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Old 01-01-2018, 10:20 AM
fred tissue
Default The Guardian footballer of the year 2017: Juan Mata

Manchester United midfielderís Common Goal project, in which players and managers donate 1% of their salary to charity, makes him a worthy recipient

The Guardian Footballer of the Year is an award given to a player who has done something truly remarkable, whether by overcoming adversity, helping others or setting a sporting example by acting with exceptional honesty. The inaugural winner was Fabio Pisacane in 2016

Each time you meet Juan Mata itís a surprise how small he appears in person. You never expect a giant of a man to be only 5ft 7in tall, and to cut such a slight figure or to flash a warm smile, but the Guardianís Footballer of the Year for 2017 has always made a habit of confounding expectations about himself and the game he loves.

Related: The Guardianís inaugural Footballer of the Year: Cagliariís Fabio Pisacane

Mats Hummels

Being a professional footballer means you have a responsibility to think of others who donít have the same opportunities

Related: Juan Mata: ĎPeople underestimate football. It gives hope to so many peopleí

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