Posted by: zebbook | June 10, 2012

LESSONS FROM MUNICH

On Saturday, 19 May 2012, Chelsea FC of England beat Bayern Munchen of Germany to the UEFA Champions League trophy via a penalty shoot-out at the Allianz Arena. That I know is no longer news. Away from the football and drama, defeat and victory of that night in Munich, there are some very important lessons that Bayern’s loss and most especially Chelsea’s triumph taught me about life. These have I decided to share with you, perhaps you’ll also be able to learn one or two things.

(1) ROBERTO DI MATTEO

Roberto Di Matteo will go down in Chelsea’s history as the manager to deliver the clubs first ever Champions League trophy. This he did within four months of being appointed as Interim Manager after Andres Villas Boas was sacked in March 2012. The significance of Di Matteo’s achievement will be lost on us except if we go back in time to four years ago. As at 2008, Di Matteo was managing Coca-Cola League I club MK Dons and indeed lost the playoffs that season to Scunthorpe. The distance between that Coca-Cola League I playoff and a Champions League final is likeable to the distance, in years, between a twelve year old girl and menopause.

A year later (2009), he took over at championship side West Bromwich Albion, guided the team to promotion to the English Premier League, but after a poor run of results, he was sacked in February 2011. Four months later, he applied to Birmingham City but was turned down and ended up as Assistant Manager to Chelsea’s new coach Villas Boas. Eight months into his appointment, Villas Boas was axed by club owner Roman Abramovich. Now when Abramovich fires a manager, as he often does, he sends the assistant packing also. But this time he didn’t. He instead gave Di Matteo a temporary promotion to the position of manager!

Four months later, with the same tools his former boss worked with, Di Matteo won the oldest cup competition in football, the English FA Cup, and the most glamorous and sought-after trophy in club football, the UEFA Champions League.

It’s not certain that he’ll get the Chelsea job on full-time basis, but the truth is that he doesn’t need it. Four years ago he was a nobody, 18 months ago he lost his job, a year ago he was turned down by Birmingham City, but today he has triumphed where several past Chelsea managers have failed. West Bromwich Albion, the club that sacked him 18 months ago, is looking for a new manager, but they won’t approach Di Matteo. He is not in their league again, he is a superstar now and WBA are too small for him.

Have you suffered rejection? Have people looked down on you based on your present circumstance? Wipe those tears away from your eyes and see what God is working out for you. Lionel Messi has scored over 70 goals this season but he missed a semi-final penalty against Chelsea. The Germans hardly miss penalties; they did in their own stadium against Chelsea. When the time comes for God to uplift you, the natural order of things will be over-ruled by the supernatural and even your enemies will labour to make it happen.

I don’t know about you, but if I fall I won’t stay on the ground. If I fail I won’t sit and shed tears. I refuse to be consoled and pitied, for I know that what my God is working out in me is beyond man’s wildest imaginations. And I pray that wherever you have suffered rejection, you’ll go back there in a few years to be honoured and celebrated.

(2) FERNANDO TORRES

Fernando Torres, born March 20th 1984, and nicknamed El Nino, is a Spanish football player who plays for Chelsea FC as a striker. He started his career with Athletico Madrid, making his debut in 2001 and scoring 91 goals in 243 appearances before moving to Liverpool FC for a record transfer fee in 2007. He had a fantastic first year at Liverpool, scoring 33 goals in 46 appearances. However, by the start of his second season, the fortunes of the club had started dwindling and he voiced his concerns. By 2010, Liverpool had crashed out of the traditional ‘Big Four’ clubs in England and Torres felt he deserved to be a bigger club and win trophies too.

So when Chelsea came calling for him in January 2010, he demanded to move and his wish was granted. He moved to Chelsea for a British record transfer fee of GBP 50 million. Liverpool fans felt he betrayed them and was disloyal, they felt he should have stayed with their club through thick and thin, they called him a fair weather friend and burnt his jersey on the streets of Merseyside.

