,000 this year to the cause. The World Cup winning centre-back may have been the first, but since then the likes of Shinji Kagawa, Julian Nagelsmann, Serge Gnabry, and Dennis Aogo have also joined the movement with Stuttgart’s Aogo pledging 2% of his salary.
This week has seen Hertha Berlin’s Alexander Esswein became the latest Bundesliga start to agree to contribute. “I’ve been looking for a project which enable me to give something back to society for a long time, and I’m happy to have found this with Common Goal,” Esswein explained.
“What strikes me most about the project is that it uses football to help the underprivileged. I hope more players can join the Common Goal initiative, because it is only as a team that we can make a real difference.”
As in many other ways, the Bundesliga is leading the way with five players and the one and only trainer signed up to the charity cause.
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