With the 2014 soccer World Cup coming up and most teams losing their key players to injuries, one could only imagine what it feels like to miss the biggest football festival. Many a time, I wonder which really is the most painful to miss: not participating in the Champions League or missing out on the FIFA World Cup?
The UEFA Champions League,to most soccer players, is the fiesta of soccer! You don’t love the round leather game and want to miss the pomp and ceremony characterized with the UEFA Champions League. You are either not fully informed of what the feeling is or must be from
The champion’s league is played every year and keenly contested by top teams in each league in Europe. The buildup moments to each match is pulsating. From the Champions League anthem to the very edgy video clip of the trademark sponsor Heineken.
I believe Heineken makes drinking so elitist and attractive, you forget its alcohol and rated 18. The feeling of goose bumps when the Champions League anthem is played is mutual among soccer enthusiast.
The World Cup is the peak of soccer, played every four years. By all standards it’s the biggest football carnival (if such expressions exist) every player wants to feature in before finally hanging their boots.
Most of the best players who have ever kicked the round leather game understand it’s a sign of honour, and prestige. The feeling is a patriotic one, It adds to a player’s bragging right. However, we all learn lessons when the best players miss out from the world cup.
Below are some lessons we pick along the way and what they mean to us;
Giggs is a legend to the people of Manchester United. Though he never played in the World Cup, he practically won all the trophies, including the Champions League with Manchester United. Giggs, hails from wales and it hasn’t been easy for wales qualifying for the World Cup. It did not deter Giggs name to be heard among soccer lovers.
Lesson: Never let your location or place of birth stop the world from experiencing your gift or talent.
Weah is the only African soccer player as at 2014 who has won the prestigious world footballer of the year. During his active years, he did everything to be at the World Cup. At most times, he sponsored the Liberian national team ( who went through a civil war in better part of Weah’s playing career or just coming out of it). Weah’s last shot was 2010 qualifier which he lost to Sierra Leone.
Lesson: A tree doesn’t make a forest. When you are a standout, it takes more to convince people to stand out like you. If no one steps up to your plate, always remember “the journey sometimes is the destination, not the destination the journey”.George weah is legendry and his missing the world cup doesn’t make him less an iconic player.
Zlatan is a small god to the people of Sweden and his current club PSG (Paris Saint German). His talent and on the pitch moves would always leave you smile at odd times, with people wondering what on earth are the trickeries.
Zlatan has got a huge ego and gives no apologies. His goals are trademark. When Sweden met Portugal during the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, it was obvious the world cup ticket was between Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan.
Lesson: Even the most stylish miss big events like the World Cup. Keep making waves where you are even when you miss the big offers.
FC Barcelona’s victor Valdes is technically out of the champions league and the world cup. I can only imagine the pain of victor. Such is soccer, one day you are hale and hearty with amazing dreams and the other days you rue your loss and only then do you just keep wishing.
Victor announced his exit from his club at the end of the season. His injury rules him out for possibly 7(seven) calendar month.
Since injuries are likely part of the deal, I would simply say you plan for the unexpected. we call it worse case scenario. I believe sometimes it’s great to leave your lips sealed until you have the decision up to you. I think I understand why most players keep denying transfer deals until the last minutes victors case is a classic.
What football lessons have you learnt from big stars missing the World Cup? Make your list, let’s learn and share in your lessons.
Charles Umeh is a student of life, life coach and strategist who makes impact through his writings and speaking engagements. Twitter @Charismacharles