Xavi Hernández spoke of his pride after opening a Cruyff Court bearing his name in his home town of Terrassa, Spain. "It's important for me to give something back," he said.
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The 2013 Monaco Charity Award is already delivering results as FC Barcelona's Xavi Hernández opened his own Cruyff Court in Terrassa, Spain.
The Cruyff Court 'Xavi Hernández' is the first of six European Cruyff Courts funded by the donation of the UEFA Charity Award. The €1m cheque was presented to the Cruyff Foundation to help its efforts to nurture the well-being of young people, with both partners believing in the benefits of developing areas for children to interact through sport in a safe environment.
"I am very proud of the fact that I can open this pitch which bears my name," said Xavi. "It's important for me that I can give something back to the youth of Terrassa, the neighbourhood where I grew up. I hope more players follow my example."
The Cruyff Court Xavi Hernández is the seventh Cruyff Court to be inaugurated in Spain, as the number of such facilities worldwide nears the 200 mark. The Cruyff Foundation aims to organise projects for young children such as six-a-side tournaments (Cruyff Courts 6 v 6) for boys and girls up to the age of 12 while the Cruyff Foundation Community Programme teaches youngsters between the ages of 14 and 21 about staging events to have a positive impact on their communities.
"We awarded last year's Monaco Charity Award to the Cruyff Foundation as a signal of UEFA's commitment to the promotion of social values and a healthy lifestyle through grassroots football," explained UEFA President Michel Platini. "I'm very pleased to see the legacy of the award continuing to grow, and new Cruyff courts being built. They will encourage children to play sports by giving them back their playgrounds."