Handicap International has signed Neymar as a goodwill ambassador. World’s most expensive football star has pledged to work for millions who are ‘less visible’ but deserve equality.
Handicap International is a worldwide charity which aims to provide aid and support to disabled and vulnerable people living in poverty-struck countries.
Neymar was unveiled by the non-governmental organisation standing on top of the ‘Broken Chair’ sculpture in front of the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Strapped to a harness and mounted on top of huge chair statue, the Brazilian was seen doing kick-ups and booting footballs out to the crowd. The statue was put up in remembrance of landmine victims. He kicked a football to fans standing below and into the U.N. grounds. He also wore a Handicap International t-shirt inscribed ‘Reparer les vies’, translating to ‘Repair Lives’.
The independent charity was founded in 1982 to assist 6,000 Cambodian refugees who had lost limbs, the charity later co-founded the International Campaign to Ban Landmines in 1992. The ICBL has been accorded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The 25-year-old is optimistic about his philanthropic partnership with Handicap International. “I would like to begin by thanking you all for what you do for the least visible in the world, so they become more visible. I have to say that I am very pleased to be here and to be the new ambassador. I hope this will be a very successful partnership and that we will be able to help a large number of people,” he said. “Millions want their rights, they want to be treated better. That’s what we are here for and that is what our aim is.”
“What people may not realise is that beyond this exceptional sportsman, there is of course a conscience and a voice. A voice which Neymar Jr. decided to put to the service of others, specifically for the most vulnerable, which our organisation works for,”said Manuel Patrouillard, managing director of Handicap International.
The forward’s recent €222 million (US$259.2 million) move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain has been a more than 100% jump on the previous world record transfer fee. He made his highly anticipated Ligue 1 debut for PSG in a 3-0 win over Guingamp last Sunday, picking up an assist and his first goal for the French top-flight side in the process.