Manchester United’s Juan Mata awarded after raising almost $800k for charity

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Manchester United’s Juan Mata has been named a winner of the 2017 Nations Sports award in Spain alongside other renowned sportspeople from the country.

The honour, put forward by Spain’s Sports Council, is given to sports personalities, associations and entities who have stood out for their impulse and promotion of sport. The award recognises the work done by Spain international midfielder Mata, who will be honoured with the “Premio Reina Sofia” (Queen Sofia award) for “having stood out during the year for an especially relevant noble gesture.”

Mata said on Twitter that he was “truly grateful to receive the 2017 Nations Sports Award.  “The 30-year-old celebrated the first year of his launch of the Common Goal charity last month, which has raised nearly $800,000 since its foundation.

The aim is for himself and his football colleagues to donate one percent of their salaries to charities across the world throughout their careers. More than 50 players and coaches have contributed to Mata’s charity, including Giorgio Chiellini, Mats Hummels, Alex Morgan and UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who was last month voted as the UEFA Champions League Goalkeeper of the Year, will be handed the Ibero-American Community trophy for standing out the most during the year for his international sporting activities.

The Costa Rica international was a major contributor in Real Madrid’s third consecutive Champions League triumph in the 2017-18 campaign.

Other sports personalities to be honoured are current tennis world No. 1 Rafa Nadal, professional golfer Jon Rahm and Karate star Sandra Sanchez, winner of the last four European Championships in Female Kata.