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For the love of football

By Judith Mukiri Mwobobia | Published Sun, July 1st 2018 at 00:00, Updated June 30th 2018 at 21:46 GMT +3

While I was never much of a football fan, I have never really minded getting entertained by Cristiano Ronaldo (here is where the young ins would insert the wink emoji). 

The game has always seemed a little senseless to me because why would 22 grown men want to chase after one little ball?

That said, living with people crazy about the game, I have inevitably been watching the World Cup. And on most evenings, I direct the players from my couch. Besides the fun and chaos, I have been learning some crucial life lessons from our footballers.

 1. Know when to move on
It is a match between Senegal and Poland. I remember watching the players and my first impression was that I had finally found people who were just as dark as I am.

Then I saw a dreadlocked man on the touchline dramatically gesturing throughout the duration of match. And I wondered why he was a coach when he looked just as fit and as young as the players. I always thought coaches were supposed to be grey-haired over-the-hill types.

Then I learnt that Aliou Cisse was in fact the captain of Senegal in the 2002 World Cup and that he had been very good. And since age catches up with everyone sometime, rather than hold on to the ball and be taken out on stretchers, he transitioned to a coach.

This move has guaranteed him longevity in the game. So yes, quit while you are ahead, that way, everyone remembers your successes, and not your weakest moments. There are a million things you can do with your wealth of experience. Now, if only African rulers would grasp this concept, we would be paces ahead in development.

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2. There will always be someone better than you

There will be a time when you will be the top dog, but if you believe your own hype and don’t keep getting better at your craft, you will be quickly overtaken by someone. Just ask the Germans. They could tell you a thing or two about this.

And as we wait for the eventual winners, with my firm favourites being Spain, remember to keep it fun and light. Don’t bet your rent away and keep your spouses happy. There is life after the FIFA World Cup.

Happy July


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