What India’s cricketers may learn from star footballers
It’s a paradox that barring few like Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir, no big earning Indian cricketer has sought to give back to the country. However, examples from football abound
Lionel Messi gave over ₹5.36 crore for the refurbishment of a children’s hospital in his hometown Rosario. He has also donated over ₹2.8 crore to UNICEF. Messi Also donated over ₹58 lakh to the international humanitarian organisation ‘Doctors Without Borders’.
The global ambassador of ‘Save the Children’ charity, Cristiano Ronaldo also donated his 2016 Champions League winnings, amounting to ₹4.8 crore to worthy causes. He had also auctioned off his 2012 Golden Shoe trophy for ₹12 crore to construct schools for Palestinian children in war-torn Gaza. The former Real Madrid forward also sold off his 2013 Ballon d’Or trophy to raise ₹3.63 crore for terminally ill kids with Make-A-Wish Foundation! Ronaldo, in 2015, known for having a heart of gold, was named the world’s most charitable athlete in 2015 by Dosomething.org!
Neymar is well known for supporting various charities including ‘Global Goals’, ‘Quicksilver Foundation’ and UNICEF among others.
Gareth Bale, apart from donating a signed Real Madrid shirt to help save a Cardiff scout group needing ₹2.25 crore to buy its headquarters, has also supported the 'For Luca' campaign that aimed to raise ₹12 crore for a young boy who had suffered from severe meningitis to pay for prosthetic legs.
Paul Pogba too is a charitable man. He donated thousands of pounds to help a young Manchester United fan with cerebral palsy become a club mascot. Recently in March this year, Pogba asked his Facebook followers to donate to Save the Children charity on his 25th birthday.
Wayne Rooney, one of England’s finest footballer, donated as much as ₹90 lakh, to help victims of the Manchester bombing through his charity The Wayne Rooney Foundation. Rooney wrote cheques of ₹2.25 crore each for Claire House, Alder Hey Children's Hospital and National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
Didier Drogba, the Ivorian striker is well known for his activities to give back to communities in his homeland, but he has gone above and beyond the typical activities by opening five hospitals in five towns and cities in Ivory Coast.
Nwankwo Kanu of Nigeria founded the Kanu Heart Foundation (KHF) in response to a heart issue that was detected and corrected in himself during his time playing in Italy. KHF has conducted over 500 heart surgeries at an outstanding 98.5% success rate. He is in the process of building a cardiac hospital in Nigeria.
Samuel Eto’o, the Cameroon striker has been an important philanthropist for his country, and for the West and Central African region in general. The Samuel Eto’o Foundation looks to benefit children in that part of Africa with a focus on healthcare services, education and the promotion of social inclusion through sports. Football and other sport is used to bring the children together and give them a way to connect with others and develop a sense of community. He has also donated ambulances and has been involved in the construction of hospitals.
Stephen Appiah of Ghana began a clothing range a few years ago with all profits going to his StepApp Foundation, which provides medical insurance and facilities for those most in need in his homeland. He has big heart, and he promotes education through UNICEF initiatives.
Emmanuel Eboue from Ivory Coast is an advocate for education and the need to provide youngsters with the necessary elements to produce an educated member of society. Eboue has been involved in raising funds to build schools, pay fees for those who can not afford it and establish trust-funds to provide pupils in need with school clothing and textbooks.
Joseph Yobo, the former Nigeria captain is known for his charitable spirit and willingness to involve himself in initiatives that benefit his people. The Joseph Yobo Charity Foundation has reportedly provided over 500 educational scholarships for students at various levels of the scholastic and varsity system. He also established a football academy in Ogoni, and it is clear that his philanthropic activities have young people and children in mind.
Salomon Kalou from Ivory Coast runs the Foundation Kalou since 2009 to conduct charitable activities. One of the facilities that this foundation has constructed includes a kidney dialysis centre in Boakye.
Emmanuel Adebayor, the Togolese striker has a foundation of his own, that contributes to building infrastructure projects in Africa. An example of the type of charitable work he is doing is the launching of two water projects in the twin cities of Hamile and Koro in Ghana, or other smaller infrastructure projects in his homeland.