Manchester United's Juan Mata to give portion of salary to charity

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata is to donate part of his salary to charity and has urged other footballers to do the same.

Mata has pledged one percent of his income to help grassroots football projects around the world.

In the past, the Spain international has branded footballers' wages "ridiculous" and "obscene."

The 29-year-old's announcement comes just a day after Neymar became the most expensive player in the world after swapping Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in an eye-watering €222 million deal.

The Brazil star is reportedly set to be paid €600,000 a week after tax.

Not only has Mata decided to give up a portion of his pay packet to Common Goal, a collective fund that supports football charities, he has also called on his fellow professionals to do the same.

"One of the first lessons I learned in football is that it takes a team to win a game," said Mata, who visited Mumbai ahead of his return to preseason training as part of the scheme.

"We live by this mantra on the pitch, yet we rarely see it play out in the social impact space, which is dominated by individual initiatives.

"Through Common Goal we're creating a collaborative way for football to give back to society. I urge my fellow players to get involved. What we're trying to do is define a shared social agenda for football.

"Common Goal goes beyond individual brands and egos to deliver a greater impact. By making the pledge, we can form a lasting connection between football as a business and football as a tool for social change."

Mata is set to give up around £100,000 of his United salary as part of the project.

Common Goal estimates that one percent of the entire football industry's revenues would come to approximately $30 billion.

It is not the first time Mata has spoken out about money in football.

Last summer, he gave an interview to "Salvados" in Spain in which he admitted modern footballers "live in a bubble."

He said: "Football is very well remunerated at this level. It's like we live in a bubble. With respect to the rest of society, we earn a ridiculous amount. It's unfathomable.

"With respect to the world of football, I earn a normal wage. But compared to 99.9 percent of Spain and the rest of the world, I earn an obscene amount.

"The barometer we use for measuring our salaries is comparing them to those of our team-mates and what other players are earning elsewhere.

"I live in a bubble. Real life is the one my friends live. My life as a footballer is not normal. It scares me sometimes to think about just how protected I am.