FabAfriq Magazine

Top 5 football stars with a generous heart

Football is one of the most popular sports watched worldwide. We mostly talk about what goes on the pitch, football statistics, comparison between footballers and the manner in which the game is being officiated, but little do we discuss about what goes on with our football players and the international body that governs the game off the football pitch. Many of these global football icons show their immense gratitude by giving back to the society in the form of charity works. These philanthropic soccer players use their fame and foundation to help those in need. These top 5 football legends go to a long way to help the poor and vulnerable.

1. David Beckham

Beckham is probably one of the most famous soccer players in the world. The former England national soccer team captain is also dedicated to charity works. He is one of the founders of the “Malaria No More UK leadership council”. He has launched his own charity, “The Victoria and David Beckham Charitable Trust”, to give wheelchairs to disabled children. In total the Victoria and David Beckham’s trust has given nearly 1 million pounds to help hundreds of children from 2005 to 2010.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo

We cannot talk about charity without mentioning this global icon, Cristiano Ronaldo. It should strike your imagination that while most football players have tattoos on their bodies, then Ronaldo of all people does not have. This is simply because having tattoos will prevent him from donating blood which he does several times a year. Isn’t that awesome? In January 2013, Ronaldo became Save the Children’s new Global Artist Ambassador, in which he hopes to help fight child hunger and obesity. In March, Ronaldo agreed to be the ambassador for The Mangrove Care Forum in Indonesia, an organization aiming to raise awareness of mangrove conservation. November 2014, Ronaldo appeared in FIFA's "11 against Ebola" campaign with a selection of top football players from around the world, including Neymar, Gareth Bale, Xavi and Didier Drogba Under the slogan "Together, we can beat Ebola", FIFA's campaign was done in conjunction with the Confederation of African Football and health experts, with the players holding up eleven messages to raise awareness of the disease and ways to combat it. He was named the world's most charitable sportsperson in 2015.

3. Lionel Messi

Throughout his career, Messi has been involved in charitable activities focused on vulnerable children, a commitment that stems in part from the medical difficulties he faced in his own childhood. Since 2004, he has dedicated part of his time and finances to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), an organization with which Barcelona also have a strong association. Messi has served as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador since his appointment in March 2010, completing his first field mission for the organization, he travelled to Haiti to raise awareness on the plights of children in the country as a result of the recent earthquake. He has since participated in UNICEF campaigns targeting HIV prevention, education, and the social inclusion of disabled children. To celebrate his son's first birthday, in November 2013, Messi and Thiago were part of a publicity campaign to raise awareness of mortality rates among disadvantaged children.

4. Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba is the captain and top scorer of Côte d’Ivoire National team. His charity foundation, Didier Drogba Foundation, has as objective to prevent malaria in Africa. Its campaign brings awareness of malaria through media, distributes medical materials and delivers life-saving prevention methods. Didier Drogba is also a pacifist. As a popular figure in Ivory Coast, he successfully helped to negotiate a cease-fire after five years of civil war in the country. The ex-Chelsea forward is known for his exceptional charity work towards his home nation. His plea to support Ivory Coast in the 2006 World Cup ended a 5-year-old civil war in his country. Due to his influence on his country, he was on TIME magazine's 100 most influential people of 2010. He also has a charity organization called The Didier Drogba Foundation which works toward the betterment of basic necessities in Ivory Coast.

5. Samuel Eto'o

Arguably the best African player, Samuel Eto’o ruled the European football for years. Alongside on the pitch, the ex Barcelona player is also a class off the pitch. Samuel Eto’o‘s Foundation provide help to the people all across the Continent. Being the one of best paid footballer, the Cameroonian International is a part different charity initiative such as scholarships, providing quality education, health and medical facilities. Samuel Eto’o was to host a charity match in Antalya, Turkey, that will see a selection of top players facing a Turkish star team on 16 July 2016 but had to postpond it due to the attempted coup in Turkey. Antalyaspor president Gultekin Gencer will be involved in organizing the event.” The “Fundacion Privada Samuel Eto’o,” which was established in 2006, helps provide basic healthcare and works on improving social inclusion. The charity will be celebrating its 10th anniversary.

With people like this, the world will definitely be a better place for everyone!



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