They are only young but they already know what fighting is. To face a disease at such an early age requires enormous strength and courage. They are involved in their own match, playing with tremendous strength and courage, which they are trying desperately to win.


Life on a hospital ward can be extremely difficult. Which is why visits from magicians, dog therapy and virtual reality experiences make the young people’s stay more bearable. Football is also a way to bring happiness to the ward. These children dream of their idols: they dream of meeting them one day and wearing their kit. That is why Santander, the official sponsor of three of the biggest  football competitions worldwide (UEFA, Champions League, CONMEBOL Libertadores and LaLiga Santander), has opted to support the initiative of Panenka magazine, “Strongest gowns”, a project that converts the official football tee-shirts into hospital gowns, replacing the boring green robes with the colors of the teams. 

Official football shirts converted into hospital gowns.
Official football shirts converted into hospital gowns.

Santander has decided to join this initiative because it strongly believes in the ability of football to generate a positive impact on society, improving the reality of many people, as is the case of children admitted to a hospital. “We support different causes that allow us to transfer a message, and therefore, our role as a Brand that is committed to achieve a better football”, explains Juan Manuel Cendoya, Vice-Chairman of Santander España, Executive Director of Communication, Corporate Marketing and Research of Banco Santander.

Juan Manuel Cendoya at the Hospital Quirónsalud San José. Juan Manuel Cendoya at the Hospital Quirónsalud San José.

Under this strategy, called FootballCan, the bank moves its vision of football as a powerful change agent capable of transforming the lives of millions of people. The objective is to promote the role of football as an engine of prosperity and social change.

In the build up to the UEFA Champions LeagueRound of 16 match between Real Madrid and Manchester City, Santander has delivered many of these gowns to children at the Hospital Quirónsalud San José in the Spanish capital. 

Dr. Francisco Javier Hernández Calvín, head of the Pediatric Otolaryngology Unit from the same hospital, said: “it generates in many of these young children the comfort necessary to face the disease and to defeat it without extensions or discounts”.

Because football is the engine of emotions, but also of transformation to help prosper or improve people's lives.

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