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Juan Mata shows Common Goal faces

12 Oct 2017

Manchester's Football Museum presents the pictures that inspired United's player to involve himself in Common Goal. The player from Asturias took the pictures in Mumbai (India), where he met one of the projects coordinated by streetfootballworld.

"I believe in football's unique power to change the world. Change is possible and the path is real. Because I've seen it in India. I've felt it and I've understood it. I've felt in the streets, in squares and fields. In the middle of a storm and under a blazing sun. I've seen it in their eyes and especially, in the smile of the kids. Those amazing smiles."

Manchester United's player, Juan Mata, launched a project called Common Goal last August, in collaboration with streetfootballworld. Common Goal is an initiative in which football players donate 1% of their salary to a group fund that will support football organizations to develop the whole world. Juan got involved in the project after seeing how these associations work in Mumbai (India). There is where one of the 120 projects of streetfootballworld is developing. The trip to India impacted Juan, who wants to share his experience through a very special exhibition at the prestigious Football National Museum in Manchester (with the collaboration of the Museum, Classic Football Shirts, Leica and Tapeo & Wine).

It is a selection of 32 pictures that Juan and Evelina Kamph made in India, while chatting and living experiences with the youngsters and kids who were near the project. Football helps them embrace values like effort and team work, values that they transfer to real and common life. The inauguration is due for October 12 and will count with very special guests.

14 kids from the OSCAR Foundation

The OSCAR Foundation with headquarters in Mumbai has achieved that 14 kids travel to Manchester to be part of the inauguration. "We are really happy. This exhibition that we open today is a different way to show the actual impact that football has on people all over the world. Is a reflection of our experience in the heart of Mumbai. We lived in first hand the amazing job that Ashok and OSCAR Foundation are doing in the slums of the country’s largest city. For us it was very important that the kids from Mumbai could share this experience because neither the project or the picture exhibition can be understood without them. They are the real proof of the work streetfootballworld is doing around the world," said Juan.

The kids on the tour organized by OSCAR have ages ranging from 11 to 14 years. The project involves 14 kids, in addition to the coach, Maruti Chauhan (21), and the founder, Ashok Rathod. All children come from very low-income households: most of their parents have not been able to receive a normal education and are the first members of their families who have the opportunity to travel abroad.

The children participate in the OSCAR program, and were selected for this tour in January. They will spend 15 days in the United Kingdom on a football, educational and cultural tour. They learned English thanks to the classes given to them by a volunteer in Mumbai for three months. Juan attended one of the lessons while in the Indian city.

The United player also accompanied them on a visit to Old Trafford. Click To Tweet

The Mata photographic exhibition can be visited at the National Football Museum, located in central Manchester, over the next four weeks. In addition, visitors will be able to bid on the 32 photos of the show, and all the funds collected will go entirely to the project.

About Common Goal

Common Goal is an initiative of streetfootballworld, an NGO that supports more than 120 organizations around the world that use football as a tool for change. Following Mata's commitment, streetfootballworld is in the process of recruiting other players who will form the ‘starting XI’, the team that will lead the movement by committing to donate 1% of their salary to the Common Goal fund.

"Common Goal goes beyond individual brands and egos to achieve a powerful impact. As we implicate ourselves in donating 1% of our salary, we create an intrinsic and sustainable connection between football as an industry and football as a tool to generate social development thanks to these projects," said Mata.

Although Common Goal is an initiative that begins by involving soccer players, its long-term vision is to get 1% of the profits generated by this industry to be used for organizations that use football to promote social development in their communities. That amount would be around 30 billion dollars annually.

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