By Arinze Ude
Soccer or football is the most popular sport, played and watched by millions of people worldwide. It is more than a game because it teaches us a lot about life, so let’s take a look at some of the lessons we can learn from following the game:
1. People don’t remember all the things you’ve done for them. Rather, they will hold on to the one you didn’t do. Robin van Persie has scored a lot of important goals for Man United this season but took a lot of stick for missing a glorious chance late in the game against Chelsea.
2. Success breeds haters. Lionel Messi and his FC Barcelona team are hated by many because of the success they’ve recorded.
3. The media will make and mar you. David Beckham married spice girl, Victoria Adams in 1999 and the pair were dubbed “Posh & Becks” by the British media. A few years later, British tabloids offered Rebecca Loos a whopping £5m to reveal all the details of her affair with the football star
4. Competition is healthy and brings out the best in us. Javier Hernandez has really improved in his all round play this season because of the emergence of Danny Welbeck and signing of Robin van Persie.
5. Football enlightens us on geography. It makes us conversant with some places we had never heard of, eg. Andorra, San Marino, Faroe Islands, Luxembourg, Catalunya, Lichtenstein, Basque country, Andalucia country, etc.
6. Football helps you become familiar with foreign new names. Without it we would not know how to pronounce or spell some names of the players/coaches or know the countries of origin of these names.
7. Nothing is permanent. Life is all about rise and fall. In 2002, Leeds United were in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League; they play in the English second tier (Championship) today.
8. All is fair in love and war. If you like complain and moan all day about some refereeing errors that cost your team the match, the match will not be replayed.
9. Opportunity comes but once, take it! Kenneth Omeruo was relatively unknown prior to the start of AFCON. He was given the chance to play after Efe Ambrose was red carded in the first game, he did well and cemented his place in the team ousting the captain, Joseph Yobo from the starting line-up.
10. Football educates one about history; only if you listen to the commentary and don’t make silly noise/arguments during a game. Did you know that whenever Tottenham Hotspur plays at home, Arsenal (Highbury days) must play away to prevent traffic jam?
11. It is hard to replace or leave a team player out of the team. Pedro is the one of the most hard-working players I’ve seen, that’s why it’s hard to keep him out of the team at FC Barcelona and International level.
12. Footballers inspire you. It teaches that you can be anything you want to be if you work hard.
13. Money will always come but what would you do with the money? A lot of footballers have gone from riches to rags because they failed to invest their money properly.
14. Nobody is indispensable. Manchester United won’t become extinct when Sir Alex Ferguson finally retires.
15. Humility is truly a virtue. Ryan Giggs is the most decorated player in the history of English football but he’s laid back and humble, a true example to everyone. See Kanu Nwankwo also.
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