Man Utd star Juan Mata issues coronavirus rallying call as lockdown continues

Juan Mata has issued a rallying call to footballers and fans as the coronavirus lockdown continues.

The Man Utd midfielder has helped launch a relief fund to aid with the crisis via the Common Goal initiative.

Mata is already one of the players who donates 1% of his annual salary to charities around the world.

Common Goal are now staging live 'matches' on social media, which will involve participating players 'commit the 90 minutes they are no longer spending on the pitch to create positive outcomes'.

The first match is due to be held on Thursday night and will see Mata pairing off with Bayern Munich's Serge Gnabry in a one-on-one engagement.

Mata said: "It’s been heartening to see many positive responses from players and other football leaders to the current crisis, but it can be also hard to know what to do to help effectively those who need it most.

"We are suffering a stark reminder of how interdependent we all are. To overcome coronavirus, and the other challenges facing humanity, we need to coordinate individual efforts and work together as a team.

"I’m urging not only my Common Goal teammates, but also all other players and football leaders from around the world to unite and help tackle this crisis, and at the same time use this as a catalyst to play a key role in tackling the other challenges humanity faces.

"Together we can beat this."

Premier League stars have already been donating to charity to help battle the pandemic, and have also been asked to take a 30% pay cut.

Mata's manager at United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has already leapt to the defence of players this week after the government demanded to see more action from elite stars.

"For me, football is an easy target sometimes," said Solskjaer.

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