Whilst many footballers are Gods that their fans worship, they’re often recognised for their performance on the pitch and not the charity work they are involved with. Footballers amongst other professional athletes earn lavish salaries. Some earning up to £300,000 a week, a salary beyond the wildest dreams of any football fanatic. On top of these rocketing wages we can’t forget about their sponsorships and endorsement deals.
We have previously seen negative representations of footballers in the media and it isn’t often we see a positive portrayal of them and their good deeds off the pitch. Many professional athletes are often criticised for getting paid too much. However, a lot of footballers are actively involved with charity work and they donate thousands to charities worldwide.
The 31 year old is actively involved with charity work all over the world. In 2014 Ronaldo was approached by the parents of 10-month-old Erik Cruz, who asked the Portuguese superstar to donate a signed shirt and a pair of signed football boots to a charity auction in order to raise funds for Erik’s life-saving operation which cost over £50,000. Ronaldo was especially touched by Erik’s story and insisted on paying for the crucial operation along with donating a pair of signed boots and a signed shirt as well as paying for any further treatment Erik needed. This is only one generous offer in a whole series of others. In previous years, he sold his Golden Boot, which he won in 2012, for 1.5 Million euros in order to build many different buildings and schools in Gaza. In 2013, the Real Madrid player became a Global Artist Ambassador for the Save The Children campaign and more recently, Ronaldo donated his £456,000 Champions League bonus to charity and his Euro 2016 bonus of £275,000 to a children’s cancer foundation.
The Argentinian international is also heavily involved with charity work, he has his own charity named the ‘Leo Messi Foundation’ which aims to help vulnerable children access education and health care. The Barcelona superstar donates thousands to his home country and he has helped with the renovation of a hospital in his beloved home country, Argentina. In 2010, Messi was a made a UNICEF Ambassador and together they aim to help less fortunate families in unprivileged countries around the world.
The German midfielder donated his 2014 World Cup salary of £237,000 to the host nation in order to help underprivileged children and buy various medical equipment and fund operations for the children in Brazil. Ozil was awarded the Laureus Sport for Good award for his charity work following the World Cup in 2014.
Balotelli is not particularly known for his charity work, however he has emerged as one of football’s charitable athletes. The Italian has previously donated thousands to destitute children and his generosity doesn’t stop there, he also donates 50% of his wage to children in Africa.
Numerous footballers are massively involved with charity work and are ambassadors for charities all around the world. The footballers mentioned and many others, put the time, effort and money into charity work and it is a representation of athletes that is not often shown in the media. Their performance on the pitch is just as important as their good deeds off the pitch and the work they do with countless charities makes a significant difference in a great deal of underprivileged countries worldwide.