Increasing numbers of professional players around the globe are joining the Common Goal initiative, a project in which players pledge at least one per cent of their wages to a collective fund managed by Berlin-based non-governmental organisation streetfootballworld.
Bundesliga representatives are playing a leading role in the cause, with eight figures from across Germany’s top two divisions announcing their involvement.
The Bayern Munich defender got the ball rolling in the top flight on 17 August this year, voicing his decision to sign up to the project via Twitter and using his high-profile status to help extend its reach.
The Hoffenheim attacker was next and the first of a flurry of commitments in October. “One per cent is not a huge figure but it can make a huge impact if we commit to it as a team,” he said. “I want to make giving back a part of football and help football feel good about itself again. I want to change the game for good.”
Stuttgart defender Dennis Aogo announced his decision to join up just a few days after Gnabry, and even pledged to donate two per cent of his salary to the charity. “For many years, my wife and I have been looking for a good project where we can help permanently and effectively,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “With Common Goal we found our ideal partners. We are proud to be a member of this very special family. Within this family, we want to focus mainly on disadvantaged children and young people. It is time to help and I hope that many will follow our example. Together we can achieve a lot.”
Just three days after Aogo’s pledge, Hoffenheim boss Julian Nagelsmann officially became the first coach to join Common Goal.
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa became the first Asian player to add his name to the initiative. “Football has given me so many opportunities in life and now I want to play my role in supporting others through the game,” the 28-year-old said in a video posted on Twitter. “Common Goal is quickly growing around the world and I’m proud to help lead the movement forward in Japan. Giving one per cent of our salaries is a small commitment for us players but I believe it can do a lot for people less fortunate than us.”
In November, Hertha Berlin‘s Alexander Esswein confirmed he had also become part of the movement. “As of today, I’m proud to be a member of Common Goal,” the former Augsburg midfielder said. “I’ve been looking for an initiative through which I can give back to society for quite some time now and I was taken with Common Goal straight away. What strikes me most about it is the way passion for football is used to help less fortunate people. I hope many more players will join Common Goal so that we can make a real difference.”
Wolfsburg midfielder Daniel Didavi became the seventh Bundesliga representative to sign up to the project towards the end of November.
Furthermore, midfielder Giuliano Modica of Bundesliga 2 side Kaiserslautern is also a member of the ever-growing number of players to have joined the initiative since its launch by Manchester United and Spain midfielder Juan Mata in the summer.
The Bundesliga currently boasts the most contributors of all domestic leagues involved in the scheme.