- Yohan Benalouane is looking after homeless people living in the streets of Thessaloniki, Greece
- The Tunisia and Aris defender is one of seven nominees for the FIFPRO Merit Award
- Yohan, who also played in England, France and Italy, hopes that his efforts can turn into a global movement.
Football represents just 50% of my life, but the most important thing in football is not the money it brings, it is all the doors it can open around the world. I started the charity already when I was in England, because in England, you have a lot of people on the street. I was doing this for myself. Then I started in Thessaloniki. I was with a friend. He took a picture and after it was posted on the internet a lot of people said they were interested in helping or were doing something similar. So, I realized we could start a movement. Now, every week, I am joined by eight to ten people. They bring clothes, medicine, food, everything. We go for a walk through the city and share the things. Sometimes, we just share some words, because the people on the street, they need some words, they need to feel they are not alone. That is really important.
It is good if you can help. I feel I am really lucky. Not because I am a footballer, but I am lucky to live in a house, I am lucky to have dinner and I am lucky to have some people around just to talk, just to love. Some people don't have this love because they are living on the street. So, I try to bring them food, clothes and medicine, but also love. We also try to make a difference to their outlook. Sometimes they have lost the belief. We then try to bring them a little power, to say: ‘Don't give up, try to move on. I will be by your side to give you some help. Try to do something with your life because the life is never finished. Sometimes one step is the start of a long journey.’