And when things didn’t go as plan for him at Chelsea they were quick to jump on his back, but he endured the taunts and jests. I have had reasons to severe childhood friendships, cut off professional associations and end romantic relationships and I have been ridiculed for it, but ultimately, the wisdom behind such decisions justifies same. People change, and so you should always review your relationship with them.

Relationships, friendships, courtships are all ships and ships sink, but you dont have to sink with it! Yes people will call you a traitor, a turncoat, a deserter amongst many other names, they’ll preach to you about the moral ethics of perseverance but that’s not really what did is about! This is about the knowledge that even though we can’t choose our family, we can’t choose our parents and siblings, but that we can choose who our friends are, and we eventually become the people we move with.

Fernando Torres knew he needed to move his career forward, and Liverpool FC was not offering him the chance to do that, he made his move, he was ridiculed for it, he was abused, threatened, he had to start all over again at his new club, he suffered demotion and neglect, he was humiliated and laughed at. He endured the taunts and jests and today, 18 months after he left Liverpool, he has FA Cup and UEFA Champions League medals to show for his travails. It’s not certain that he’ll win any other trophy in his career, it’s not certain that he’ll rediscover the Liverpool form that made him feared by all, I have my doubts if he’ll ever justify the GBP 50m paid to get him, but his move from Liverpool to Chelsea has been justified.

When you decide to move ahead with your life at the expense of some people’s presence in your life, expect the same. Infact more often than not you’ll be told you can’t meet someone as good as them, and I think it’s true, you’ll meet far better people who will contribute more meaningfully to your life. If you’re always the champion in your circle, it’s time to make new friends. Make friends with people who will challenge you to get better, friends who you can learn from. Review your relationship; what has been the highlight of your time so far with that guy/lady? Is your life getting better or worse? You’re responsible for what becomes of you, so care less about what people would say. Be wise, be guided.

(3) GARY CAHILL

Gary Cahill, born 19 December 1985, is an English footballer who plays as a central defender for Chelsea FC and he was part of the team that won the 2012 English FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League on May 19 2012. Cahill began his career playing for the AFC Dronfield youth set-system before joining the Aston Villa Academy in 2000. He spent eight years at the club but was loaned out to smaller clubs for most of those years. By January 2008 he was still considered surplus to the team’s requirements and was therefore sold to Bolton Wanderers for GBP 5m.

His fortunes changed for better at Bolton, his game improved considerably and he became the team’s defensive engine room and was made the vice-captain. However, his abilities soon caught the attention of the bigger clubs and he was eventually sold to Chelsea in January 2012 for GBP 7m. Bolton Wanderers had by then found themselves in a gripping battle against relegation, a battle they eventually lost on the last day of the season in May.

Cahill got to Chelsea had to spend a few weeks on the bench while getting used to the playing style of his new club, and when he eventually did break into the team, his performances justified the elevation from a team battling against relegation and one aiming to win the Champions League. When Cahill moved in January, all he wanted was just a move to a bigger club, an opportunity to showcase his talent on a bigger stage and a chance to earn more for his labour. He never could have imagined winning the FA Cup and Champions League in the space of 5 months. Within 5 months, he had moved from being the Vice-Captain of a relegation-bound team to being a Champions League winner.

So what is it that you’re passing through today? In what situation have you found yourself that’s making you lose hope? You looked ahead and saw how far others have gone ahead of you, and you think the gap is too wide for you to cover, making up for your lost years seem an impossible task for you. Yes it’s impossible for you, but I know there’s no impossibility with God, so why don’t you hand it over to Him? Cahill’s case is an example of what the Bible meant when it said that God is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all we can ever ask or imagine. All he wanted was a move to a bigger club, but God topped it with two medals within 5 months. That same God is more than able to do the seemingly impossible in your life if you put your trust in Him.

Ogunyemi Bukola

Follow @zebbook on twitter

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Responses

  1. There are so many things one can write about and learn from that victory.
    Me i learnt the importance of Taking One’s Chances. Because thats all it comes down to.
    Great piece boss. Me just gats learn from u ni. Teach ur boi na


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