Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata says he is not trying to mend the reputation of professional footballers with his pledge to donate a portion of his salary to charity.
Mata, 29, is donating one percent of his wage to Common Goal, which funds football-based charities around the world.
His request for other footballers to do the same has prompted Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels to join in. In total, 13 footballers, both male and female, have signed up.
Mata made his pledge in the same week it was revealed Neymar will earn €600,000-a-week after tax at Paris Saint-Germain following his world-record move from Barcelona.
But the Spain international says his gesture is not about fixing a perception that footballers are spoiled.
“If it does I am happy but it’s not the aim,” he said. “Sometimes football can have a bad reputation but there are great people in football who are trying to help. I believe there are great values in football and if this helps on that then great.”
Mata is set to donate around £75,000 a year to Common Goal, but he says he would be happy to make the same pledge even if he was not a highly paid footballer.
He added: “The impact is the same because the percentage doesn’t change. What one percent means for me, it is the same as someone else. It’s not about how much but it’s about bringing it all together.
“It’s not just about me starting something, it’s about starting something I would love everyone to be involved in. My one percent cannot help a lot. But everyone together can help much more and that’s what we are trying to do.”
Mata, meanwhile, has said there is a belief in the United dressing room that they can win the Premier League title this season, but the midfielder accepts Jose Mourinho’s team may need “some luck” to lift the Champions League.