Héctor Bellerín drew applause from the audience after delivering a speech in which he was critical of the conditions surrounding the World Cup in Qatar.
The Barcelona defender did so during the GQ Awards gala, where he was awarded as one of the “Men of the Year 2022”. And, on receiving the award, he delivered his message.
“Being here today means not being in Qatar and not being with the national team. Not being part of it makes me sad, but, on the other hand, there is a part of it that makes me happy. I don’t know if I would be able to enjoy the burden of 6,500 people who died in the process of building a football World Cup. People from countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh. Most of them were men in their 30s and 40s, who were just looking for a decent life for themselves and their families. Football is once again a reflection of society, of greed, of selfishness. There is no limit. We continue to magnify all those things that separate us. That only leads to misunderstanding and inequality. The only way to break down that barrier is to look for humanity, empathy, love, to believe in our communities and the networks that conclude within them. In our polarised society, we have to see each other for what we are: people. Thank you all,” he said in words transcribed by Marca.