"We need to work together"

Paños joins Common Goal

While rivalry on the pitch makes the Beautiful Game so engrossing, FC Barcelona goalkeeper Sandra Paños has called for unity off the pitch after joining Common Goal.

In a week that will see Barca go head-to-head with Real Madrid in the Champions League quarterfinals at a sold-out Camp Nou, Paños is using the moment to highlight football’s ability to drive social change.

Her 1% will help in the fight for gender equality, with the Spaniard choosing to support Common Goal’s Global Goal 5 Accelerator.

“I believe that in women´s football in order to continue breaking barriers and getting stronger, we need to work together, regardless of our crest, of our race, everything,” she said.

“That´s the most important thing: togetherness, respect, and fighting so that women´s football can occupy the space it deserves.

“I am very happy, I know there are many players, women and men who are a part of this movement, and I am especially thrilled to help all these people who really need it through football.

“I think us women and men footballers are ultimately in a privileged position because thanks to what we do and what we work towards, we make a lot people happy.

“Few things create the joy that football does so taking that step further, we can truly help a lot, so I believe by doing this, by joining Common Goal´s cause, I'm taking that step further that can help a lot of people by doing practically nothing”

While that unity might not be obvious when Barca and Real meet on Wednesday, Paños has been welcomed to the Common Goal movement by Read Madrid defender Babett Peter.

In a video to Paños, Peter put their on-pitch rivalry to the side as the pair unite on the same side to drive social change through football.

“I want to welcome you to the movement,” said Peter. “Soon we’re going to be rivals on the pitch but, more importantly, off the pitch we will work together to drive social change through football.

“Together we can make a difference. See you soon in the Camp Nou.”