Sir Alex Ferguson lauded Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata for their charitable work as he insisted “football people aren’t idle”.
Rashford’s endeavours last year resulted in the government extending the free school meals scheme into the summer, ensuring millions of children would not go hungry.
The England forward also worked to secure a £400million winter grant scheme to support struggling families this winter.
While Rashford’s incredible efforts are well known, those of his teammate Juan Mata are less widely documented.
The Spanish World Cup winner set up the Common Goal project in 2017, whereby footballers donate a percentage of their wages to charitable causes.
And Red Devils icon Ferguson heaped praise on Mata and Rashford for their work, which he believes is a shining example of how footballers can help bring about change.
“He’s always been a good kid. He joined us when he was nine years of age,” Ferguson told the Daily Mail .
“When you see people’s demeanour, behaviour, way of carrying themselves and ability to change things, that’s him. He’s got that.
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“He’s come from a working-class background and he knows what it’s like. When I was at school you had the free dinners and Marcus knows exactly what that’s like.”
Ferguson added: “I know the boy at United, Juan Mata, who gives a percentage of his wages to charity.
“Look at what Rashford has done. Not all footballers are out buying cars. There’s a big percentage with a big heart. Football people aren’t idle.”
Ferguson was Manchester United boss as Rashford began his development at the club’s academy, while Mata moved to Old Trafford in 2014, one year after the Scot retired.
Forward Rashford has been in scintillating form this season with 14 goals and five assists, while midfielder Mata has chipped in with two goals and three assists.
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