Defender Javi Poves has quit La Liga club Sporting Gijon, saying he has taken a stance against a sport he describes as "rotten".
The 24-year-old Spaniard is walking away from the game after rescinding his contract with the north-coast club, for whom he played in the Spanish third tier with Sporting's B team.
"The more you know about football the more you realise it is all about money, that it is rotten and this takes away your enthusiasm," Poves told Spanish daily ABC's website (www.abc.es) on Wednesday.
"What point is there is earning 800 or 1000 euros if you know that you are obtaining it through the suffering of many people."
Daily El Pais reported that Poves refused to allow the club to pay him via a bank transfer, he said so the banks could not speculate with his money, and that he returned the keys to a car that had been provided to players by sponsors.
Poves's stance against what he sees as a corrupt sport has struck a chord in a country where many young people, known as 'los indignados', have taken to the streets in recent weeks to protest against the government's policies.
They have expressed anger about joblessness, unpayable mortgage debt, political corruption and social inequality in cities across Spain.
"I don't want Javi Poves to become an icon, I am just one more and I fight against inequality," he added.
"I want everyone to be equal and that we all unite and stop arguing over trivial matters and try to move forward. As it stands the world is preparing to destroy itself."
Poves, who has said he wants to study and to offer his help socially, also called for football's top players to do more to help others.
"There are certain personalities at a world level, Pele, Ronaldinho, (Lionel) Messi who are ambassadors for UNICEF and who on the face of it are very good, but they could do much more" he added.
"These people have such influence they should involve themselves in a much more direct way."