Published on June 2nd, 2014 | by Olumide1
When Nigeria Won Brazil…
I’m not an avid football fan but I cannot forget the historic match between Nigeria and Brazil in Atlanta 12 years ago. Brazil boasted of the likes of Bebeto, the lengendary goal scorer, and Ronaldo who was football personified. Their mid field was rock-solid. Their defense? Impenetrable! Brazil was the king of global football and they knew it. They had beaten Nigeria 1 nil earlier in the first round and were prepared to carry out the same feat once again.
The Nigerian squad was one of the best we had ever assembled. But even then, most of us did not think they had a chance. We watched out of loyalty to our country and love for the game. Losing to Almighty Brazil was acceptable. We just hoped we would not be disgraced.
And oh! Brazil dealt with us. 12 minutes to the end of the game, it was over (or so it seemed). We had been beaten mercilessly and were two goals down. Many of us had turned off our TV sets. Some were crying, others were cursing. People were annoyed. Some others just hoped that we would not be further disgraced with yet another goal. Even the Brazilian coach thought it was over and he began substituting his defense team in readiness for the semi finals.
And that was when the impossible happened. Nigeria scored bringing the score line to 3 goals to 2. And at the 90th minute, Nigeria scored again! We equalized. Suddenly, there was hope! This could work! We entered into that period in football known as “sudden death”. And we scored yet again! We won!
How many times have you felt like the odds were against you? You applied for a job and there were thousands of other people who seemed better qualified? Or you think you live in a country where terrorists and thieves get to negotiate their terms and conditions while honest citizens don’t seem to make it? We re surrounded by obstacles that contest with us for the most important ingredient: hope! And we must not lose hope. Not as individuals, not as a nation. The historic Nigeria – Brazil match of 1996 teaches us that it is not over until it is over.
Finally, a lesson from the Brazilian coach: Never stop giving your best, or putting in your best input. Don’t assume that you will always remain the champion just because you already are. Seek to always get better and never withdraw your best effort.
I’m on StarFM 91.5 Mondays through Saturdays from 8:00 to 8:05 AM. You can connect with me on Facebook: facebook.com/olumideadeleye or on Twitter: @olumideadeleye. You can also visit my website, www.olumideadeleye.com for a transcript of this broadcast. Do have a great day!