When Juan Mata announced that he had made a transfer-window switch to charity initiative Common Goal, it begged the question: when would British Premier League stars follow in the Man United man’s footsteps?
Surprisingly enough, the first two Brits to make the pledge have come from outside the Old Trafford dressing room in the form of Swansea’s Alfie Mawson and Bournemouth’s Charlie Daniels.
The defensive duo will give up one per cent of their salary to the initiative, run by global outfit Streetfootballworld, which will then be pooled to help football charities all over the world to aid causes as diverse as gender equality in India and refugee integration in Germany.
— charlie daniels (@chazdaniels13) October 20, 2017
“I’ve experienced pretty much everything that you can live as a player in England, maybe that’s why I’ll never forget where I’ve come from,” explained Daniels, 31, who has been with the Cherries throughout their rise from League One to the Premier League.
“Football is such an important part of my life, as it is for so many people in this country. It just seems right that our national sport gives something back to society. Common Goal is the most effective and long-lasting way for players to make a difference.
“If my pledge can help spread the idea of Common Goal, especially among the younger players, then it will be one of the proudest achievements of my career.”
Mawson, 23, added “It was only a few years ago that I was playing non-league and helping out my dad at the weekends with his market stall.
“I’m now at a great place and I want to concentrate 100 per cent on my football. I don’t want to cause any fuss or anything, but joining Common Goal allows me to focus on my career while forming part of something that can really help transform lives of those less fortunate. It’s a good thing for football.”
The Big Issue has inspired the launch of 120 street papers globally, including sister titles in Australia, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan and Korea.
As well as Spaniard Mata, Mawson and Daniels have helped to complete a starting 11 of world stars who support Common Goal.
German Bundesliga stars Dennis Aogo, Mats Hummels and Serge Gnabry have all joined up as well as Gnabry’s Hoffenheim boss Julian Nagelsmann.
They are both top Premier League players and their commitment is a great step in the evolution of Common Goal
Turkish ace Hasan Ali Kaldirim and Sydney FC’s Alex Brosque signed up earlier this month to join already-announce US women’s players Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan.
Veteran Italy and Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini rounds out the side with organisers pledging to announce a whole squad of players in the coming months.
And Mata was quick to welcome the new recruits, he said: “I’ve been speaking to several English players who have shown an interest in Common Goal and it’s brilliant that Charlie and Alfie are the first players to make the pledge.
“They are both top Premier League players and their commitment is a great step in the evolution of Common Goal.”
Jürgen Griesbeck, Common Goal CEO, said: “The fact that both Charlie and Alfie have reached the richest league in the world the hard way – coming up through the divisions – makes their joining Common Goal all the more authentic.
“Their stories are true to life, true to professional football and they are both perfect additions to Common Goal. We’ll be sharing more news very soon.”