There’s no debate that Juan Mata is probably the nicest man in the entire footballing universe.
And every so often he goes that extra step to ensure his place is secure on the top of the Football Nice Guys podium.
Now, the Spaniard’s been getting his hands dirty by helping kit staff with his colleague’s filthy laundry during his own time.
Mata, who earns around £140,000-a-week at Old Trafford, left his pampered team-mates stunned by unloading their dirty kits and boots after away matches.
The 29-year-old set up the Common Goal charity last year, aimed at helping under-privileged kids around the world, calling on players to make a donation.
A club insider said : “Juan is a special guy – he has started to help the kit man and his staff over the last couple of months.
“It sums up what kind of person he is.
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“While his team mates just jump into their flashy motors and zoom off after being dropped off back after away games, Juan has taken it on himself to stay behind and give a helping hand to the ordinary staff. It’s a huge job to unload all the gear of the coach and takes a good while.
“People have been saying what a great gesture it is but to be honest it’s just typical of the man – we are saying he has to be the nicest man in football!”
Mata’s Common Goal scheme has seen around 46 professional players pledge one per cent of their salary to his movement.
The likes of Mats Hummels and Giorgio Chiellini are just two of the high-profile names who have helped raise more than £457,900.
Earlier this year Mata attended the World Economic Forum where he met the likes of Bill Gates and Malala Yousafzai, the schoolgirl activist who survived an attempted murder by a Taliban gunman.
On his blog he wrote: “It was an honour for me, a special experience from which I could learn many things. I had the opportunity to meet really inspiring people such as Bill Gates or Malala, and we talked about Common Goal and the ability of sports in general, and football in particular, to help make a positive change in society.
“I take with me the example and inspiration of some of the people I met there, people who dedicate their lives to make the lives of others more decent. The Common Goal movement keeps growing.”
The United source added : “Clearly Juan isn’t the normal kind of footballer off the pitch.
“Back at the club he has also taken to replying to his Old Trafford fan mail personally including a hand signed picture – and has also helped his dad open a Spanish restaurant in Manchester as a thank you for all his support.
“He is one amazing guy.”