Juan Mata receives award for his charity work at a Madrid ceremony

The Spanish playmaker, 30, was handed the "Queen Sofia" award after he set up his Common Goal charity in August 2017.

The charity encourages footballers to donate at least one per cent of their salaries to help various causes around the globe.

And today Mata beamed with pride as his incredible work was recognised at a bash at the El Pardo Palace in the Spanish capital.

The World Cup and Euro 2012 winner is popular in his home country for his achievements with the national team.

And he jetted in to the Spanish capital from Manchester United's mid-season training camp in Dubai, where the players have been grinning from ear to ear under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.




The money raised by Common Goal has been used to help a great number of issues, from gender inequality to HIV and AIDS.

In a little under a year-and-a-half, Mata has convinced 68 stars to pledge their support with weekly contributions.

Those include Kasper Schmeichel, Eric Cantona, Mats Hummels, Giorgio Chiellini and Alex Morgan.

Last month, it was revealed the charity had reached the £800,000 mark – with Brighton star Leon Balogun pledging his support.

Speaking of the reason for his support, Balogun claimed: "I want to help people in need, people who are less fortunate than myself.

"We enjoy a very high status in society, we are role models and have a role to play.

"We should help people who have been less fortunate than ourselves and don't receive special treatment in many cases."

Mata has previously urged his fellow professionals to get on board and sign up.

He said: "One of the first lessons I learned in football is that it takes a team to win a game.

“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.”

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