Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has sported a hoodie with the words “Open Arms” on the front numerous times this season.
Many fans have wondered about the meaning behind the slogan and Guardiola’s choice to wear the item of clothing, especially those supporters who remember the days when the Spaniard would more frequently wear suits and cardigans.
Open Arms is in fact a Spanish charity, whose aim is “to protect those who try to reach Europe by sea, fleeing from armed conflict, persecution or poverty”.
The charity monitors and rescues vessels that are carrying people in need of help in the Mediterranean channel.
Open Arms also works to “inform and educate on land so that those who migrate can make decisions with complete freedom and knowledge”.
Laura Lanuza, Open Arms’ communications and projects director, spoke to Forbes in March about Guardiola’s involvement in the charity.
“Pep knew about our work from the media and contacted us offering to help,” Lanuza said.
“He was moved by the humanitarian emergency in the Aegean and Mediterranean, where more than 20,000 people have died trying to reach Europe in last five years.
“He believed our values matched his.
“He has supported us, not only funding our missions and needs when most needed, but also by giving us a voice.”
Guardiola’s Man City side take on Chelsea in the Champions League final on Saturday, in what is almost certain to be the most-watched fixture that City will have played this season.
Therefore, it would be no surprise to see Guardiola wearing his Open Arms hoodie, using the huge platform that the Champions League final provides in order to raise awareness around the charity and its aims.
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