These players are at the forefront of giving back to the community.
Footballers in modern times are global icons. They have immense fame and influence due to their popularity. Some football players go forth and use their financial strength to give back to the community and fans in the form of charity work.
Some players come from humble backgrounds and help their local communities, while many others regularly contribute to organizations that work for social welfare. Following are a few of the many football players, who do charity work:
10. Didier Drogba
Former Chelsea forward, Didier Drogba’s name is well known for doing incredible work in his nation Ivory Coast. His efforts back in 2006 helped to end a civil war in the country. The Ivorian brought electricity to several small villages, among other achievements.
Drogba was recognized by TIME magazine as one of the most influential people of 2010. He founded the Didier Drogba Foundation that works in child education and healthcare.
9. Lionel Messi
An icon of modern football and considered as one of the best to have ever graced the sport, Lionel Messi is at the forefront of giving back to the community.
He is the brand ambassador for UNICEF and apart from renovating a hospital in his hometown, his efforts on a global scale have helped improve education systems in Bangladesh, Nepal and other Asian countries.
8. Michael Essien
Another former Chelsea figure MIchael Essien is known for being one of the most charitable footballers around. Starting from extremely humble beginnings, the Ghanaian has established the “Michael Essien Foundation” which provides necessities like clean drinking water, electricity, libraries, public toilets and more in his hometown.
7. Cristiano Ronaldo
Apart from being one of the best players around, Cristiano Ronaldo is also well-known for being heavily involved in giving back to the community. He got involved with Save the Children,” which raised money for children who were affected by the earthquakes in Nepal in 2015.
He also helped establish a school in the Middle East back in 2012, after auctioning off his Golden Boot award. In another noble cause, Ronaldo donated $83,000 for the surgery of 10-year-old.
6. David Beckham
David Beckham along with his wife Victoria have established the Victoria and David Beckham Charitable Trust, that works in welfare and support of specially-abled and sick children, who cannot afford basic healthcare facilities.
5. Mesut Ozil
Mesut Ozil is also one of the football players who regularly works with charity organizations and is known to be an advocate for human rights.
The German’s gesture of donating his 2010 World Cup earnings, amounting to £237,000 to fund surgeries for 23 children in Brazil remains one of the most noble acts by a football player.
4. Craig Bellamy
The former Liverpool and Manchester City forward, Craig Bellamy has done a lot of charity work, especially in Sierra Leone. He spent over £1.4m out of his own earnings to start the “Craig Bellamy Foundation” which works towards children’s education and their football training.
3. Andrew Robertson
Skipper of the Scotland national team and current Liverpool defender, Andrew Robertson is one of the more recent players who has contributed to charity work.
His organization, “AR26” aims to work towards providing access to free football training, education, jobs and providing healthcare facilities to young people with critical illnesses.
2. Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney is one of the best footballers England has ever produced. Now in a managerial role, Rooney has decided to give back to the community.
The “Wayne Rooney Foundation” aims to work with charities like NSPCC, Claire House Children’s Hospice, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and Manchester United Foundation by organizing events and fundraisers.
1. Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford has earned plaudits on and off the field. His work away from football has been particularly noticed, as a result of which, Rashford was conferred the honour of an MBE (Member of British Empire) honorary title.
Among the many initiatives the Manchester United player is involved in, some of the most notable ones are: his initiative to provide amenities to homeless people in 2019, teaming up with “FareShare” to provide free school meals to children across Manchester, which extended into a nationwide campaign, his stand in favor of re-introducing free school meal voucher system for 1.2m school children which persuaded the government to reverse its decision.