It isn’t as if last night’s match between host nation, Brazil and host conquerors, Germany was something out of the ordinary. Far from it. We’ve seen matches where the hosting nation or club will be beaten by far wider goal margins. Check out the different leagues in Europe and you will see this fact substantiated. Also, countries have fared worse in previous tournaments-particularly host countries. The myth surrounding a country not winning the World cup consecutively is still there, and remains likely not to be broken. At least, football fervents like us never gave Germany that benefit of doubt as to beating Brazil, talkmore of beating them by that ‘mother of shoutouts’ goal difference. Brazil definitely would have had the extraordinary self-confidence to draw on because they were at home. What’s more, what will be the quantitative and qualitative ratio of noise coming from over 50,000 Brazilian fans in a 60,000 capacity stadium compared to the paltry few thousands of German fans? Not to mention the double number of those outside the stadium. By all odds and initiative, Brazil ought to have won the match last night, but the world all over was shocked to see a total and complete reversal of expectations. Very few bookmakers will have willingly and clear-eyedly bet that such a scoreline as was witnessed last night was predictable. As a German player was heard to have confessed after the game,
“We started scoring immediately the game started and we forgot to stop.”
Yes, a whole lot of jokes-some sleazy, some naughty, some not-so-funny, others outright bad-had trended following the match. Trust Nigerians as usual. Nigerians will not be left out of the pack, and so various epithets were created by ‘geniuses’ to show their disapproval or approval, as the case calls for, at what Germany did to Brazil. The adjectives: sabotaged, mauled, butchered, truncated, obscured did not even come near to describe what Germany did to Brazil on that eventful night of July 8, 2014. Thus, different after different types of ready-made jokes-mostly by Nigerians-began trending everywhere from Twitter to Instagram, Facebook and many other online and offline social and print media. Hardly will you not be accosted with such jokes on your timeline, should you ever bother to check. But trust Nigerians, they will always be at the forefront of the noisemaking without necessarily, looking beyond the surface of the match to see if any lessons can be learnt from the game. Such lessons I believe I have learnt which I intend to share here.
The thoughtful and intuitive observer can, will, and must see through the ordinary theme that characterised the match. Far removed from the ordinary meaning of the match, some deep and insightful lessons will be humbly set out below.
Firstly, the distinction between ‘I CAN’ and ‘I WILL’ were clearly enunciated to me in that match. Man, from time immemorial, has been engaged in a perpetual search for gratification, but, however, there always appears those primitive obstacles in life called, ‘adversity.’ The German team, it appears, recognised the inherent peril associated with this lifes’ stumbling block. From the group stages of the tournament, the German team had played with a shared morality of fighting spirit. Their quest for winning knew no bounds. The pysche and credo of the team had been, ‘so long as it is a challenge, we would face it.’ And so, they had accustomed their mentality towards playing against any 11-manned team while winning was foremostly etched on the fronts of their hearts.
Secondly, the German team had taught me that indeed, ‘actions and deeds speak volumes than mere words.‘ To borrow a leaf from the literary giant, Prof. Wole Soyinka,“A Tiger does not announce its tigeritude; it pounces!” The German team did not need to announce their ‘Germanitude’, rather, they pounced! My simple message here is that, your Pastor, Prophet, Medicine-man or whoever might say all he has to say about you defeating your stumbling blocks in life which you must face, but my dear, to tell you the truth, it takes you to put in that sheer determination before you will achieve in life. The determination that equals the zeal with which tiny termites put in to build gigantic anthills. No one, at least I am sure, in the duration of the earth, has ever climbed a hill by merely looking at it. Only the man who says failure is his name would never achieve in this journey called life.
Further, the German team had demonstrated the spirit of comradeship paramountly needed in life. The connectivity of rungs in life’s ladder. We’ve heard of many aphorisms and sayings expressing the strength in unity, but the German team had clearly demonstrated that. Other teams were building and focusing their strengths on world bests and future world bests. The German delegation had at the onset clearly shown themselves to be a team without any preferential candidate. Nigeria can learn a lot from this by uniting in one common purpose to fight the onslaughts facing the country. The fourth and final lesson which I learnt will be a matter of conjecture. From the inception of the World Cup till date, any World Cup hosted by a South American nation has always been won by a compatriot South American country. With what I have learnt from the Germans so far, that record is clearly about to remain not so. The German team had thus far played with that degree of passion and zeal which can and will definitely change the status quo. It takes a daring and bold individual to bring about that much-needed change. That passion-filled and dedicated individual. That individual that will see above life challenges and potholes. And that individual, is YOU. Life’s lesson, in a nutshell:”Your best self is the most powerful.” It takes you to be you. Nobody can do it better than you.
See you at the top.