Foundations – not Ferraris – the goal for modern Premier League stars like Mane

Liverpool
Real Madrid remain in the hunt to sign Liverpool star Sadio Mane and are ready to offer Marco Asensio as part of a swap deal.

Sadio Mane and Juan Mata have set the tone for modern footballers to aspire to - create charitable foundations rather than accumulate Ferraris on their drives.

This week, Liverpool star Mane told Ghanian outlet nsemwoha.com that he doesn’t crave fancy sports cars or expensive items to be happy, and now takes greater joy from giving away his wealth to the needy.

Back home in Senegal, Mane has funded the construction of a school in Bambali, on which work began before the summer, having in the past donated football shirts by the bucket load to African children who idolise him on the pitch.

It goes against what can be the perceived image of modern footballers as being cossetted, aloof and even ignorant of others less fortunate than themselves.

“Why would I want ten Ferraris, 20 diamond watches, or two planes? What will these objects do for me and for the world? I was hungry, and I had to work in the field; I survived hard times, played football barefooted, I did not have an education and many other things, but today with what I earn thanks to football, I can help my people,” said Mane, who is enjoying life both on and off the field at the moment.

“I built schools, a stadium, we provide clothes, shoes, food for people who are in extreme poverty. In addition, I give 70 euros per month to all people in a very poor region of Senegal which contributes to their family economy. I do not need to display luxury cars, luxury homes, trips and even planes. I prefer that my people receive a little of what life has given me.”

Manchester United’s popular Spaniard Mata is doing his bit in tackling the greatest social challenges of our time by donating one per cent of his earnings to the ‘Common Goal’ charity he set-up, which now boasts getting on for 100 regular donators – including Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and Bournemouth defender Charlie Daniels.

And now The Mirror report that Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha, who used to famously drive a Lamborghini down Croydon High Street, is donating ten per cent of his £130,000-a-week contract to good causes including his sister’s orphanage, ‘Tomorrow’s Hope’.

The winger once boasted a fleet of supercars, including two Lambos, a Porsche and a Range Rover, but has now also set up the ‘Zaha Foundation’ to benefit charities both in England and the Ivory Coast – not least to help youngsters play football.

Zaha, who turns 27 soon, knows football has given him the trappings of a comfortable life, but he says “I am aware that one day I will have another life with my charity, family friends and those trusted people around me.”

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