Since the advent of the greatest sporting fiesta on the planet earth the World Cup in 1930, Africa and Africans have never had a feel or taste of it. The World Cup has been elusive to the continent and the people of Africa. Let it suffice to say that, we are more than ever hungry and thirsty for the cup. We need it more than any people on earth. The import of this article is to make the point clear and glaring that Africa can win the World Cup if certain steps are taken and things done in the right order and measure.
We want to see how we can win the world cup. We believe quite frantically that the gods of soccer will favor our drive and quest this time around.
In this article, we would attempt to get to the root and crux of the matter- the gods of soccer. Are there really gods of soccer? Are there forces invisible though controlling and dictating the pace and outcome of every game of soccer? If you think so, what is the basis of the judgment? Why do they seem to favor some teams and nations at the expense of others?
As someone who has been following the game since I caught the bug during the Maradonic era, in fact, I drank the Maradona opium to the brim. I still feel the devastating effect to this very day. I could recall Mexico ’86 with nostalgia. Oh! Oh! Oh! My! My! My! VINTAGE SOCCER, VINTAGE MARADONA, VINTAGE WORLD! I was of course eighteen, the right time one begins to take note of what goes on in the universe.
There are many factors incumbent and otherwise that contribute in making the gods of soccer. The game of soccer and all the activities of this life go beyond the tossing of coin-head or tail. The gods of soccer are there and we make them as powerful as they could be. Two factors of course determine who wins the favor and the sympathy of the gods of soccer: PREPARATION AND LUCK. It was Louis Pasteur who said: “Chance Favors the prepared Mind.” Winfred Oprah puts it in her own way: “Luck is Preparation Meeting Opportunity. “
Luck in all its multifaceted appearances is just opportunity bracing and meeting preparation. Luck is an essential attribute of life, success and achievement. It attains preparation and gives preparation berth, chance and opportunity. Luck enables preparation to work up chance, meet up chance and convert chance into a goal or achievement! It is therefore logical to say: no preparation, no chance, no chance, no opportunity, no opportunity, no goal! This is where Youth Sports can go a long way towards helping Africa to win the World Cup. We want to see how our schoolboys can be prepared to help us win the much coveted trophy! After all, the gods of soccer usually favor this age bracket 15-25.
Think of Maradona, who began to make waves at 17. At 20, Ronaldo was already the world footballer of the year. And Ronaldinho at 24. Let’s not forget our own Kanu Nwakwo, who started right in his school days. Let’s remember the Argentine cum world wonder boy Messi who broke into Barcelona full squad at 18.
The Brazilians and Argentines take football as their idol, their god. They gave full vent to it. They risk everything in their arsenal for football. No wonder the gods of soccer seem to be favoring them at other expenses. Footballers earn more money than executives of blue chip companies. Some earn more than presidents of some countries. Imagine how much our Nwankwos, Okochas, Obafemis, Mikels, Enyeamas and others too numerous to mention are making in football. Your guess is as good as mine.
We are therefore urging and encouraging our parents to give our kids and wards the chance of practicing and playing football to the highest heaven. We need to beat and continue to beat the Brazilians, the Argentines, from the scratch- the ground level where the game of football matters most. The magic age to beat football is five! At this age, the gods of soccer take every boy, every girl that is giving to it. Brazilian and Argentine kids know no better gift than the Round leather-Football! Our parents should try to build up and sustain our kids and wards interest in football. Football is goldmine these days. You don’t need to go to Ghana or South Africa to mine gold. Just football! Our youth/students should try as much as possible to stake their whole life on football, while not undermining their education. Education as a matter of fact is the bedrock of every aspiring individual and society. The youths should be encouraged to take football as their profession. Encouraging football at the highest level is the surest way of alleviating poverty and its attendant evils in our society. We need active interest in football. Let us be crazy about football. Football calls for team play. Let’s encourage team spirit among our youths.
Team spirit abhors a state of anarchy, rancor and acrimony. For Africa to win the world cup, in the short, medium, and on the long run, all hands must be on deck. CAF and the various nations involved in the game must arrive at a common objective and maintain a common platform.
NIGERIA, CAMEROON, SENEGAL, GHANA, IVORY COAST, SOUTH AFRICA, TUNISIA, EGYPT, MOROCCO, ALGERIA, ZAMBIA and so on and so forth must wake up, arise and shine!
LISTEN, THE BEST PREPARED TEAM WINS THE WORLD CUP. As you know, chance favors the prepared mind.
Africa cannot afford to be complacence, if we must win the world cup now and the years ahead. Africans let’s break the jinx. Let’s go for it, heart, body and soul! Editor Sunday Igwebuike