Leon Balogun is seventh Premier League player to sign with Common Goal

Brighton defender Leon Balogun is seventh Premier League player to sign up Common Goal… and charity has netted £800,000 so far

  •  Brighton’s Nigeria defender Balogun is latest to join Common Goal initiative
  • Campaign now has 68 male and female players involved from six continents 
  • The charity helps 120 charities working on social projects across 80 countries 

Simon Jones for MailOnline

‘As Robert F Kennedy said, the purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better. We are trying to show players we can make things better, we change lives.’ 

Brighton defender Bruno Saltor is pretty clear what impact Common Goal is having around the globe.

Barely 16 months since Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata kick-started the initiative with business partner Jurgen Griesbeck, more than £800,000 has been raised to aid underprivileged communities and 68 players have signed up. 

Brighton defender Leon Balogun has pledged one per cent of his salary to Common Goal

Brighton defender Leon Balogun has pledged one per cent of his salary to Common Goal

The latest is Bruno’s Brighton and Hove Albion team-mate Leon Balogun, who like the others has pledged one per cent of his salary to the cause.

He said: ‘I want to help people in need, people who are less fortunate than myself.  We enjoy a very high status in society, we are role models and have a role to play.

‘We should help people who have been less fortunate than ourselves and don’t receive special treatment in many cases.’

Berlin-born Balugun is the seventh Premier league player and there are hopes the most affluent league in the world still has more to offer.

The 30-year-old defender is the seventh Premier League player to sign up to the charity

The 30-year-old defender is the seventh Premier League player to sign up to the charity

COMMON GOAL

Juan Mata’s pledge was to donate one per cent of his annual salary to a group of 120 charities working on social projects across 80 countries through a collective fund called Common Goal.

So far 68 players have signed up including Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels, Fulham defender Alfie Mawson, Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini, Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and Manchester United Women’s manager Casey Stoney.

Co-founder Juergen Griesbeck said: ‘We’d love to involve more Premier League players and believe there is much more leadership potential in the league. I think many still understand this as yet another charity but it is not.

‘It is a collective movement driven by professional footballers that has the common goal to transform the industry by using football itself to make a sustainable difference in the life of millions of people.

‘If that was understood I think many would join straight away because nobody loses anything and the collective impact would be massive. It has the potential to literally change the world.’

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata is one of the driving forces behind the project

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata is one of the driving forces behind the project

Of those to have signed up for the initiative over 40 per cent are female players from 25 leagues and six continents now represented.

Alexander Hesswein of VFB Stuttgart has been actively helping causes in Cape Verde while Danish international Sofie Junge Pedersen has been in Ghana, helping schools for the blind and deaf plus Whizz Kids United a team that educates girls while also putting on football training sessions.

‘What we do makes a difference,’ said Pedersen. I strongly recommend to others that they visit an organisation as it encourages you to do more.’


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