Manchester United midfielder, Juan Mata has urged his teammate, Marcus Rashford to never stick to football alone.
This is following reactions from some critics, who are criticizing the striker amid his battle to help children.
Rashford was able to lobby the government to extend its policy of providing free meals for underprivileged children into the summer months through the school holidays in June.
However, a vote to extend free school meals over the holidays until Easter 2021 was defeated recently. This made Rashford, who has been awarded the MBE for his effort to hit out at the UK Government.
If you can do one thing for me tonight, sign the petition 👇🏾https://t.co/FvvpO71zOv— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) October 20, 2020
It’s time we put party politics aside and worked together to find a long-term sustainable solution to child food poverty in the UK.
Implement the 3 asks.
I appreciate you all ♥️
I’m signing off with a feeling a pride tonight. The superstars of this nation lie in local communities. Even after taking the biggest hits you have wrapped your arms around your community to catch children as they fell. I really can’t thank you enough, you’re amazing ♥️— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) October 23, 2020
He has even raised a petition and he is looking for more signature so that it can be debated at the UK legislature.
Lauding the work of his teammate, Mata is encouraging him to ignore his critics. The Spaniard, who has been playing a bit par role in Old Trafford said every player has a platform to get important messages across.
“It’s important for every player to realise the platform that we have, the message that we can get across and the number of people that we can help.
“I’m very proud of what Marcus has been doing. On the pitch, of course, we know how good he is and he is still performing very well but off the pitch also, the work he’s been doing over the last months has been great,” Mata told the Pitch to Post Preview podcast.
The playmaker noted that the striker has via his platform improved the quality of life for so many kids in this country, which everyone is proud of.
“His family should be proud of him, me, as a team-mate, and the club is very proud of him.
“And I think it’s important also to get the message that of course we are football players and our main focus is our professional life, which is training and playing football and being ready to perform but that doesn’t take away from having time to do these kinds of things, which doesn’t take any focus away from our professional life.”
Rashford can do both football and philanthropic work – Mata
Speaking on critics telling the forward to focus only on football, the playmaker pointed out that he can conveniently do both.
“I’ve seen some people saying, Marcus should stick to playing football and things like that, which I don’t really agree with because he can do both, as he’s showing. And I’m very proud of what he’s done and he’s getting the reward he deserves,” he added.
Mata lauds Lampard ahead of Premier League clash
Manchester United will be facing Chelsea today in the Premier League action.
Chelsea is coming into the game on the back of three consecutive draws while United has been on good form after the international break. They are going into the clash with high level of confidence after beating last season’s Champions League runner up, Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League.
Mata, who left the Blues for United also showered praise on the coach, Frank Lampard, describing him as an intelligent lad, who knew about the game quite well.
“You could feel from the first day that I arrived to Chelsea’s dressing room that he was a very intelligent man.
“He knew a lot about football and he understood the game really well as a player. You could imagine that he would be a very good manager like he’s showing now,” Mata said.