Juan Mata

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Klopp joins Common Goal, will donate 1 percent of salary

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Jurgen Klopp has joined the Common Goal Initative, pledging 1 percent of his salary to disadvantaged youth around the world.

Klopp made the announcement after winning the top honor for men’s manager at FIFA’s The Best awards ceremony on Monday.

[ MORE: Messi win’s men’s honor, City shut out ]

He joins Megan Rapinoe, who was honored as FIFA’s top women’s player, and a host of others including USWNT star Alex Morgan, RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann, and San Jose striker Chris Wondlowski.

“As a team, even with a minimum pledge of just 1%, together the football industry is capable of transforming the world,” Klopp said. “Now is the time for those interested to take a step forward.”

Generous move from a classy man.

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata launched the Common Goal Initiative in 2017, describing why in a Players’ Tribune post.

USWNT star Rapinoe an inspiration for others, says Man Utd’s Mata

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Juan Mata believes that Megan Rapinoe is an inspiration for other professional footballers, and human beings as a whole, for her outspokenness on social issues and desire to “make society a bit more fair.”

[ MORE: Top Premier League storylines: Matchweek 3 ]

Mata is no stranger to actively engaging in conversations about, and efforts to solve, societal issues. Both Mata and Rapinoe have pledged to donated one percent of their salaries to Common Goal, a collective fund that aids soccer-related projects around the world.

The fact that Rapinoe, who won the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player in guiding the U.S. women’s national team to the 2019 World Cup title, is a superstar of the highest level only amplifies her voice when she speaks. Mata sees that as a good thing, despite the backlash Rapinoe faced this summer — quotes from ESPN:

“She was scoring every game also and they won the World Cup so you can do it, you know.

“If you have time to do all the things and you’re generally passionate about football, and about society and about how to use the power of football to try to make society a bit more fair, then you can do it. That’s what we’re seeing.”

“I think you have heard many football players, both male and female speaking about social topics. I think many players are standing up for what they believe and I think it’s something nice. I think it’s good when football players do that.”

Whether it’s something as widespread as social injustices, as in Rapinoe’s case, or something as personal as mental health, players like Mata and Rapinoe are willing to lend their voices — and dollars — for the greater good, and that’s a wonderful thing.

Bailly injury announcement overshadows Man Utd win

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Manchester United defeated Norwegian side Kristiansund in Oslo on Tuesday, but the winning performance came with a dose of bad news.

Eric Bailly, injured last week against Tottenham Hotspur, is set to miss 4-5 weeks after surgery.

[ USWNT: Ellis stepping down ]

Juan Mata won and converted a stoppage time penalty for United, who provided Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a winning match in his home country.

Solskjaer split his starters and subs evenly in the victory.

But it’s difficult not to question United’s center back depth as Bailly suffers another spell on the sidelines. United has been heavily linked with a world record bid for Harry Maguire, but so far has almost the same CB corps as last season: Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, Axel Tuanzebe, and the ailing Bailly (Timothy Fosu-Mensah is back from his Fulham loan).

Official: Mata signs new two-year contract with option at Man United

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Manchester United is expected to experience some large turnover this summer, but at least one veteran will be staying into the future.

Man United confirmed the news that Juan Mata has signed a new two-year contract with the club. The deal also includes an option for a third year, though it’s unclear whether it’s a club or player option. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed, though the Guardian reported on Tuesday that Mata’s previous contract paid the Spanish midfielder around $9.2 million per season.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

“It is a real honor to continue to represent this amazing club and our incredible fans. I have been at Manchester United for five years and I am proud to call Old Trafford my home,” Mata said in a statement. “I am looking forward to working with Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] and his fantastic coaching staff; the vision that they have for the club is truly exciting and I am so happy that I will be a part of that.”

Like teammates Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia, Mata’s contract was coming to an end this summer. However, unlike the former two players, Mata has agreed to stay, though it’s likely on a much smaller contract considering his diminishing appearances the last few seasons.

Mata made just 22 starts this past season for Man United, the lowest in his career since moving to England from Valencia. He also finished with just six goals in 42 games, one of his lowest outputs in years. Now 31-years old, Mata is likely being kept around to be a father figure of sorts for the young and transitioning Man United squad, as well as providing some midfield guile as either a No. 10 or a passing No. 6 that can start the attacking moves from deep.

“Juan is the ultimate professional and one of the most intelligent players I have worked with,” Man United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said in a statement. “He is a great example to our younger players in his approach. He understands what it means to be a Manchester United player and has embraced everything about this great club.

“As well as everything he brings on the pitch, we have some fantastic young players here and I know that Juan’s vast experience will help them to reach their potential over the coming seasons. I am delighted that he has signed a new contract, as I know that his talent and mentality will be invaluable to the squad.”

The former Chelsea midfielder joined Man United in a mid-season transfer in January 2014, reportedly worth more than $47 million.

Reports: Mata agrees to stay with Manchester United

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Manchester United and Juan Mata are going to stay an item.

The 31-year-old has reportedly found common ground with United just days before his contract expired at Old Trafford, having been linked with Barcelona and Newcastle United should he have reached free agent status.

[ MORE: Latest on Rodri, Man City ]

Mata, 31, may be a key piece for a United team which is set for massive turnover this season, and had six goals and four assists in just under 1800 minutes last season.

He’s an extremely consistent player, scoring 50 Premier League goals with 60 assists between the Blues and Red Devils. He’s won the FA Cup and Europa League with both clubs, winning the Champions League with Chelsea and the League Cup with United.

Mata also has a Copa del Rey from his time with Valencia, and is a World Cup and EURO winner with Spain.

At least this way, Mata can be almost completely sure he won’t face a third stint under Jose Mourinho. Mata was sold by Chelsea after Mourinho lost interest in the midfielder, only to see United hire the Portuguese manager.