Neven Subotic – More Than Just a Footballer

The end of a footballing season marks the beginning of summer, and for most players, it means a trip to luxurious places for some well-deserved vacation. But for Borussia Dortmund’s Neven Subotić this summer pause meant a lot more than just sitting on the beach and enjoy the sunshine. In the wake of the DFB Cup final the Serbian center back was packing his bags to take part in his foundation’s work in Ethiopia. The Neven Subotić Stiftung, as it is called, is an organization that provides clean water and other facilities in rural areas, especially in Africa, who are exposed to health threats because of lack of necessary infrastructure.

After arriving in Ethiopia Subotić has been documenting his day-to-day activities and what work his foundation has done by posting on his Facebook page. He first arrived in the capital of Addis Ababa and then, along with members of his group, had to travel far distances both by car and on foot to reach Adigrat, found in the nation’s Tigray region, a state on the Northern part of the country, where the foundation’s work will take place.

The main task was drilling wells for clean water sources. People who were forced to drink contaminated water and who were also exposed to several infections as a result of that are now safe. With the help of the new water sources, they not only have water that is safe for a drink but also are relieved from the burden of having to travel to far distances in search of clean water. There were also the building of clean bathrooms in public places like schools.

But the trip was not entirely filled with tiring work. Subotić, as he mentioned in his posts, also had the chance to sit down and chat with the locals, meet new interesting people, and enjoy some traditional plays and games with the children there.

This was a very exemplary deed from the part of the Dortmund defender. His willingness to sacrifice his free time and luxurious lifestyle to work in this type of conditions is truly astonishing. He managed to put a smile on the face of these people with his good work. And this goes to show that Neven is not only a great footballer but also a great person and role model. And this definitely is an act worth praising.

Part Two

Just as he did last year and the year before that Borussia Dortmund’s Serbian center back Neven Subotic was back in Ethiopia, East Africa, with members of his foundation, Neven Subotic Stiftung, for their annual charity work.
Their main goal, as broadly depicted in part one of this article, is to make sure that people living in rural areas get water that is clean and safe to drink. To this cause, Subotic and his team once again traveled long distances to the northern part of the country to build new water sources and other facilities like clean latrines around schools.

They have been documenting their day-to-day activity on the foundation’s Facebook page and have tried to include other people, who can’t make the trip, to take part in this admirable and noble activity by making them aware of the situation there so that they can make donations to the organization.

In one of their posts, Subotic and every member of his team have chosen a kit number to educate people on the severe consequences of not being able to get clean water. For instance, Subotic picked the number 1 because one out of eleven children in sub-Saharan Africa dies before their 5th birthday. He added that while our world is full of technologies that help us solve complex problems it’s sad that small matters like lack of safe drinking water can cause such a calamity. He wanted to be part of the solution and that’s why he is doing all of these good deeds with his group.

What an exemplary guy Subotic is? Words can’t describe what remarkable, charitable work he is doing. He is personally changing lives every day, making a difference, and inspiring so many people. And I am one of those people who have been touched by his big heart. There are a lot of people in remote and rural areas suffering from different infectious diseases only because they can’t get clean water. Neven Subotic Stiftung is playing a big part in preventing this.

The BVB man is enjoying his stay in Ethiopia, as seen from his posts, but will have another set of business waiting for him when he gets back home. Rumors have it that the Serbian might be switching clubs in the summer after falling down the pecking order in Thomas Tuchel’s team. The man who was an integral part of Klopp’s teams who won two Bundesliga titles and the German Pokal made but a handful of appearances this past season, with thrombosis of the arm ending his season on April 1. The 27-year-old defender has made over 250 appearances in all competitions for Dortmund since coming over from Mainz in June, 2008 while representing Serbia 36 times.

He has been linked with a move to several EPL clubs, but the final decision on his future remains open. The fact that BVB won’t sign another Center-Back, after securing Marc Bartra from Barcelona, might mean that Subotic can stay perhaps another year at the Signal Iduna Park. If he can get more playing time and can get back to his best form, he will be like a new signing for the Black and Yellows. Even if that doesn’t happen who wouldn’t want to have such a kind and thoughtful man in their team?

A brilliant player and a brilliant human being, you have earned my biggest respect Neven Subotic. You truly are more than just a footballer.

About Brook Genene 4 Articles
Brook lives in Ethiopia and started following the Bundesliga from a very young age. His favorite players then were Thomas Rosicky - the reason he became a Dortmund fan! - and Marcelinho of Hertha Berlin. He likes to watch, read, write, and talk about football with a special interest in discussing emerging young talents. Follow @brookge

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