Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp — affable gaffer, football’s best gnashers, Champions League winner — just went from the Premier League’s most liked manager (probably) to at least the most generous one too.
The 52-year-old won the Best FIFA Men's Coach Award on Monday night — and after collecting the “quite heavy” prize, the manager thanked his family and his team, and made a huge announcement that reverberated around the sporting world.
Klopp will become the first Premier League coach to join the Common Goal initiative, meaning he will donate 1% of his salary to organisations that work towards achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Common Goal was founded by Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata in August 2017 to “change the world, even if only in some small way."
The initiative has since gained more than 416 members across 34 countries, including the USA's World Cup winning captain Megan Rapinoe, and Juventus and Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini.
Klopp’s announcement as its next member temporarily crashed the Common Goal website.
JURGEN KLOPP became the biggest star yet to sign up to Common Goal – and immediately crashed the charity’s website.— WAITHAKA BABEZ (Mukarara) (@McBarr_Prince) September 24, 2019
Liverpool boss Klopp announced he was donating one per cent of his £7million salary to the fundraising group – which was set up by Juan Mata. pic.twitter.com/H89EMltiTN
There are 736 million people who live in extreme poverty around the world, defined as living on less than $1.90 (£1.50) a day. The Global Goals address the root causes of the problem, ranging from gender inequality to the climate crisis.
It’s a plan to create systemic change. But the Global Goals can’t be achieved without investment — and there’s currently a $350 billion annual funding gap.
Klopp reportedly earns £10 million a year — therefore theoretically pumping £100,000 annually into helping protect the world’s most vulnerable people. But the football industry creates £44 billion in revenue every year, according to the Guardian.
“The past was great, the present is really good, and the future hopefully will be good for us as well,” Klopp said in Milan, Italy. “But there are people out there that are not exactly in the same situation. I am really proud and happy to announce that, from today on, I am a member of the Common Goal family.”
“Liverpool’s Champions League win was achieved on the back of exceptional team spirit among the staff and players and it is only by working together that we can accomplish truly meaningful things in football and in life,” he added.
Alongside Mata, only three Premier League players are officially signed up to the pledge: Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel; Bournemouth defender Charlie Daniels; and Brighton defender Leon Balogun.
The Guardian reports that Nordsjælland, a team from the Danish Superliga, recently became the first club to join Common Goal — while the first manager to get involved was RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann.
“Klopp, with his incredible achievements in the Bundesliga and the Premier League, as well as the way fans beyond his own club hold him in such high esteem, will have a tremendous impact on raising awareness of the movement and inspiring other football managers and top-level players to follow suit,” Nagelsmann said.
You can find out more about Common Goal, and how to join the initiative, here.