Former Arsenal midfielder has made sustainability his life goal and wants more athletes to follow the example set by Marcus Rashford

Mathieu Flamini wants to be certain we are getting down to business. “I’m quite hyperactive as you know,” he says. “If we’re beginning the interview I need to start walking around. Sitting down is something I’m not good at doing for a long time.”

Moments later he is off and running. At times over the next hour it feels hard to keep pace, the ideas pinging around in a manner familiar to anyone who can picture him eating up the yards during the peak of his football career. Flamini is on a mission. He wants athletes to seize their opportunity, in fractured and rudderless times, to disrupt the status quo and use their voices meaningfully. He would like them to channel their life experience and, when the subject matter is relevant, become activists. Essentially, he would like more of them to follow in the footsteps of Marcus Rashford.

Related: Patrice Evra: 'Silence is a crime. You can’t be in silence any more'

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