Atletico de Madrid midfielder and Spain international Saul Niguez has launched a new campaign to help businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The decorated midfielder has launched Saldremos Juntos (translating into English as ‘We can get through this together’) in a bid to help small businesses who have had their income damaged by the pause to the global economy due to the virus.
Spain is in the midst of a prolonged state of emergency which began on 13 March and is set to last until 12 May, when extreme social distancing measures may then be eased.
Spanish football has been suspended indefinitely during the pandemic, although there are hopes that the sport may be able to resume – albeit behind closed doors – over the summer months.
Two other Spain international – Atleti striker Alvaro Morata and Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets – are among the 44 ambassadors who have helped out Saul with the campaign, with 18,000 freelancers and small businesses requesting assistance.
“I was watching the news and everything was negative so I spoke to my agent and I said let’s do something to help out,” Saul explained in an interview with Reuters.
“The idea came to me in five minutes and he told me it was very difficult but I said let’s do what we can. In two hours he had formed a team.
“The idea is to link a business, Saldremos Juntos and the famous person and for the business to get something positive out of it.
“So a tennis player can donate a racket or a motorcyclist their helmet and we auction it and raise money so a business can get a little boost. When you have famous people backing you it’s easier to have a big impact.
“This crisis is going to be much bigger than anything we’ve experienced and anything we do will not be enough but my aim is to help, it might not be enough in some cases but I have to try.
“I have no fixed aim, I’m talking with lots of people about what they can do. People don’t have to give lots of money, but famous people can use their image and can attract people to businesses who need them.
“Every way of helping is positive, we need to get everyone to help and support each other and above all when this crisis passes we need to continue to show solidarity with each other.”
Saul added that, whilst footballers were continuing with fitness regimes from home, the sport was very much at the back of their minds right now: “The club will call me when it’s time to go back to work, I’m preparing myself mentally and physically to deal with it in the best way possible but football is secondary right now.”