Juan Mata heartened by reception following donation pledge

source: talksport

Manchester United's Juan Mata has been heartened by the reception from the footballing world to his pledge to donate one per cent of his earnings to charity.

Widely-regarded as one of the nicest men in elite-level football, it was little surprise to see the 29-year-old become the first member of Common Goal.

The initiative, created by streetfootballworld, supports more than 120 football charities around the world and was launched last week.

"Football is a great sport that we all love, but it means much more than that for a lot of people around the world," Mata said.

"I am trying to bring football together as a tool for social change. Together we can be stronger and make a real impact in the world.

"There has been a great reception, not just from players but almost everyone around the football world.

"I had some personal messages on my phone and messages through social media. I am quite happy with the reception.

"I think everyone understands the situation and I feel that everyone is looking forward to help. It's a very positive start."

On the field, Mata is hoping to make a positive start to the 2017-18 season by winning the UEFA Super Cup.

Real Madrid stand in their way having won back-to-back Champions League crowns – a level the Spaniard does not believe United are far behind.

"We talk about Real Madrid and we talk about the Champions League winners, which the best trophy you can win in European football," Mata said.

"They are the ones that everyone wants to beat. They have a great team and won the league in Spain as well.

"We know how good they are. But United have a great history and a great record of titles.

"We want, sooner rather than later, to be where Real Madrid were last season which is in the Champions League final.

"We know we are on our way and building a strong team. I think it's not very big.

"We are talking about the best teams in the world, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich. Manchester United is there."

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