a matter of seconds

The year is 2006 and it’s the 9th day of July. Thousands in the Olympiastadion and millions around the world are watching the final match of the World Cup. The game, which is between Italy and France, is tied 1-1 and it’s extra time. 

All of sudden, we see Zinedine Zidane - a French attacking midfielder and football icon - walk towards Marco Materazzi - an Italian Centre back. Words were said between the two and their conversation ends with a headbutt from Zidane to Materazzi. 

Zinedine Zidane headbutts Marco Materazzi in the final game of the World Cup 2006

Zinedine Zidane headbutts Marco Materazzi in the final game of the World Cup 2006

In just a matter of seconds, World cup history was made. That was 2006, today, the 2018 World Cup kicks off in Russia. 

The 2018 World Cup will be held in Russia from June 14 to July 15, 2018

The 2018 World Cup will be held in Russia from June 14 to July 15, 2018

I’m a big fan of football and I think it’s the greatest sport ever invented. For many football players, there is no greater height than representing your country at the World Cup. It has being said that it is “the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding even the Olympic games.” (Wikipedia)

The World Cup happens every four years and within that time - before the next World Cup - national football federations, coaches, players around the world do their best to optimize their game so they can be amongst the chosen few that get to be selected to the world cup. 

You see, going to the World Cup stage is one thing. Performing on the World Cup stage is another. You only have a few games - at least 3 - to show the world what you are made of. Let me put that in context for you, you have 1095 days to prepare for the World Cup and 4 and half hours to prove yourself at the World Cup. 

The original  Jules Rimet  World Cup Trophy was designed by  Abel Lafleur

The original Jules Rimet World Cup Trophy was designed by Abel Lafleur

That same mentality can be brought to other aspects of life. From the moments we are born, we have “forever” to prepare for our golden opportunities but once those opportunities come, we only have a matter of seconds to prove that we are worth the chance. 

What I have learnt is that preparation is more important than opportunities. Putting your all into being prepared should be a focus for you. So when the opportunity comes, the time you have put in will speak for you.

The World Cup kicks off today and in a matter of seconds, we’ll know which countries and players came prepared. 

By the way, goodluck Nigeria. 
 

Nigerian Super Eagles in their World Cup 2018 jersey designed by Nike

Nigerian Super Eagles in their World Cup 2018 jersey designed by Nike