Footballers funding charities
A lot has been said about soccer players; that they use their money to feed their self-indulgent needs; buy luxurious cars, buy houses that can accommodate the whole village and go wild off the pitch.
However, in recent years football players have been no strangers to charity work. It is so refreshing to find players with a heart of gold - dedicating themselves to helping others
One would ask if this if this all part of keeping up appearances in the image-centric sports world or do most of these footballers have a genuine desire to use their star status to help raise money or awareness for certain causes?
There are some footballers who give back to the communities they grew up in and the world at large. Very often, players choose charity work that is close to their own upbringings. The England and Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard explained in an interview with BBC Sports that footballers should do a lot for charity to help the less fortunate.
With the help of different websites, we were able to compile a list of players who are not only heroes on the field but are also champions in life.
Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o hosted a charity gala early last year to raise funds for his Fundación Privada, which went towards build a paediatric wing in Cameroon’s Paediatric Hospital Laqunitinie.
Ivorian striker Didier Drogba launched a charity some years ago to help support vital health and education projects in Africa. If that is not enough, the Chelsea hero is in the process of building a hospital in Abidjan, the country’s largest city, where he was born.
Nigerian football icon Nwankwo Kanu is undoubtedly Africa’s most decorated football player. The former Super Eagles skipper started the ‘Kanu Nwankwo Heart Foundation’ in 2000, to help underprivileged African children and young adults living with different heart ailments in Nigeria and other African countries obtain the cardiac surgeries they need.
Our former South African captain explains on his website why he started his foundation called the Aaron Mokoena Foundation. He says he started it with the aspiration of making a real sustainable difference for young people in South Africa using the power of football. Mokoena’s foundation focuses on developing a robust coach education programme; providing opportunities for children and young adults to participate in high quality football opportunities
Ghana Internationsl Michael Essien has been a symbol of hope and inspiration for many Africans. The Michael Essien Foundation (MEF) is a local Ghanaian NGO founded by the renowned Ghanaian international and Chelsea star. It aims to create opportunities and hope for the underprivileged in the Awutu Breku area. The goal of the MEF is to promote basic community amenities and opportunities for various groups through different projects and activities.
Jamie Carragher from Liverpool set up the 23 Foundation (his shirt number) to provide grants to young people on Merseyside
Rob Green from West Ham United climbed Kilimanjaro, raising more than £30 000 for the African Medical Research Foundation
Ryan Giggs from Manchester United is the Unicef UK ambassador and raised more than £100 000 for a children's hospital in Manchester