FIFA.com sat down with Spain defender Gerard Pique to find out more about his motivations and aspirations in taking up the role of Ambassador for FIFA’s Football for Hope initiative, which was launched in 2005 to help improve the lives and prospects of young people around the world through football.
What are your personal objectives in becoming the Football for Hope Ambassador?
Football has helped make me into the person I am now. The values I was taught on the pitch such as discipline, respect for your opponent and fair play are important, both in football and society in general. With these values, youngsters can become integral components of their respective communities. As the Ambassador for Football for Hope, I aim to raise awareness on the important role football can play in fostering social integration and giving opportunities to young people who haven’t been as fortunate as I have with the support system around them.
*What do you think football's role is in society? *
I really believe football has the power to change lives and to build a better future. The Football for Hope initiative is designed to support NGOs that use football as a tool for social development with funding, equipment, know-how and opportunities to exchange and collaborate with like-minded organisations. Its ultimate goal of helping to improve the lives and prospects of young people around the world is one that I am very excited to support.
As someone who has achieved so much and been fortunate in life, do you feel the need to give back? * *
Having achieved so much at such a young age thanks to football, I would love to give something back. I aspire to help raise awareness on societal problems and to support initiatives that can bring about positive social change. By supporting and promoting FIFA’s Football for Hope initiative, I aim to have a positive impact on the many programmes it supports in underprivileged communities around the world. It is my personal wish to help as many Football for Hope supported programmes achieve their goals as possible and to encourage the personal development of young people through sport. Football for Hope supports incredible programs run by incredible people that are making a positive impact on young people’s lives all over the word on a daily basis. If I can help them achieve their goals, then it is an honour and a privilege for me to be able to help.