Soccer Star Xavi Gives Up His Yacht For Refugees

The former Barcelona football player actively helps save migrants’ lives by working alongside nonprofit groups.

Xavier “Xavi” Hernández Creus has turned in the keys of his personal yacht to nonprofit Proactiva Open Arms (POA), an organization whose mission is to save lives at sea.

The 36-year-old ex-Barcelona midfielder, who now plays for Qatar club Al Sadd SC, gave his yacht to POA, which is currently stationed in the Greek island of Lesbos and is helping migrants who cross the Aegean Sea.

“The soccer player Xavi Hernandez collaborates with Proactiva Open Arms with the donation of a recreational craft to be auctioned in the near future. He was introduced to our work a while ago and decided to donate his yacht to obtain more resources in order to ensure the permanence of the mission.” the charity said via their social media channels Twitter and Facebook. “Thank you, Xavi, gestures like yours, will save many lives.”

However, the yacht itself will not be used to carry migrants to shore but will be auctioned off and the proceeds will be used by POA to further their charitable work in the Mediterranean.

The island of Lesbos has received at least 55,000 asylum-seekers in the first six months of this year. More than 3,000 refugees from war-torn Middle East and Africa have died while trying to cross the perilous waters since January 2016.

This isn’t the first time Xavi has worked for a cause. He once donated a check of 100,000 euros ($112,000) that was given to him by the Union of European Football Associations, to the ICRC for the Red Cross’s physical rehabilitation initiative in Afghanistan.

He also contributed 25,000 euros ($28,000) worth of prize money from the Prince of Asturias Award to an organization that combats child poverty in his hometown of Terrassa, Spain.

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