Manchester United legend Eric Cantona has become the latest name to support Common Goal, with the Frenchman assuming the new position of 'Common Goal Mentor' and placing the 'full force of his unique and powerful personality' behind the cause.
Common Goal has so far seen more than 60 footballers from around the world pledge 1% of their salary to charities tackling social challenges and striving to improve local communities.
As a Mentor, Cantona will represent and promote the Common Goal cause.
“Football should be for the people. There is no reason why the major actors in the game today cannot come together and support the social aspect of football.” Former @ManUtd legend Eric Cantona is joining Common Goal. Read his story on @tpt_global: https://t.co/q4n4R10IaR pic.twitter.com/BMSkj7drOq— Common Goal (@CommonGoalOrg) October 12, 2018
Common Goal is a creation of streetfootballworld and Cantona recently visited member organisation Associação CAIS in Lisbon, a charity that supports people suffering from poverty and homelessness.
In a related post for The Players' Tribune, Cantona explained how his maternal grandparents had fled Barcelona on foot at the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939 to escape persecution, while his paternal great-grandparents left Sardinia in 1911 to escape poverty.
He went on to explain, "We are living through times of widespread poverty, war, and immigration. There are many more people in the world who can't even afford to buy a football than there are people who can afford to pay €200 to attend a Premier League match, or €400 a year to watch it on TV. Football is one of life's great teachers. It is one of life's great inspirations. But the current business model of football ignores so much of the world.
"Poor neighbourhoods need football as much as football needs poor neighbourhoods. We need to support a more sustainable, positive and inclusive football, and I will do anything that I can to help. That is why I am joining the Common Goal movement as their first mentor.
"Common Goal's mission is to unlock 1% of the entire football industry's revenues for grassroots football charities, and more than 60 footballers have already pledged 1% of their salaries.
"The beautiful thing is that they are players from big clubs, players from small clubs, men and women, from leagues all over the world.
"Football should be for the people. This does not have to be a utopian idea. There is no reason why the major actors in the game today cannot come together and support the social aspect of football.
"All of us, whether we are rich or poor, whether we are immigrants or 10th-generation citizens, find the same simple joy in the game of football. We speak the same language. We feel the same emotion."
Common Goal CEO and co-founder Jürgen Griesbeck said: "Welcoming Eric on board and creating the new role of Common Goal Mentor is another unique moment for all of us.
"We believe that position of Mentor not only allows true legends of the game to harness their voices for the good of all, but also gives them the opportunity of creating a lasting legacy far beyond the incredible achievements of their playing career. We could think of few people better-suited to become the first Common Goal Mentor than Eric Cantona."
Juan Mata was the first player to join the Common Goal movement when it was founded in 2017. He has since been joined by of Giorgio Chiellini, Shinji Kagawa, Alex Morgan, UEFA president Aleksandar Ceferin, Danish club Nordsjaelland and even Spanish bank Santander.