As the razzmatazz in Brazil in the FIFA world cup 2014, draws to a close this weekend with the final match between Germany and Argentina being played on Sunday, it is important that we glean the life lessons to be learnt from the competition as the curtain drops.
The lessons listed below are some of the lessons I learnt from watching some of the matches, listening to gist and keeping myself updated from the buzz on twitter and soccer sites and I’m hopeful that it will be useful to you as it is to me.
1. Humans Can Fly
It’s a bird, it’s a plane – No, it’s Van Persie!
The lessons started rolling in for me from the second match of the competition which was between the Netherlands and the defending world champions, Spain.
The equalising goal by Van Persie caused quite a stir in the world and rightly so, as it challenged and upturned previously held facts about flying and creating new trends in the social media.
Persieing became both a word and a craze and the ‘Flying Dutch-man’ reminded me of the words from the very successful Adidas campaign, ‘Impossible Is Nothing’.
It has even been observed that babies have now included flying into their ‘Growing up’ manuals as they will no longer just learn to crawl and walk but they are also preparing themselves to start flying Persieing!
If humans can literarily fly, what do you then see as impossible?
2. Life Always Presents Opportunities
I never rated Colombia highly before the competition and trust me, I rated them even less when I heard that their most influential player, Radamel Falcao, was going to miss the competition because of injuries.
His importance was further highlighted as Colombia delayed their team list for the competition to the very last minute all in the hope that their star man would recover in time for the games – but he never did.
Enter James Rodriguez, the player drafted in to replace Falcao in his position and who before the competition was just another name on the Colombian team-sheet. Fast forward to the closing weekend of the competition and ‘King James’ as he’s now widely known is sitting pretty on top of the scorers chart with six goals from five games and is being courted by the biggest team in the world – Real Madrid.
Just one opportunity and James Rodriguez has become ‘King James’.
Life will always present us with opportunities but only the prepared will see it to take it.
3. The Little Difference Is A Lot of Difference
By the semi-final stage of the competition, the four teams (Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Netherlands) left were soccer super powers and it seemed like they were always expected to be there.
A look at the results of these teams however would reveal something interesting – they all came to that stage as a result of fine details.
They all have had one goal margin wins on their journey to the semis and some had to even do extra time and penalties to get there, with the Netherlands looking like they were out of the competition with just ten minutes to the end of their second round knock-out match against Mexico.
World-class lives miles apart from average but they are both neighbours, separated just by the fence of fine details.
The question is, are you ready to move up just a little bit from average to world-class?
The Difference between Extra-ordinary and Ordinary is just that word – Extra.
4. There Is No ‘I’ In Team
This lesson was awash on the social media after the Brazil/Germany game, as everyone seemed to agree that Brazilian team over relied on Neymar for inspiration.
Team is spelt, t.e.a.m, there is no ‘I’.
Never build your team on an individual, it can be catastrophic!
5. Play The Game To The End
We’ll take this lesson from two perspectives.
The first perspective is from the Mexico/Netherlands game, where Mexico were qualifying to the quarter finals with less than ten minutes to play and then they took their eyes off the ball, stopped playing the game and baam! They were knocked out.
FOCUS is key
The second perspective was in watching the Brazilian players endure the shame of a 5-0 drubbing before half-time of their semi-final clash with Germany.
Their faces were writhed in pain and their legs seemed too heavy to carry them, but guess what? They played on.
Why should you give up on your dream or a project because things are not going well at the moment? Some people actually give up on life and commit suicide. That’s sad.
The Brazilian players played the game to the end and never saw giving up as an option and yes they finally lost the match 7-1 but you should hear the roar in the stadium when they scored their goal.
If you don’t give up, you’ll definitely have something to celebrate about
6. Be Thankful
Don’t ask me why, but I actually wanted Brazil to lose that semi-final clash against Germany, but certainly not that scandalously. I wanted a slim margin loss.
However as the match progressed, I began to feel sorry for Brazil, pained at the way the match was going and wondered how they were going to hide their faces in shame at the final whistle.
They shocked me.
The attitude of many of the players blew my mind. They knelt down and said a prayer of thanksgiving.
That picture of David Luiz after the final whistle will be eternally etched in my memory. Its the attitude of a person who will never stay down.
They won my respect.
In everything, give thanks, for its God’s will for you
The space was left blank so you can help finish this piece.
What lesson do you feel I’m missing out on?
What lesson did you get to learn from this world-cup?
Please do feel free to share it in the comments section.
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